Graduation is an exciting time for higher ed students, who are filled with a sense of accomplishment and hope for the future. But as students graduate to alumni, your university has some work to do.Thriving universities are backed by a vibrant community—and building that community starts with creative alumni management. Getting recent grads engaged in your alumni program as soon as possible is important. Alumni are more likely to contribute to your growing community as they advance in their lives if they get involved while they still feel a strong personal connection to the school.University alumni can be a great resource for career networking, student retention, and donations. But you have to nurture your relationship with them. Here are a few ways you can stay connected and relevant to new alumni (while using mobile forms for crucial data management):
#1: Worthwhile Events
Who doesn’t love an entertaining event?Host exciting concerts or speakers at your university to draw alumni back to campus. Also consider organizing alumni events that provide the valuable networking opportunities young alumni often seek.
Form tip: Use mobile-friendly event registration forms to seamlessly collect alumni details and provide an opportunity for registrants to opt in to further communications about events.
#2: Monthly Campus Newsletter
If you aren’t already compiling a monthly e-newsletter for faculty, staff, students, and alumni, you should strongly consider it. Sending out regular communications about your university is a crucial way to build community. Most recent alumni regularly view emails on their phones, so an email newsletter is an easy way to connect with them no matter where they are. Additionally, email marketing has a higher ROI than any other marketing channel.
#3: Quarterly Alumni Magazine
Producing a larger publication that’s geared toward alumni specifically can strengthen alumni connection to your school. Fill the magazine with stories of the great work the university and its students are doing. Include a section that provides brief life and career updates from university alumni. Mailing a physical copy of the magazine to alumni will give your university visibility. You can also maintain an online version for those who prefer to browse electronically. The University of Indianapolis does both with its alumni magazine, Portico.
Form tip: Use a college alumni update form to gather contact and life updates from alumni. You can even include a QR code in the hard-copy magazine that readers can easily scan with a smartphone to bring up the necessary form.
#4: Student-Alumni Mentorships
Creating a student-alumni mentorship program for your university can help you build strong connections between current and former students. Students want to engage with those who came before them and find out how to succeed beyond the university. Connect students with alumni from the same major area of study, athletic program, or hometown. Help them build a network of professional connections that can offer career advice, internship opportunities, and general “real world” support.
Form tip: Use a mentorship program signup form to build a list of alumni willing to meet or talk with students. Then use a mentorship request form to collect student requests for alumni connection.
#5: Tailored Social Media
Americans ages 18–24 embrace a variety of social media platforms and use them frequently, according to recent data from Pew Research Center. This means many of your recent grads are hanging out on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter—so you should, too. Make sure your university is active on all major channels. You can also create social groups specifically for alumni on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. These groups allow alumni to connect with each other, reminisce about their time on campus, and share job openings.
Form tip: Place online forms directly on your Facebook page or share them in your social groups to give alumni easy access to forms for contact information updates, event registrations, general feedback, and more.
#6: Thoughtful Surveys
Giving alumni a voice through surveys can be an effective way to keep them linked to your university. You can distribute surveys about all of the above to get feedback on your alumni efforts. You should also consider sending a general alumni engagement survey to find out how your alumni rate their experience as a student, what your graduates need from you, and how you can build long-term relationships with alumni.
Form tip: Use an online form builder with powerful survey features to gather actionable insights from your alumni.
Connecting with alumni after graduation is made easier with Formstack’s mobile forms. In addition to alumni management, our versatile form builder and vast feature set can improve a variety of education processes.