Poll Your Alumni Association Board At Your Next Meeting

After a wrapping up a great CASE D1 Conference in Boston, I spent last weekend in Providence at my second meeting as a member of the Brown Alumni Association Board of Governors.  Like many members of our team, I love volunteering for my alma mater outside of work.  In particular, I enjoy the opportunity to “walk the talk” by implementing many of the strategies we believe in at EverTrue.

A campus photo at Brown captured on NearCampus.

For example, I’ve spent the last 4 four months working with fellow board member Rodney Robinson ’90 as he has tested a variety of Facebook ads to drive additional fans to the Brown Alumni Association Page. It was Rodney’s insights along with lessons from other institutions that informed our recent Facebook Ads for Advancement webinar. 

I had the honor of presenting to the entire board on Saturday about rapidly changing trends in mobile technology and what that might mean for Brown.  Specifically, as Brown prepares for our 250th anniversary in 2014, my hope is that we plan with a “mobile first” (or at least not “mobile last”) approach.

I enjoyed meeting Pat Watson, Brown’s new Senior VP for Advancement.  Pat joins us from Cornell and I have deep respect for that program.  Pat articulated some of the challenges she’s experienced with legacy database vendors that have failed to adopt cloud-based platforms with open architecture.

During my presentation, I polled the audience.  Among the 30+ board members and staff in the room:

  • 90% of Brown Alumni Association board members use iOS devices (despite Android having 70% US Market share in Q4 2012)
  • 75% use tablet devices (relative to 30% overall in the US)
  • All but two people were on Facebook (one of the “nays” was a student from the Class of 2013)
  • Every single person in the room was on LinkedIn

The final point surprised me the most.  I’ve asked that question at a variety of conferences and presentations over the last two years, and it was the first time that LinkedIn trumped Facebook. I think this is a precursor to further shifts in the social networking landscape as Facebook users “grow up”. Time will tell…

Have any of our readers done similar polls at your alumni board meetings? I’d be curious to know how your statistics compare.

Ever True!


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