Campus Partner Alumni Engagement Toolkit
Preparing students to graduate career ready is an important part of UNC's commitment to being a students-first university. And UNC alumni are proof of that commitment's outcome through strong career placement, enhanced social mobility, and positive career trajectories.
Because UNC alumni graduate career-ready, they remain committed to supporting a high quality current student experience by helping to recruit future Bears, volunteering on campus, providing career and industry insight, and opening doors of opportunity in their places of work.
In order to aid academic and student support programs in effectively working with alumni, the office of alumni relations is strategically organized to communicate, engage and build the capacity of 136,000 living alumni — all potential volunteers within the UNC Bear Network.
Let us help you put this network to work. Use these resources or reach out to a member of the alumni team to begin engaging UNC alumni in support of student success.
Communicate with Alumni
UNC aims to communicate strategically to preserve positive relationships with alumni. This means giving thought to time, frequency and method of communication. The basis of all communication is a centralized, university alumni database, where contact information and communication preferences are tracked and managed on behalf of all university programs and offices.
If your department wishes to communicate with a specific group of alumni, we are the first place to start. The alumni relations office will work with you to identify or gather an accurate constituent list; ensure that a message is developed and designed to brand standards; and scheduled strategically for maximum reach and effectiveness. Please begin this process at least 6 weeks prior to desired distribution.
Not all requests for stand-alone email messages can be honored. Some messages are more appropriate to be included in the UNC Monthly alumni newsletter or through social media channels and groups. All messages must be associated with an approved, university business purpose or sponsored program.
Our office tracks several metrics for each sent email message. Metrics include the number of email addresses sent to, open and click-through rates, “bounce backs”, and the number of recipients who unsubscribe from receiving future e‐mail communications. If requested, a summary report can be provided to you within two weeks of sending the e-mail message.
E-mail Requests & Approval
Contact us as soon as you learn of a new project or initiative that will involve alumni. Requests must include any images and text you plan to use in your campaign. We will respond to all requests within two business days.
- All requests for email messages or campaigns should be submitted a minimum of six (6) weeks before your target send date.
- You will receive one test message of the email to make suggested revisions before it is sent.
- Once the test message is approved, we will schedule your email message to be sent at the agreed upon day and time.
Once your request has been approved and added to the centralized email calendar, we will request the distribution list based upon your criteria. Some requests may need to be modified, we will work through any necessary changes with you.
Other forms of E-Communication
It is best to reach alumni where they are, and engage alumni in the ways and places they prefer. Therefore UNC employs a suite of communication vehicles and platforms.
UNC's alumni e-newsletter engages more than 70k alumni — This e-mail publication is sent out every second Tuesday of the month.
The Office of Alumni Relations has an established network of alumni volunteers interested and ready to support student and campus programs. We are here to help you put that network to work.
To share an opportunity:
Send opportunity details to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line "Request: Alumni Volunteer Support". Please include the following information and we will pass along the details to our network volunteers within three business days. Compose an email including all the necessary logistics along with contact information for the volunteer opportunity and links to more information if available.
- Opportunity title/topic and point of contact
- Date/Time/Duration (one time vs. long term commitment)
- Format and/or activity details
Our team is always looking for additional ways to engage alumni in the life of UNC. If you have an idea or potential volunteer role, feel free to reach out and see if we have existing volunteers interested in participating, or if we can provide a call to action on your behalf.
Alumni volunteer on campus nearly every day, serving on advisory boards, guest speakers in classes or panels, serving as a mentor, or event support. It is important that we thank alumni for their service. The Office of Alumni Relations can provide a thank you gift and card that you may share with the volunteers who work alongside you. Email email@example.com with the subject line "Alumni Volunteer Recognition" to let us know that alumni are volunteering and we will follow up with thank you opportunities.
Alumni guests on campus are considered a high priority. When alumni from your department visit campus, our office can assist with planning and hosting the visit.
If alumni attend your event, please email us a list of attendees to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update UNC's alumni database and appropriately record and recognize their engagement.
Our Office Can:
- Confirm alumni (premarital) name and class year.
- Provide an alumni gift, prior to their arrival.
- Provide one campus parking pass (subject to availability; space location not reserved or guaranteed).
- Advertise the visit (when appropriate).
- Provide a campus tour by a member of the alumni relations professional or staff
- Provide a meeting point in Carter Hall or the Judy Farr Alumni Center, to include hospitality services.
You Are Asked To:
- Let us know about alumni visits in advance.
- Include alumni class years in advertisements and promotional materials.
- Send the alumni office information that you may have collected, including participation details updated contact information, current employment, etc.
- Send the alumni office copies of photos or content from the visit
- Personally thank alumni for their participation or involvement.
The Office of Alumni Relations is responsible for creating and implementing the university's alumni engagement strategy. That includes creating an annual plan for alumni events and coordinating engagement efforts for colleges and programs. If you wish to host a unit-level alumni event, please reach out to the office the semester prior to the event to ensure effective planning, outreach, and engagement. Our office can partner with your program or department by supporting:
- Event planning: Sharing best practices in alumni event planning.
- Promotion: Promoting the event on the Alumni Events website and if available, in the UNC Monthly alumni newsletter.
- Communication: Facilitating email invitations and correspondence.
- Online registration: Creating an online registration form, managing registration fees, and supporting event follow-up.
- Gifts: Providing a gift for your alumni guests (subject to availability)
- On a limited basis: Our team could potentially provide shared sponsorship including funding and staff support.
You Are Asked To:
- Set up meetings with Alumni Relations staff by e-mailing email@example.com and adding the subject line "Alumni Event Collaboration".
- Work with key campus constituents — including the University Events team — to promote, plan, and execute your event.
- Share specific alumni contact information with our office prior to invitations being sent out.
- Provide our office with a final attendee list and any other relevant information for alumni engagement and stewardship purposes.
Since 1947 the University of Northern Colorado has honored outstanding alumni and friends whose service and achievements embody the University's tradition of excellence. Each year the UNC Alumni Association recognizes some of our most distinguished alumni and friends with Honored Alumni awards.
Bears Go Big
Graduates of the University of Northern Colorado go on to do BIG things – leading companies, leading social change, and even leading major league baseball companies. With our global Bear Network, you’re bound to see a UNC Bear doing big things in a city, career, or community near you. Want to learn more about them – and us?
To effectively reach our alumni, our office must have current information for them. UNC regularly updates alumni information through individual class note and update submissions, data pulls from advancement research sources, and updates shared by campus partners.
How To Do It:
All alumni contact information collected by a department, sports team, student club, Greek group, etc., should routinely be emailed to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org for processing with the subject line "Alumni Information Update".
If you communicate to alumni throughout the year, remember to incorporate the self-service alumni information update form.
Everyone has an interest in accurate alumni records and contact information. University Advancement serves as the manager and steward of all university alumni information, and through alumni relations, ensures that all university offices and programs have confidence and access to accurate alumni data and associated relationships.
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.
Meet the Advancement Team
The office of alumni relations works in partnership with colleagues across UNC's division of advancement. Offices include advancement operations, alumni relations and events, development, and marketing and communications.