Alumni Engagement

Timeline: One Year Project
Planned project kickoff date: January 1, 2009
Target completion date: June 30, 2010

A. Give a short identifying title (under 10 words) to this Action Project.

Systematic Alumni Engagement Strategy

B. Describe the goal(s) of this Action Project (in 100 words or fewer).

This project will reengage disconnected alumni, inform all parts of Augsburg’s advancement efforts, and connect program participants to the larger Augsburg community in meaningful ways. This initiative will utilize the talents of numerous professional staff, as well as a large cadre of volunteers, primarily alumni and current students. These volunteers, as well as professional staff, will conduct a large number of personal visits with alumni to ascertain engagement strategies through a series of eliciting questions. This project will also utilize alumni events and alumni publications as engagement tools as well, rather than simply social or communicative tools.

C. Please identify the single AQIP Criterion which this Action Project will primarily affect

AQIP Category 3 – Understanding Students’ and Other Stakeholders’ Needs

D. Please describe your institution’s rationale for addressing this Primary criterion at this time. Why is this project and its goal(s) one of your “vital few”?

Augsburg College has placed a high priority on the systematic engagement of its alumni. As the institution enters into another capital campaign effort, it is equally as important to truly engage a larger number of our alumni as it is to simply raise more money from them. A campaign should do three things for an institution: allow you to raise more money; allow you to engage more people; and allow you to tell your story more effectively. This project will directly impact the engagement and communication strategies, which will then positively impact the fundraising performance.

E. List the organizational areas (or institutional departments and divisions) most affected.

This project will be facilitated out of our Alumni and Constituent Relations Office, but the results of this program will positively impact the College’s annual fund, alumni and constituent relations, major giving, communications, planned giving, stewardship, volunteer relations, and overall research efforts.

F. List and briefly describe the key organizational process(es) that you expect this Action Project to change or improve.

This project will improve a number of key organizational processes. It will help inform our overall communication and engagement strategies with our alumni. It will help us structure our development programs and gear them more to what our alumni are passionate about. It will also allow us to strengthen our relationship-based approach to advancement work, particularly with our alumni.

G. Explain the rationale for the length of time planned for this Action Project (from kickoff to target completion)..

This project is planned for 18 months. This timeline will run nearly parallel with the silent phase of the College’s capital campaign efforts. The running of these two programs in tandem will be critically important to the success of our advancement efforts. This 18 month timeline will also allow us to conduct enough face-to-face interviews and hold enough alumni events to collect meaningful results from this project.

H. Describe how you plan to monitor how successfully your efforts on this Action Project are progressing..

A quarterly plan of action with measurable metric-based goals will be developed prior to the project kick-off date. Goals will be examined on a monthly basis by the leadership team of the Advancement Division. The Vice President for Institutional Advancement will report quarterly to the President’s Cabinet the progress of the project and results will be shared with the larger college community via the IA Division Website.

I. Describe the overall “outcome” measures or indicators that will tell you whether this Action Project has been a success or failure in achieving its goals.

A comprehensive set of metrics-based process and outcome measures for this project will be developed. Some of the process measures include the number of personal visits made with alumni and the number of volunteers engaged. Some of the outcome measures include the number of proactive alumni contacts made with the College (i.e., class note submissions), alumni giving percentage, and personal visit participant giving differences.

J. Other Information.

Augsburg College currently has over 24,000 alumni throughout the world. This innovative alumni engagement program will enable the College to better understand, and therefore, improve engagement with this critical group of stakeholders. It will also allow us to strengthen the many communicative tools we possess both within the Institutional Advancement Division and across the College for our alumni. We plan on publicizing this innovative project in our alumni magazine, the alumni Website, and other venues as well.

K. Project Leader/Contact Person

Jeremy R. Wells, Vice President for Institutional Advancement