Strong alumni engagement is critical to the long-term success of colleges and universities. One of the keys to building meaningful connections with alumni is understanding their unique affinities that motivate them to stay engaged.
With thousands of users at partner-Universities sharing their stories with us - the LiveAlumni team spotted an undeniable pattern: Outreach to Alumni when it's based on two or more affinities is much more successful at engaging them.
In this blog, we explore why three affinities can be the magic number to boost alumni engagement and provide actionable strategies for identifying and leveraging these connections.
The Power of 3 Affinities
1. Multi-dimensional Connections
When you consider three affinities, you're not just looking at a single characteristic but a combination of factors that create a more complete picture of the alum. This multi-dimensional approach allows you to tailor your outreach efforts more effectively, making them resonate with alumni on a deeper level. For example, reaching out to an alumna based on her gender alone may not be as impactful as connecting with her because she is a woman working in tech, and also a former athlete.
2. Targeted Outreach
Focusing on three affinities allows you to create more targeted and relevant outreach campaigns. When alumni can identify with multiple aspects of a message, they're more likely to engage with it. By taking the time to understand the commonalities among alumni, you can create customized content that speaks directly to their interests, increasing the chances of them opening an email, attending an event, or making a donation.
Pro Tip: If you have a LiveAlumni subscription, you can ask your Account Manager to help you run a report based on who you want to target!
3. Strengthened Community Bonds
Alumni with three or more affinities are more likely to have a stronger sense of belonging and pride in their alma mater. This shared identity fosters a sense of community and encourages alumni to stay connected and contribute to the institution's success. By nurturing these relationships, your institution will benefit from a more engaged alumni base that actively participates in events, volunteers, and supports fundraising efforts.
Strategies for Identifying and Leveraging Affinities
1. Analyze Existing Data
Start by examining your existing alumni data to identify trends and affinities that stand out. Look for patterns in employment, volunteerism, extracurricular activities, and other areas of interest. This information can be used to segment your alumni population and inform your outreach strategies.
Pro Tip: If you have a LiveAlumni subscription, you can ask your Account Manager for help generating reports that can help you identify alumni with specific affinities.
2. Conduct Surveys and Interviews
Regularly survey your alumni to gather information on their interests, career paths, and personal achievements. Additionally, consider conducting in-depth interviews with a diverse group of alumni to gain insights into what motivates them to stay engaged with their alma mater.
3. Collaborate with Campus Departments
Work closely with campus departments such as career services, student affairs, and academic programs to identify shared affinities and potential opportunities for collaboration. These partnerships can lead to joint events, programs, or initiatives that cater to specific alumni groups and their unique interests.
4. Create Affinity-Based Alumni Groups
Establish alumni groups based on shared affinities, such as professional industries, hobbies, or cultural backgrounds. These groups can facilitate networking, provide mentoring opportunities, and host events that cater to their members' specific interests.
The magic of three affinities lies in its ability to create stronger connections, more targeted outreach, and a greater sense of community among alumni. By identifying and leveraging these multi-dimensional affinities, colleges and universities can foster lasting relationships with their alumni, ultimately leading to increased engagement, support, and long-term success.
Interested in implementing some of these strategies yourself? Get in touch with us and we'll be happy to share more details.