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Engaging Alumni on Social Media: What Works

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Social media tools provide more opportunities to engage alumni. Yet, pressed for time, alumni relations and annual giving professionals often approach their efforts to engage alumni on social media with some basic uncertainties:

  • How often should I post?
  • What topics should I post about?
  • Should our social media feed be celebratory, nostalgic, or primarily about asking for gifts?
  • What kinds of posts are most likely to bring a positive response from engaged alumni?
In December 2015, Academic Impressions and Tim Ponisciak partnered in a survey of 109 professionals at nonprofit colleges and universities who are tasked with engaging alumni on social media. In this paper, we want to share with you seven of our key findings. You can also learn more at the upcoming webcast Strategizing for Social Media in Advancement.
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About the Authors

Timothy Ponisciak

Tim led young alumni and student fundraising initiatives at Notre Dame for three years with a focus on educating young alumni on the importance of giving and increasing the young alumni giving participation rate. He directed the university’s five- and ten-year reunion giving programs, the William Corby Society—ND’s giving society for young alumni—and he oversaw the efforts of various alumni volunteer groups. He worked with students on the senior class gift program as well as on other undergraduate fundraising campaigns.

Tim currently serves as the director of graduate alumni relations for Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. Tim works to keep the college’s graduate alumni connected to the university through online communications, campus and regional events, and volunteer activities with the college’s various degree programs.

A Book Written by Tim

Innovative Strategies for Annual Giving and Alumni Relations: Lessons from the Corporate World

Articles Written by Tim

What Red Bull Can Teach You About Engaging Alumni through Video

What Starbucks Can Teach You about Equipping Your Staff as Ambassadors for Your Institution

Donor Recognition Societies: What We Can Learn from American Airlines

What Disney, Coke, and Pixar Have to Teach Annual Giving and Alumni Relations