5 Tips for Improving International Alumni Data

illustration of an article

by Gretchen Dobson (Gretchen Dobson, LLC)

Today, international alumni relations looks and feels:

  • Underdeveloped (or under-resourced)
  • Fragmented within different units
  • A virtual community (LinkedIn/Facebook)
  • A last-minute necessity

Successful programs require leadership support, designated staff management, volunteer engagement and resources such as budgets and updated data.

With current databases, our efforts are only as good as the information we have -- or the information we are getting today. How are we tracking international alumni? Does this area need a thorough review before we start outreach? Can we begin to track international students better?


In a recent online training with Academic Impressions increasing international alumni engagement, I asked participants what their greatest challenge was in engaging international alumni.

More than 85% of responses agreed that incomplete, insufficient, old, and/or the lack of international alumni databases proved their most challenging obstacle.

You can order that training here.

As a follow up to it, I want to offer these five tips for improving international data management practices:

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Additional Resources

For more from Gretchen Dobson, see: