On social media, autumn may look like cozy lattes, pumpkin patches, and crisp evenings spend reading under a blanket—but as anyone who works in education knows, the reality is far more chaotic. If your school is experiencing the pandemonium of the back-to-school rush, it might seem impossible to even think about dealing with alumni fundraising at the moment. But then again, if you’re not thinking about your alumni donors, you’re missing out on valuable funds. A catch-22? Doesn’t have to be.
Here are five easy, quick ways that you can improve your relationship with potential alumni donors before the next pumpkin patch photo pops up on Facebook.
Alumni love to be reminded of what school life is like, and that includes the projects that their donations have been used for. Compile a few quick examples from school life that show how alumni donations have been used in the past, or will be used in the future. It doesn’t have to be complicated: three bullet points about upcoming projects, a few snapshots of school improvements, or a handful of quotes from students can get the message across without requiring you to write an essay. Circulate it on social media, or send it in a quick email blast to recent grads and older alumni.
Outsource your stories
Take five minutes and send three emails to select students and faculty, asking them to reminisce about a time when a donation helped them in some way. Tell them to make it personal and connect to the alumni experience in any way they can. Once you get the anecdotes back, your next email blast is practically written!
Give alums options
Your recent grads probably aren’t terribly excited about the idea of donating by check. Remind them that they can give however they want—by phone, by text, online, in person. And, if you don’t have multi-option giving set up, get in touch with GiveCentral—we can help you turn your fundraising into a multifaceted tool so that donors can make a gift within seconds, however they want.
Check in on social media
Social media can be a timesuck—but only if you let it. Set aside five minutes to log in, update your profile picture, and post a quick status about what your latest batch of donations was used for. Then log back out and get on with the school day. Don’t have a profile? Set aside five minutes to create one.
Look ahead to giving season
Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday will be here before you know it. You may want a more intense plan of attack for those days, but you can start on that plan right now: set aside five minutes to sketch out goals and brainstorm ideas for the upcoming season. Don’t forget to think about ways you can get alumni involved! A little planning done today can help you make the most of your alumni donations later.