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  #1  
Old 02-08-2013, 01:10 AM
BootznCatz BootznCatz is offline
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Poor Alumnae Relations "Apology Letter?"

My chapter has pretty poor alumnae relations, and as the new Alumnae Relations person, I want to send out a formal letter to kick off my term.

Essentially, what I want the letter to do is admit our past faults and show we want to work on improving our relationship.

How formal should it be, syntax-wise?
Stationary vs. Email?
Is there anything else you would want to see in the letter?
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2013, 01:32 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BootznCatz View Post
My chapter has pretty poor alumnae relations, and as the new Alumnae Relations person, I want to send out a formal letter to kick off my term.

Essentially, what I want the letter to do is admit our past faults and show we want to work on improving our relationship.

How formal should it be, syntax-wise?
Stationary vs. Email?
Is there anything else you would want to see in the letter?
Don't do this. Your "apology" should be in the form of regular contact with the alumnae. Maybe start by creating a monthly newsletter to send to all the alumnae updating them of what's going on with the chapter. Then plan an alumnae event. Invite them to Founders Day activities. Invite them to initiation.

Introduce yourself as the new Alumnae Relations chair (however you see fit), and show them that you're "sorry" by keeping them in the loop.
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Last edited by ASTalumna06; 02-08-2013 at 01:35 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2013, 02:06 AM
adpiucf adpiucf is offline
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I agree. Do not apologize. Alumnae are busy people. You're not on their radar. So get on their radar. Out of sight, out of mind.

Send an introductory email and solicit ideas for how they would like to get involved. Make it a goal to send emails on a monthly basis to update them with what's happening in the chapter (new officers, really great date party, new pledges, a sister elected to student government, tailgating,etc.) and share photos. Invite them to the house for Homecoming, Initiation, chapter dinner, a special alum-collegiate sisterhood event, etc. Putting on a workshop and needing speakers? Solicit them to assist with recruitment, your philanthropy, etc. Email your alums. Invite them to send you their job and intern needs to pass along to the chapter. So much you can do.

Just keep them in the loop. With email and facebook, it's not that hard! In this day and age, keep it electronic. Seriously. Alumnae are busy and the sorority is in the back of our minds as a happy memory until you bring it to the forefront. Nothing tugs at our hearts quite like bid day photos and smiling sisters and a plea for volunteers!
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Last edited by adpiucf; 02-08-2013 at 02:09 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-08-2013, 03:04 AM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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As said above, move on and just be better. If you sent an apology, it would come off as you being snarky about your precedessors. Update your website, add content to your Facebook page, send newsletters, ask for help, and send thank yous. Your alums will appreciate it and I bet they will show their thanks in ways you can't anticipate.
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  #5  
Old 02-08-2013, 09:42 AM
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AOII Angel AOII Angel is offline
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I think the above advice is correct unless the chapter did some burn it to the ground awful, f-you thing to the alumni that would require a heartfelt apology. In that case, a letter on stationary delivered personally by you and the president at an alum meeting would be appropriate. Only you know if that kind of event took place. After that, do the above.
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2013, 09:58 AM
LaneSig LaneSig is offline
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Also, if you do invite alumni to initiations, Homecoming, Founders' Day events, etc., try and give them the dates as early as possible. As adpiucf stated, alumni are usually busy and need advance notice for events.
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2013, 10:38 AM
AnchorAlumna AnchorAlumna is offline
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I agree, don't apologize - it just reminds them they were ignored.
If you want them involved, list ways they can get involved, and times you need involvement.
E-mail is fine EXCEPT...if your chapter is several decades old. The older the alum, the less likely they'll have e-mail or even check it more than once a month. At least once a year, send an actual paper mailing. I would suggest either right after recruitment or right before your Founders Day. It could be a postcard! At least snail mail the women who don't have e-mail.
If you list individual women (collegians in the chapter), list their hometowns, too. I love to see who's from my town or close by.
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2013, 12:06 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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It doesn't hurt to say something like "we are making a real effort this year to get more involved with alumnae and keep them in the loop." State it, then move on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnchorAlumna View Post
E-mail is fine EXCEPT...if your chapter is several decades old. The older the alum, the less likely they'll have e-mail or even check it more than once a month. At least once a year, send an actual paper mailing. I would suggest either right after recruitment or right before your Founders Day. It could be a postcard! At least snail mail the women who don't have e-mail.
COMPLETELY agree on this. Also, if you want alums to get in contact with you, put a note in your college's alumni magazine. Many people keep their address current with the school but not their GLO.
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2013, 01:45 PM
groovypq groovypq is offline
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Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
COMPLETELY agree on this. Also, if you want alums to get in contact with you, put a note in your college's alumni magazine. Many people keep their address current with the school but not their GLO.
Also, sometimes your school's alumni office will do a mailing for you. Hey, it helps them too - most alumni stay active based on an affinity group. Because my chapter tied its 25th anniversary celebration to Homecoming, the alumni office handled mailings for us.

At the very least, they or the development office should be able to provide a list of snail mail and/or email addresses for you.
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2013, 02:18 PM
adpiucf adpiucf is offline
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Agreed that you should budget for an annual hard copy letter to the alumnae. You can team up on this with your chapter house corporation and/or area alumnae association to save on mailing costs. Win/Win for everyone.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2013, 05:51 PM
PGD-GRAD PGD-GRAD is offline
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Also, when you do either the hard copy mailing or e-mail, work up a short questionnaire and get some feedback on what alums are doing. Anyone recently married? Retired? Changing jobs? Moving? Vacationing in a special place? Any pledge class reunions?
Alums love to read/hear what is going on with their sisters from years past. And you can have a special section in your newsletter just for this purpose. "Sisters on the Move" or "This 'n That" or something clever.

The fraternity I advise does this, and we have TONS of graduates who reply with what is going on with them, send photos of them with grandkids, on vacation worldwide, etc.
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  #12  
Old 02-10-2013, 01:13 PM
adpiucf adpiucf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGD-GRAD View Post
Also, when you do either the hard copy mailing or e-mail, work up a short questionnaire and get some feedback on what alums are doing. Anyone recently married? Retired? Changing jobs? Moving? Vacationing in a special place? Any pledge class reunions?
Alums love to read/hear what is going on with their sisters from years past. And you can have a special section in your newsletter just for this purpose. "Sisters on the Move" or "This 'n That" or something clever.

The fraternity I advise does this, and we have TONS of graduates who reply with what is going on with them, send photos of them with grandkids, on vacation worldwide, etc.
That's such a great idea. You can also incorporate this into emails if you do a monthly mailing. You can create a free questionnaire on a site like survey monkey. I love that there are so many more ways for people to be in touch. Talk to your chapters VP of Communication or the equivalent and see how you can consolidate efforts. Invite alums to follow you on FB, Twitter, etc. There are so many communication options that don't cost a penny.

Yes, there will be older alums who don't use email -as much- so an annual mailing is a must on your to-do list, but you have plenty of older alum who are tech-savvy and LOTS of recent grads over the last 30 years who are using the internet in their daily lives. I'm sure you will do a great job!
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2013, 03:35 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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But don't assume that just because they're old, they don't use email. I work with women in their 70's and 80's and they are perfectly email savvy. Just minimize cutesy stuff, links, too much going on, small print. The number of people who don't use email and/or Facebook is shrinking every day.
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