Top 5 Alumni Database Building Secrets That Work Every Single Time!

An alumni database is the central information repository of the institution’s alumni data. It is the powerhouse of data that, if harnessed correctly, can be of enormous value for the institution and the alumni. To put it simply, an alumni database is the backbone of any thriving educational institution. Building a database is more than just collecting alumni data. It requires consistent planning, effort, and a significant amount of time to achieve 100% alumni information. 

Collecting alumni information can be overwhelming for the institutions building the database for the first time. These institutions have all the time and enthusiasm but no means to turn their dreams into reality. Here are five alumni database-building ideas that will help your institution build the alumni database effectively and efficiently. 

#1 Batch Champion Programme

Collecting alumni data is one of the important steps in the database-building process. The institution/alumni office must have scoured through all the existing alumni records such as admission forms, graduation lists, and social media handles only to find out that the information is stale and inaccurate. To eliminate all such setbacks, your institution can come up with the Alumni Ambassador Programme aka Batch Champion Programme.

Batch Champions are the alumni that represent each batch/class. Also called Batch Captains, they can act as the bridge between the alumni association and their batch. You can identify such energetic individuals by floating simple registration forms tailored for each batch and sharing them across communication channels like WhatsApp groups and Facebook Pages. The interested alumni will get back.

The information gathered by them will be fresh, accurate and reliable as these batch champions are in touch with most of their batch mates. They can run campaigns on your behalf and spread the institution’s happenings on their accounts thus bringing other alumni to sign up. If there are multiple batch champions, the office can appoint Batch Coordinators from your side to streamline the champions’ efforts. Encourage the batch champions by rewarding them.

Read on to know how you can identify Batch Champion/Captains for better alumni networking!

#2 SEO for Alumni Engagement

Institutions often ignore the SEO strategy which can make the alumni office discoverable across the globe. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a surefire way to get traction for your database-building efforts. This method has multiple advantages. Your institution’s website can be configured to receive tons of traffic and reach, helping you to receive signups and engage your alumni.

For instance, you can research the topics and keywords related to alumni engagement and publish high-quality, relevant content on the website. Make sure the titles include targeted keywords and ensure that the articles are insightful and useful to the alumni. By doing this regularly, you can climb up to the top position on Google and make yourself discoverable to the alumni.

You can use the following keyword formats to optimize websites for discoverability:

              Keyword Format                        Examples
Institution Name (Full) + AlumniNational Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli Alumni
Institution Name (Shortcut) + AlumniNIT Trichy Alumni
Institution Nickname + AlumniNITT Alumni
Official Alumni Association + AlumniRegional Engineering College’s Alumni Association (RECAL) / RECAL Alumni

The institution can experiment with their own keyword formats to understand how well they are faring in SERPs( Search Engine Result Pages)

Optimize the content for mobile phones as you get the most of the traffic via the same. To indulge the alumni, you can link other relevant content through internal links. Acquiring backlinks from other reputed domains in the field of education can increase the authority of your website.

Share the published content on all the social media handles. Encourage the faculty to repost the content via their accounts for maximum reach. Leave a registration link as the CTA in each blog post. Let the alumni know that you are thinking about them and they are just a few steps away from being a part of the family again.

#3 Branding Alumni 

Every institution takes pride in acknowledging its top-tier, star alumni. Even if you are building the database for the first time, you must be aware of who your notable alumni are. The alumni office can track successful alumni such as CXOs, celebrities, and artists scattered across the globe, acknowledge them by publishing their success stories, and notable contributions to their field, and brand them as notable alumni on the institution’s website and social media handles. The alumni association can publish an article highlighting the notable alumni of the institution as well. 

This can work the other way around too. The top executives of the institution like the Vice Chancellor, Managing Director, and Chairman can meet the distinguished alumni and encourage them to endorse their alma mater on their social media accounts and sign up for the alumni database. This increases the institution’s visibility and reach in the sphere of education. You can invite them as guests to the events, and organize keynote speeches to show that they will always be remembered.

Highlighting distinguished, notable alumni will encourage others to sign up as well. The alumni will not miss out on being in the same group as their role models, idols, and favorite superstars. 

#4 Offer Value Add-ons 

The alumni should develop a strong bond with their alma mater to register for the alumni database. Providing value-added services can incentivize them to be engaged with the institution. The institution should actively monitor alumni needs and offer useful services.

At Vaave, we have devised an alumni persona strategy by dividing alumni into 4 categories which helps institutions in creating effective engagement plans.

Each alumni category has its tastes and preferences. The key is to understand what they need. Here are some ideas on how you can engage them:

  • Millennials(21 -25-Year-Old Alumni): These alumni fresh out of college and higher education, might be looking for jobs. Your institution can provide placement drives to them and guide resume & interview preparation. Host orientation sessions for alumni aiming to go abroad for masters. 

  • Vagabonds(26-34-Year-Old Alumni): Alumni in this bracket are turbulent as they venture into startups and look for upskilling opportunities. As their alma mater you can provide incubation centers for aspiring entrepreneurs and mentoring for the alumni who are planning to shift jobs and industries.

  • Captains(34-55-Year-Old Alumni): Captains are skilled, well-settled alumni who would like to share their knowledge and experiences. The institution can launch a Become a Mentor program for captains where they can guide younger counterparts like Vagabonds and Millennials in matters like jobs, higher studies, industrial insights, and so on.

  • Patriarchs(55 and above Year Old Alumni): Patriarchs are the older alumni who’ve seen all stages of life. They are wise and well-settled. The institution can organize regular reunions so that they can relax and spend time with their friends. They can be leveraged to invest in startups and guide budding entrepreneurs

Wanna know more about such ideas? Read how Vaave’s 13 Alumni Engagement Programmes can be tweaked to your engagement goals!

#5 SARC (Student Alumni Relationship Cell)

Surely, alumni database building is not the only thing the alumni office is concerned with. The alumni officers are also devoted to other things and may struggle to make time for this. SARC can be the backbone for the alumni office. It is a student-governing body solely dedicated to alumni relations and networking. They can act as the link between them and the institution with sufficient supervision from the alumni office.

SARC can be tasked with alumni database building as well. The student body can sift through various academic records, and registration forms to gather alumni data. They can also run promotional campaigns on social media accounts to grab alumni’s attention. They can assist batch champions in collecting alumni’s data. 

SARC can reach out to the alumni for various purposes. This is beneficial to the students as they can form long-lasting relationships with their seniors. Students can gain knowledge about current industrial trends and can easily approach alumni for mentoring and internships. 

Get to know everything about the role of SARC in the spectrum of alumni engagement!

Winding It Up!

In short, building an alumni database requires a multi-faceted approach. It means having a strategic plan for collecting and organizing the data, promoting it on social media, publishing content that resonates with the institution’s alumni, and branding your top alumni. Leveraging students can be very useful in alumni database building. By following the above explained tips your institution can build a robust database that aligns with your priorities. 

Vaave helps institutions and corporate entities across the globe in realizing the power of alumni and offers strategies for engaging them. We offer a full-fledged alumni management ecosystem that helps you to leverage alumni to its fullest.

Drop in your details at & +91 91006 88850, we will get in touch with you at the drop of a hat!