With graduates finding alumni networks as a doorway to success with beautiful career options, a place to network, and give back, HEIs have started focusing on building alumni management software that benefits this new era of the mutually beneficial alumni network. Because they firmly believe that an alumni platform will not only foster a deeper alumni community but also leverage institutional excellence.
Let’s dig deeper into alumni management software in the ensuing sections of this blog.
What is alumni management software?
Alumni management software enables you to serve and connect a large alumni network—typically graduates from your college or university—into a virtual community where they can team up, network, and do other fruitful things.
It is a specialized platform that allows for data control, maintenance, and analysis of a university or college’s alumni. The platform centralizes and keeps all important alumni information up to date. It provides numerous opportunities for alumni to reconnect, engage, contribute, discuss, raise funds, and keep in touch in order to serve as future brand ambassadors for an institution.
The best alumni management software will benefit both the university and the alumni without a doubt. Let’s take a closer look at the types of benefits that these platforms typically provide.
What are the benefits of alumni management software?
1. Build an air-tight alumni database
If you are a university looking to create an alumni database, the right type of alumni management software will allow you to do so. You can gather information about the industries your alumni work in with details about their position and seniority. It’s also helpful if you can pinpoint their exact location, which is especially useful for local events and meetings.
While most of the alumni software platforms in the market come with this option of a database, we are talking about having access to detailed analytics on each of your alumni members, their posts, and all other activity, as well as the ability to manage your alumni members, download member data, and more.
2. Opening up venues for virtual events
Not all alumni can afford to attend every event or reunion at their alma mater. The simple fact is some are more financially unsuccessful than others.
The best alumni management software recognizes this and understands that virtual engagement is one of the most accessible and effective ways to keep a community engaged. Here’s an example to get the picture – organizing formal mini-lectures weekly twice, or virtual happy hours fortnightly can kindle that alumni flame in your pass-outs.
3. Adds to placement, networking, and knowledge sharing
The next biggest benefit of the alumni community platform is its power to nurture connections. LinkedIn and Facebook may come a long way in this regard, but it still has limitations in terms of allowing people to find each other.
A dedicated alumni network platform can exponentially expand networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities, facilitating the valuable connections your alumni care about.
4. Managing the biggest task of fundraising
Most HEIs rely heavily on sponsors, fundraising, and fancy galas. But the process is indeed challenging, time-taking, and most of the time futile.
However, asking for such contributions isn’t always an easy process. However, with an alumni community platform, you’re providing a lot of value—enough value to entice your members to contribute financially. And you can provide them with a variety of options, such as tiered memberships, paid groups, a yearly virtual conference, and many more.
What features should alumni management software include?
Let’s look into the more explicit features of alumni management software in this section, which will help HEIs similar to you to bang on the right one.
1. Built on low-code no-code configurability
Building your own alumni management software from the ground up is an expensive, time-consuming, and frequently nightmare endeavor.
The alumni platform that is built on low-code no-code configurability gives you hundreds of different ways to customize your branding, company domain name, unique registration process, communications plan, imported news feeds, and company events to ensure your platform is unique to your institution.
2. Community-building tools
The best alumni management software combines community-building and member management features.
It should come with a rich set of tools that helps you manage your community without relying on third-party platforms or integrations.
Some of the community-building tools are mentioned below for you;
An activity feed that supports text, links, images, and video.
Tools to virtually connect and meet up
Options to posts, comments, and cheers
Feature to maintain member profiles with customizable categories
Tools to directly communicate in community groups
Option to locate members based on their location
3. Mass notification with instant alerts
A very powerful mailing tool that allows institutions to send personalized bulk emails while also tracking emails that are opened and clicked is a must to look-for option in alumni management software. This ultimately helps you to target better and wiser.
4. The ability to charge for membership
The next feature that the alumni software should come with is membership management. It should outsmart the usual challenges that come along with membership and handle the billing process so that you always receive your fundraised amounts and other payments on time.
It should have the ability to define and automate membership expiration dates and payment tracking options.
5. Power to host exclusive virtual events
Alumni events are essential components of a successful alumni engagement strategy. Your alumni management software should include complete event management capabilities including;
A calendar of events
Email invitations and reminders
Online payment system
Campaign tools to publicize events
Your alumni management platform should help you transition from offline to online by allowing video calls, roundtable discussions, webinars, and other activities to take place on the platform using the video conferencing tool of your choice.
Embedding conference links, providing a countdown-to-start feature, and allowing access to the live meeting from the event page are all extremely useful features that you should consider before buying alumni software.
6. Complete the alumni listing
A member directory is where you keep all of your alumni’s important information, such as their name, contact information, location, and alma mater.
The ability to search alumni using various filters and combinations, allowing alumni to expand their professional connections within the alumni community is the next important feature of the alumni software.
The best directories also include an interactive visual map that shows member profiles based on location and other important criteria.
You should be able to easily do the following with your platform:
Change the contact information for your members.
Fill in the blanks with information relevant to your community like clubs, campus, and the department
Update your members’ profiles in bulk (e.g. when adding a specific field for your members)
Option to export data at any time
7. Management of fundraising
Aside from raising funds, fundraisers help to strengthen bonds between influential stakeholders and your institution and boost morale throughout.
A good alumni management platform will help your team save time on administrative tasks. This gives them more time to concentrate on the fundraising strategy and its tangible results.
Your team can use the best alumni management software to
Create campaign pages with ease
Promote fundraisers quickly throughout the network
Provide an integrated frictionless payment gateway
Generate donation reports automatically
8. Create groups and communities
Alumni groups are an excellent way to provide more personalized content and support to your members while also facilitating strong connections between members.
Within your existing alumni network, your alumni management software should be able to create groups of people who have something in common. Groups based on alma mater, location, etc.
9. Measure results with engagement scoring and analytics
You must first understand your alumni community in order to better manage it.
A good alumni management software should allow you to track your alumni’s platform activity, such as clicks, likes, shares, and comments. To help you continually improve your engagement strategy, you should be able to easily see what type of content works best.
The best platforms include an engagement scoring system that makes identifying power users a breeze. Each member’s score should be calculated automatically based on their activity in the community.
Why does HEI institution require Alumni software?
By managing different channels of alumni activity through one system, alumni management software allows your alumni relations team to work more efficiently. You can manage your events, including registration, promotion, payments, mentoring and career support, networking, and content – and every interaction is automatically recorded in a database designed for HEI alumni networks.
When budgets are already tight, it can be difficult to justify the cost of a new system, but by investing in all-in-one software, you can stop paying for incumbent systems that don’t integrate with one another and invest in the long-term plan for your alumni relations program.
Using alumni management software allows you to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time developing new or deeper relationships through mentoring and career support. You can unlock value for both your alumni and your development team and create a strong community that wants to give back.
How can Creatrix Campus Alumni Management Software assist HEIs in meeting your alumni engagement objectives?
Alumni management necessitates careful and consistent relationship-building over time. Creatrix’s alumni management system includes a connected database, CRM, and online community portal to connect the dots on data, as well as a wide range of features in one system to allow you to develop your alumni relations strategy over time.
An all-in-one system, it comes packed with features for career development, communications, events, and content allowing you to pick and choose which channels of alumni relations activity to focus on, with the flexibility to develop new activities over time.
It has tools to propel your campaigns to the next level and open doors to previously untapped potential donors.
All over the world, our customers are building stronger alumni community connections and smarter fundraising campaigns. Discuss ways to increase alumni engagement by scheduling a meeting with our experts here.