Alumni

How to Cold Call Your Future Mentor

Getting that first meeting with an in-demand executive or potential mentor can change the course of a person’s career. But how do you break through with someone you’ve never met before? PHOTO: ISTOCK

Getting that first meeting with an in-demand executive or potential mentor can change the course of a person’s career. But how do you break through with someone you’ve never met before? PHOTO: ISTOCK

Getting a meeting with an influential person you admire actually could change your life, by opening doors and providing inspiration or advice.

But how do you connect with a total stranger who is in demand and make that person want to meet with you? Pulling off the career equivalent of a moon landing requires a first contact that is pitch-perfect: the perfect subject line, a winning introduction, a request that isn’t too big or vague, and—a subtle touch that’s often overlooked—a hint of what you can offer in return.

Most people reach out by email, and these emails are often swiftly deleted, experts and executives say. Often, the sender is asking for too much time—even an hour is usually too long—or too much commitment, such as saying outright, “Will you help me get a job?” Unfocused requests for pointless conversations, such as asking about the recipient’s accomplishments or background, also tend to land straight in the trash.

That first email should show that the sender is well informed and prepared for a purposeful discussion. Give a succinct summary of who you are, what you want to accomplish, what you are asking for and if possible, something you can offer.  (Read More...)

Podcast: Engaging LGBT Alumni

Podcast by Thomas J. Minar, President of Franklin College

In this CASE podcast, Thomas J. Minar, president of Franklin College, explores how institutions can engage LGBT alumni.

“If we cut out or eliminate, systematically or by accident, any constituencies, we risk not fulfilling our objectives of maximizing the long-term opportunities for our institutions.” Hear the Podcast

International Alumni – a Gold Mine for Many Reasons

Authored by Gretchen Dobson, Ed.D. Global Strategist, Gretchen Dobson, LLC 

Happy Chinese New Year to friends at home and abroad. The Spring Festival is upon us (actual date is February 19) and I wanted to share a few thoughts in response to a recent post on Inside Philanthropy:

http://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2015/1/15/why-foreign-born-alumni-will-be-a-growing-gold-mine-for-coll.html

The contributor writes about what I agree is often an untapped resource: our international alumni. Read More...

One Reason to Offer Free Online Courses: Alumni Engagement

Authored by Casey Fabris of Chronicle of Higher Education

Conversations about the atomic bomb can go only so far among a classroom of 20-somethings. It’s hard for today’s students to imagine living in 1945, experiencing a world war, or, for most, serving in the military.

But bring alumni—with many more years of experience to share—into the equation, and class discussions can get a lot more interesting.

That’s what Karen Harpp is doing in her Colgate University course “The Advent of the Atomic Bomb.”

Next semester she will offer the course for a second time as a MOOC of sorts for Colgate alumni. It is not, strictly speaking, a “massive open online course” because it is not open to the public—only to alumni and others who make special requests to join.Read More…

Loyalty Isn’t Enough for Alumni Giving

Authored by Josh Keniston, Research and Product Director, Eduventures

Ice bucket challenges and crowd-funding platforms have dominated non-profit headlines and social media feeds for the last few months. A new generation is using technology in unprecedented ways to raise awareness for causes they care about. Hidden behind the buzz, however, is an important take-away that higher education leaders must understand in order to attract the next generation of donors —it’s not just how this generation gives, but rather why they give.

Eduventures’ Alumni Pulse research, which combines survey data with giving records for over 70,000 alumni, indicates that donor motivations are changing. Most notably, young alumni are far less likely to give out of a sense of loyalty than their parents or grandparents. Only 27% of Millennials cite “obligation” as a top motivator for giving, compared to 50% of Baby Boomers (see Figure 1). Instead, Millennials are more likely to be motivated by the impact that they believe their gifts will make. Read More…

Three Paradigms for a Successful Alumni Engagement Strategy

Authored by Ryan Catherwood, Higher Ed Live blogger and Former Host of Advancement Live, Assistant VP for Alumni and Career Services, Longwood University

Alumni engagement is about making stronger alumni under the flag of the university. Our efforts should yield personal and professional success stories and in the process increase school spirit. Successful alums that can equate post-college achievements back to the institution will hopefully be compelled to give back both time and treasure over the long term. At least, that’s the goal as I see it. But I believe there are two prevailing paradigms within higher education that might ultimately hold back an institution from realizing some of their engagement goals. Read More...