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December 02, 2007

Put Capital Campaign Videos Online

The University of Rio Grande has put Capital Campaign videos online for their alumni to view.  At the moment, they're showcasing three separate videos - one to bring about nostalgia in the viewers, one to explain how much money they hope to raise and what the funds will be used for, and one with alumni talking about their college experiences and encouraging others to contribute.  This is a terrific method to take your Capital Campaigns online in the form of videos.

Think about how many more alumni you could reach in this fashion.  And don't forget the power that video offers.  With video, your alumni can "visit" their campus again, and this is a strong motivator for them to become involved.  Remind them of the days they spent on campus and you'll have alumni who will contribute, participate, and connect more.  When you combine the instant availability of the Internet with the power of video, you'll be able to connect and engage your alumni in your Capital Campaign quicker and easier.

It doesn't have to cost a fortune today to use video, either!  A simple $150 camera plus free online software and you are ready to raise millions!  And, once you have the camera and the software - you can create other videos for your alumni online community to help your alumni connect, participate, and contribute more frequently.   

Posted by Don Philabaum on December 2, 2007 at 04:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (42) | Links to the Article (0)

December 01, 2007

You are in the People Business - Promote Staff!

While I'm sure you already recognize the importance of your staff, have you thought about putting some effort toward promoting them within your alumni online community?  Cedarville University does a terrific job of promoting their staff by devoting an entire section completely to them.  Their Meet Us section is a creative blend of photographs and information for alumni to consume.  Cedarville University begins with large group pictures of their staff, and then gives a link to individual pictures with baseball card style data for each person. 

What's so great about this is a lot of information is delivered in a simple, eye-catching way.  Visitors learn all about the alumni staff with a simple click.  And - they learn far more than just the basics of their individual job responsibilities, though those are included too.  The staff shares information about their hometowns, education majors, favorite bible verses and colors, hobbies, unusual facts, favorite college memories, and why they enjoy working with alumni.  I'm really impressed with Cedarville University's recognition and promotion of their staff to their alumni - and I am positive it's making a difference.

What type of a difference?  Alumni who are proud of their alumni association and believe it is run by a competent team of people are going to be willing to contribute and participate more often.  That's a pretty big bonus!  In addition, promoting your staff to your alumni in a method similar to Cedarville University's will help personalize the staff to your alumni.  This helps to forge bonds between the alumni association and the alumni.  It's a win-win situation!

When you build up your staff and give your alumni the opportunity to get to know them, you'll find they will reconnect on a more frequent basis.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Posted by Don Philabaum on December 1, 2007 at 04:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | Links to the Article (0)

November 12, 2007

Gordon College - Add Content and Tell a Story with Photo Journals

Keeping your alumni online community updated with new content is a never-ending goal.  Without new content for your alumni to consume, they'll spend their online time at other websites and communities, and will only visit yours sporadically.  I've written many other blog articles about different methods you can use to keep your content new, interesting, and fun for your alumni.  Gordon College uses photo journals as one of their methods to keep their alumni coming back for more.

Gordon College alumni go out into the world - not only to travel, but to share, help, and learn.  The college has provided an opportunity for their alumni, students, and faculty to share their experiences with others via their website.  Not only can alumni, students, and faculty of Gordon College use text to share these experiences, but now they can do so through photographs, as well.  This is a great way to add new content and to keep alumni connected, interested, and involved with your alumni online community.

Photos add depth, fun, and so much more to a plain written story.  Plus, photos are a terrific way to connect with those visiting the site.  In fact, this is great content to use on the admission side, as well.  Prospective students and their families will be impressed to see what graduates are accomplishing.  When you think about it - the difference in "telling" versus "showing" is massive. 

Photo journals can be used in a variety of ways to increase the connectedness, participation, and ongoing interest in your alumni online community.  What are your ideas for using photo journals on your website?  I'd love to hear about them!  If you're already using this tool in your community, let me know how it's worked out for you

Posted by Don Philabaum on November 12, 2007 at 02:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (37) | Links to the Article (1)

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