Alumni Engagement Toolkit
Engagement Support for Faculty and Staff
Preparing students to graduate career ready is an important part of UNC's commitment to being a students-first university. And when we put students first, we graduate alumni with strong career placement rates, enhanced social mobility, and positive career trajectories.
Because UNC alumni graduate career-ready, they remain committed to supporting a high quality current student experience. They help recruit future Bears, volunteer on campus, provide career and industry insight, open doors of opportunity in their places of work, and generously fund student scholarships.
In order to aid academic and student support programs in effectively working with alumni, University Advancement's alumni relations team is strategically organized to communicate, engage and build the capacity of thousands of living alumni in the UNC Bear Network. Let us help you put this network to work.
Working on behalf of all university programs and offices, University Advancement is responsible for managing alumni communication and associated data including contact information and communication preferences using a constituent relationship management (CRM) tool and coordinated alumni communication calendar. Central coordination enables UNC to be thoughtful regarding the time and method of communication, especially when alumni maintain interest and relationships with multiple areas of the university. Coordination also ensures that outbound communication is linked to accurate, up-to-date data and reflects the preferences and privacy requests of alumni.
To Request Alumni Communication Support
Typically most university programs and offices prefer to communicate with alumni via email although other options of communication and outreach may be available depending on the need and purpose of the request. University Advancement uses Blackbaud NetCommunity to communicate electronically with alumni and external constituents rather than Emma or Slate, because the later systems are not integrated with UNC's alumni and donor database Raiser's Edge NXT.
Call 351-2551 or email alumni relations firstname.lastname@example.org at least six weeks prior to desired email distribution. Include:
- Purpose of requested communication (example: update, event invitation)
- Summary of population you wish to reach (example: email all HSS undergraduate alumni)
- Desired distribution date(s)
Please factor in additional time if your request is connected to an event or marketing project.
Review and Approve
A member of the team will reach out to confirm your needs and scope of request.
If your message is approved, it will be scheduled in the central communication calendar. You will receive confirmation of the distribution date and alumni population segment.
The content of your message will be reviewed for brand consistency and if you requested an email you will receive a digitally designed draft to review and approve.
Returns and Reports
Alumni email bounce backs and returned mail are funneled to Advancement Operations to track and update alumni data and communication preferences.
Additionally, open, click-thru and transactions rates are tracked back to individual alumni, enabling UNC to better understand and honor alumni interests and preferences. You may request a post-communication report for your project.
All requests for alumni communication must be associated with a legitimate university business purpose and advance an institutional priority. While some requests for stand-alone alumni communication may not be approved, alumni relations staff will work with the requester to identify and or leverage other communication channels where appropriate. This may include content inclusion in the alumni newsletter UNC Monthly, promotion on Alumni Social Media, or promotion through alumni and university calendars.
Alumni relations builds and manages a strong network of alumni volunteers. We are here to help you put that network to work. Alumni regularly volunteer as class speakers, career advisors, admissions ambassadors, event support and several other activities.
To recruit alumni for your opportunity, please send volunteer activity details to email@example.com with subject line "Request: Alumni Volunteer Support". Please include the following information so that a staff member may follow-up.
- Opportunity title/topic and point of contact
- Date/Time/Duration (one time vs. long term commitment)
- Format and/or activity details including any information links
Engagement Ideas: Alumni relations staff are always looking for meaningful alumni engagement opportunities. If you have an idea or potential opportunity, feel free to email the office and schedule a preliminary conversation.
Alumni generously volunteer in support of multiple campus causes. Help UNC thank them for their service. Alumni relations will provide a thank you gift and card that you may present to the volunteers who work alongside you.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Alumni Volunteer Recognition" to let us know that alumni are volunteering and we will follow up with recognition and stewardship opportunities.
Visiting alumni are a high priority and our goal is to help you provide a meaningful visit experience - whether in person or virtually. Help us welcome home alumni as guests to your class, club or office.
Preparing for the Visit
Contact alumni relations at 351-2551 or email@example.com for the following pre-visit services and support:
- Confirm alumni name, class year, academic and professional information
- Complimentary parking pass
- Complimentary thank you gift
- Advertise the visit (when appropriate)
- Organize a campus tour
- Provide a meeting location and hospitality services in Carter Hall
Your Role as Host
You serve an important role as the host and University Advancement campus partner.
- Please let us know about alumni visits in advance
- Include alumni class years in advertisements and promotional materials
- Send collected information, including participation details updated contact information, current employment, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send the alumni office copies of photos or content from the visit to add to alumni records
- Personally thank alumni for their participation and visit
Alumni relations is responsible for creating and implementing the university's alumni engagement strategy and associated engagement efforts for colleges and programs. This may include the annual Honored Alumni Ceremony, virtual Alumni Career Panel series, as well as many other events throughout the year.
If you have an idea for a unit-level alumni event, please reach out to email@example.com the semester prior to the target event data. The staff will review your request and its alignment with university priorities, existing engagement efforts, and unique opportunity to meaningful engage alumni in support of UNC.
To initiative support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and adding the subject line "Alumni Event Collaboration." If you have a list of alumni that you would like included, please add that to your message. At the conclusion of the event, please send a final list of attendees back to email@example.com. We will update alumni constituent records, which is useful for your future events and the university's alumni engagement and stewardship priorities.
Accurate alumni records are important for many of UNC's operational priorities. University Advancement is responsible for the management and stewardship of alumni data and relies on a variety of data acquisition, health and management practices to ensure alumni data is available and useful for purposes ranging from accreditation to fundraising. Campus partners serve an important role too by sharing updated information for inclusion in the university's alumni database.
The result: Strong alumni relations provide authentic learning experiences and reciprocal partnerships and collaborations. UNC sets the standard for how engaged universities enrich the lives of those on campus, throughout Colorado, and beyond.
How to Share an Update:
All alumni contact information collected by a department, sports team, student club, Greek group, etc., should routinely be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing with the subject line "Alumni Information Update".
Individual update form: If you communicate to alumni throughout the year, remember to incorporate the self-service alumni information update form.
How to Request Data:
If you need alumni data for program, accreditation or other university business purposes, please submit a Data Request form to Advancement Operations a minimum 10 business days prior to need. Data Request Form
Career Data: University Advancement manages alumni career data on behalf of all programs and offices. Additionally, career data is visible through the Alumni Employment Dashboard. View the dashboard.