12 KEYS TO THE SUCCESS OF AN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
THE POINT OF AN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION? KEYS TO SUCCESS: WITH
LEARNERS FOR LIFE.
By Manuel Zaragoza
Oct 24, 2016
Emotion, speeches, tributes, tears for some past times, videos that awaken nostalgia, old photos,
many smiles and some surprising and unexpected reunion. Surely if you are part of the Alumni
Association -or Alumni, in Latin- of your College, Institute, Faculty… you will feel familiar with the
Although a meeting of Alumni may seem to be just a one-off event to share your memories of
your time at school with the rest of your classmates, this type of event is, or rather, it can be,
much, much more.
I will try to shell the WHAT is nuclear, in any educational institution that prides itself, to maintain
and nurture an ALUMNI alive and present in the development of the academic year. In addition, I
will explain HOW, with a series of actions that can be developed to build a powerful ALUMNI,
because we can not forget that…
Powerful relationships constitute powerful institutions.
The starting point is to internalize that an Alumni Association linked to the school, excellent and
alive, goes through creating an environment in which the expectation of current students to stay
involved with their school community is established from the first moment they start school. In
order to promote and build this environment in a stable way, the 4 pillars of the educational
ecosystem are undoubtedly needed: the current and alumni, the families and the staff of the
school. It is then, and not in any other way, that these elements create a vision of COMMUNITY,
with capital letters, a commitment and, therefore, a culture.
We could indicate as an OBJECTIVE, such an expression of Coaching, of an Association of Alumni
creating pragmatic link with outgoing students, and without expiration date, to contribute to the
rooting of the institution that will result in a sustainable growth of the organization in the
medium and long term, a "grow together". As simple, and as complex, as the outgoing person can
continue training, contributing and linked to his or her school, at no cost and throughout life, quite
It is during events celebrating anniversaries of alumni promotions or annual meetings, when you
hear comments full of emotion and feeling like: "the best stage of my life", "when they ask me
where I get such good ideas, I always say that I learned it in my school", "my school was my second
family"… no doubt comments that could well contribute to building loyalty and attracting new
families to the centre. All that is needed is to channel them properly, as the Nobel Prize in
Literature Gabriel García Márquez correctly pointed out, "what is not communicated does not
12 KEYS TO THE SUCCESS OF AN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
1. Keeping the tribe together: intelligent use of Information and Communication
Technologies. In this case we have to make intelligent use both of the bbdd – database, for
mass mailing, etc., and of the social networks of the AAA -Alumni to keep all members
punctually informed of the current affairs of the association, and not only of it, but of the
present life of the center, a fact that will undoubtedly make them feel part of the current
gear of the Center.
Official Alumni site in Facebook.
Official Alumni account on twitter.
Official Alumni profile on LinkedIn.
Official YouTube Alumni Channel.
2. Group of subscribers, our best fleet of commercials. First-person experiences = the best
example to build student loyalty. In short, they are ambassadors for our brand. Ideal to
elaborate teams for the Open Day – Open days with a schedule of informal talks to tell your
3. Annual alumni event / Corresponding promotion anniversary / ALUMNI WEEKEND.
4. Sponsorship – Sports Sponsorship: Creates a sense of belonging, pride and brand.
5. Agreements with other organizations/sports clubs/companies through special offers on
registration/use of sports facilities/auditory… in exchange for
participation/dissemination/discounts on products or services, etc.
6. Patronage – Sponsorship of alumni of excellence, because of their cultural relevance (e.g.
scientific) with scholarships or financial support for their careers as researchers… It also
creates a sense of belonging and institutional pride.
7. Sale of corporate merchandising.
8. Efficient management of the Alumni Directory – the database data base with family profiles
(Project Escalate outgoing student profile). Surveys for optimization of actions of
diffusion/capitation of new families and loyalty of the current ones. Customer satisfaction
surveys on the school's educational project. Attention! It is always convenient to
communicate the resulting data and the improvement actions, not yet implemented, so
that the former students (clients) internalize that they have not only been listened to but
that we care about their opinion.
9. Relevant and free trainings for ex-students – Thematic networking (e.g. Entrepreneurship,
Big Data, Innovative Tools, Market Orientation…). This type of action also contributes to
expanding your network of professional contacts – Business Database, Alumni Directory.
Alumni Job Opportunities.
10. Visits, lectures, expert conferences, workshops and technical training by former students
for current students (business orientation, professional, scientific talks, etc.).
11. Student sponsorship program – Mentoring by alumni, professional advice-guidance and
entrepreneurship (the group of retired professionals is very interesting as a transmitter of
valuable work experience). This can help them draw their career, focus on where they
want to go in a more personalized way. Even international career orientation.
12. Collaboration with different current committees of the Centre (e.g. Alumni Solidarity:
Solidarity Commission for the elaboration of concrete events, such as the campaign to
collect used clothes, food or toys at Christmas for charitable purposes. Social work in
To finish, as always, one of my favorite dates:
“Alumni bridges the gap between students and the world”