Your Strategic Partners in Alumni Engagement and Advancement

September 2022 — By Keith Hannon

There are thousands of colleges and universities in the United States, and even though each is unique in size, culture, and experiences, alumni engagement is a core focus for many institutions. Despite their differences, most alumni relations departments share common challenges like labor shortages and shrinking budgets. (In fact, studies show that alumni relations staff have dropped 18% since 2017.) To help enhance engagement efforts without an even greater strain on resources, alumni relations teams must find new alumni engagement ideas, and what better way to do that than through an external, collaborative partner?

However, when working with third parties, it’s essential to ensure you’re partnering with an organization that not only understands the unique challenges of alumni engagement, alumni fundraising, and alumni advancement, but also knows exactly what you need to do to make a meaningful impact beyond a single event or initiative.

In this article, we’ll share with you why our team at BrightCrowd is uniquely qualified to support your initiatives in engaging alumni and advancement in higher education!

Benefits of Working with BrightCrowd to Increase Alumni Engagement

If your goals center around engaging alumni to ultimately drive alumni fundraising, collaboration is key. The only way for alumni relations departments with limited resources (whether it’s time, staff, and/or budget) to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals is to work with a collaborative partner who’s actually been there before.

The BrightCrowd team collectively has decades of hands-on experience in alumni relations. We know what kind of support you need because we’ve been in the trenches ourselves, and we know how rewarding it can be to make a difference at your institution by cultivating a strong alumni base despite internal challenges.

Here are some of the key features of the BrightCrowd experience that are essential to engaging alumni successfully:

Rapid Implementation

We know you’re busy with initiatives and events, so our BrightCrowd EdTech experts ensure our books can be launched in under one hour. You won’t have to work around busy times in the semester with BrightCrowd’s efficient launch process. There’s no added pressure to reprioritize projects or add tasks to your already limited staff workloads. Simply designate a manager and provide participant emails – we’ve got the rest covered.

Higher ROI

BrightCrowd books are explicitly designed to increase alumni engagement and drive more attendance to your events – and our results speak for themselves! Added benefits include the ability to mass update your alumni databases and identify details on high-potential donors through the information your alumni are voluntarily (and enthusiastically!) providing. Putting in less (time and dollars) and getting more out of the experience is a win-win for all!

Simple User Experience

With so many people using their phones to access digital content, we made sure the BrightCrowd platform is mobile-friendly. It’s easy for book participants to create a page within minutes from their phones. We know that the easier you make it for alumni to engage, the more likely they are to do so, and it could not be easier to build meaningful connections amongst alumni and institutions with BrightCrowd.

Current, Multi-Dimensional Data

With BrightCrowd’s continually updated contact reports, you’ll have access to actionable insights to make data-driven decisions. All questions in BrightCrowd books are customized based on each book's goals. That means if you have multiple books running for different affinities or even alumni and current students simultaneously, each can collect completely unique information. This will allow you to create more strategic, tailored outreach plans based on who your alumni are and what they really want.

Early Momentum

Many universities also use BrightCrowd’s digital scrapbooks to welcome incoming students and cultivate community among students before their campus experiences even begin. Rather than wait until students have graduated and gone on to the next phases in their lives, start the relationship-building early for longer-lasting involvement and connections.

But BrightCrowd is so much more than a tool with highly impactful features; you’ll also have our experienced team by your side every step of the way. A new platform should take work off your plate, not add tasks to it, and high-touch, personalized service should be a given.

BrightCrowd as an Extension of Your Alumni Engagement Team

If you’re looking for a proven solution to help increase your alumni engagement, look no further than BrightCrowd. On average, 30-50% of alumni invited to join a university BrightCrowd book create a page. But it goes beyond just increasing your alumni participation rate. Our goal is to help you implement a turn-key solution that becomes a long-term weapon in your arsenal of alumni engagement best practices. And with the option to create books for affinity groups, books that expand the reach of alumni events or milestones, and even books to engage current students, the possibilities for meaningful connections are truly endless.

To meet the team and see just how simple it is to incorporate BrightCrowd into your alumni engagement strategies, check out our free 30-day trial.

Keith Hannon