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  #1  
Old 01-01-2015, 09:41 PM
phisig267 phisig267 is offline
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Repairing Alumni Relations

Hello All!
So my chapter decided that they wanted to start a scholarship fund this year for active sisters that is basically funded by the school and the alumni. However my chapter does not have good relationships with most of the alumni. Contact was either lost or never continued with most of the girls. I am one of the few active sisters who actually does have a running relationship with our alumni which got me basically elected into Alumni Relations Chair for the Spring Semester.
I am writing to you all to get ideas on how I can improve our alumni relations without killing myself to do so. I am also looking for ideas to get our alumni to feel more involved and wanted at events. What are some things that a small chapter at a smaller university can do with the alumni?

Thank you so much for your help!
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2015, 10:09 PM
DrPhil DrPhil is offline
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I will speak from a particular perspective:

You have relationships with alumnae therefore you should ask those alumnae:
(1) why they believe there is a disconnect in the first place;
(2) what those alumnae recommend to reconnect;
(3) getting and using the contact information for the alumnae; and
(4) see what other chapters of your GLO recommend

I recommend doing all of the above prior to mentioning starting an active sister scholarship partly funded by alumnae. Your interest in alumnae should be genuine and for the long-term. It should not appear to be motivated by scholarship money and it should not appear to "expire" once a scholarship fund is established.

Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2015, 05:16 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Dr Phil is on point. Ask the chapters at the other state schools because they will understand the campus environment the most.

Also, if you're having a problem with getting sister info (I.e. sisters not changing their addresses with nationals etc) try going through the school instead.
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2015, 10:15 PM
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AOII Angel AOII Angel is offline
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I would recommend that you repair relationships with alumnae and table the scholarship for now. I doubt you'd have much success funding a scholarship from donations by alumnae when your first contact is a money request.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2015, 10:43 PM
DrPhil DrPhil is offline
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I, too, recommend tabling the scholarship. I hope there are no active sisters whose academic plans were contingent upon this scholarship.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2015, 03:17 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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On the other hand, if you want to get together with all the GLOs on campus and talk about having a Greek scholarship, that might not be a bad idea.

It's going to be really hard for a chapter of this size, in this environment, to pull this off consistently. Not being Debbie Downer, just realistic.
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2015, 06:21 PM
phisig267 phisig267 is offline
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Thanks for the advice all! It was unfortunately not my decision to start the scholarship and I hold no control over the creation of the scholarship at this time. If it were my call, I would not have started the scholarship without fixing the relationship with our alum.
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2015, 06:39 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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Well you can include that information in your communication as a footnote or something while focusing on rebuilding relationships. Sometimes you have to throw a political bone, even if it's not your primary objective.
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2015, 07:53 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Originally Posted by phisig267 View Post
Thanks for the advice all! It was unfortunately not my decision to start the scholarship and I hold no control over the creation of the scholarship at this time. If it were my call, I would not have started the scholarship without fixing the relationship with our alum.
That's when you go back to the chapter and say "I approached about half a dozen alumnae about this and they were kind of annoyed. " I'm betting that's exactly what will happen.
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2015, 08:26 PM
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AOII Angel AOII Angel is offline
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Yeah, your chapter is going to get a rude wake-up call. Scholarships are generally started by the people donating the money, not the people who will benefit from said scholarship. Have you talked to your network/headquarters contact about this idea?
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2015, 09:01 PM
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LAblondeGPhi LAblondeGPhi is offline
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I agree on tabling the scholarship for now, but I understand that it might be out of your control.

As for alumnae relations:
1) Get creative about getting email and addresses for your chapter's alumnae. See who is following/has liked your chapter's Facebook page and other social media accounts.

Obviously, get a list of the names (and any other info you can get) of all your chapter's alumnae from your organization's HQ and start searching for any information you can on these women: addresses, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, etc. Even if you just have an FB or LinkedIn profile, you may be able to get in touch with some of your alumnae that way. Maybe you can get a group of sisters together who can help you do the research.

Ask the alumnae who you do get in contact with if they have the updated info for any sisters - I bet a lot of them will be able to point you in the direction of updated emails, married names of women from their era.

I second 33girl's recommendation to go through the school alumni directory, too.

2) Provide programming and information that your alumnae want. Ask not what your alumnae can do for you, ask what you can do for your alumnae. Think basic things like a quarterly (or semiannual) newsletter. As an alumna who now lives far away from my collegiate chapter, I CRAVE info about how my chapter did in recruitment, about how big they are compared to the other chapters on campus, what kinds of things the members are doing on campus, what kinds of accomplishments they're making as a chapter and individually, etc. Have updates been made to the decor of the house, and if so, send me pictures.

Set up annual alumnae events - tea parties, sporting events tailgates, mommy-and-me or family days, etc. Maybe combine alumnae relations with career development and set up a networking mixer - something that they might be able to benefit from as well. Invite them to your volunteer activities and philanthropy events.


I would say that you should focus on having a big alumnae event of some kind, and make a big push - WITH the whole chapter's help and involvement - to kick off a new era of alumnae relations. Use the time to aggressively build up your address book and get in contact with sisters in a way that isn't asking for anything. At the event, ask women what they want from the chapter in terms of future events and contact. For those who can't make it, follow up with a survey or personal note saying how you hope to see them at a future event.

Good luck!
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2015, 09:46 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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That whole #2!!! I don't know how other groups are, but there is very little in my sorority's national magazine about individual chapter accomplishments any more. I want to know that, and also all the other campus news - like what sorority the homecoming queen was in or if this or that fraternity got a new house. Or if people got lavaliered or pinned. These are the everyday things that alumnae miss the most, not just a list of who got Greek awards.
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  #13  
Old 01-05-2015, 01:27 AM
flirt5721 flirt5721 is offline
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I suggest:
1) Ask your National office for a list of alum in the area
2) Send introductory letters, email, Facebook message
3) Have at least one alum activity once a semester (Fall-Homecoming, Spring-Greek Week activity, or Founders Day celebration)
4) Set up an alum Facebook page that is private and have the alum relations chair in charge of it. Make sure the moderator of the group is changed with each new chair.
5) Contact the areas local alum group to see what advice they can provide.
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