Developing and Supporting Identity-Based Alumni Affinity Groups

Course Length

3h 2m

Developing and Supporting Identity-Based Alumni Affinity Groups

Foster community and empower diverse alumni through more intentional engagement


As student demographics in higher education continue to shift, and as institutions continue to develop new initiatives focused on equity, inclusion, and belonging, it is more important than ever to build a pathway for diverse students to become engaged alumni. Identity-based alumni affinity groups can foster ties between prospective and current students and alumni, strengthen a diverse volunteer pipeline, and increase giving. They can also offer alumni a continued or newfound sense of belonging as well as opportunities for advocacy.  

Join us for this virtual training to learn how to develop and support identity-based alumni affinity groups. We will share examples, strategies, and reflection points for starting and sustaining these groups. In this virtual conference, you will consider:

  • Historical legacies of the inclusion/exclusion of diverse students and alumni in higher education and at your own institution.
  • What is communicated by a group name, and how to choose names that best serve your alumni.
  • How to use a phased approach to establish identity-based alumni affinity groups.
  • Ways to support group missions through communication, events, and other engagement.

Who should attend?

Alumni relations professionals and those in advancement leadership who want to establish or strengthen their efforts to support diverse alumni are encouraged to attend. Alumni relations staff who work with diverse alumni, alumni affinity groups, regional alumni chapters, and alumni boards or committees can also benefit from this training. Champions of student or faculty-based DEI initiatives interested in partnering with alumni may also be interested in this training.



Welcome & Introductions
11:00 – 11:15 a.m. ET

Examining Your Institutional Context
11:15 – 11:45 a.m. ET

Before you can establish identity-based alumni affinity groups, it is important to examine your institutional context. In this session, you will consider the historical legacies of inclusion/exclusion on your campus and learn how to apply a campus climate model to the alumni experience.

Articulating the Need for Identity-Based Alumni Affinity Groups
Articulating the Need for Identity-Based Alumni Affinity Groups
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. ET

With a clear understanding of your institutional context, you can now turn to reflecting on the need for identity-based alumni affinity groups. In this session, we will discuss ways to collect institutional data to understand who your alumni are. You will identify the purpose of these groups, reflect on existing barriers to, and resources for, their development, and consider how to respond to opposition regarding identity-based alumni affinity group formation.

Long Break
12:45 – 1:15 p.m. ET

Outlining Group Structure
1:15 – 2:45 p.m. ET

When you are ready to focus on implementing or improving identity-based alumni affinity groups, there are several considerations to keep in mind regarding group structure and membership. In this session, you will learn about a phased development approach for groups based on levels of leadership and engagement. You will also:

  • Consider challenges in determining which groups should be established first and what a group name can convey.
  • See examples of how to outline group guidelines, applications, and expectations.
  • Discuss how to identify group leaders and recruit members.

Short Break
2:45 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Concurrent Roundtable Session
3:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Whether you are working on developing an identity-based alumni affinity group program or are looking for ways to better support your existing structure, you likely have questions about how to approach this work. In this session, you will be able to join a breakout room with one of our expert facilitators and other participants to ask questions and learn from one another’s experiences in working with these groups.

Supporting Group Marketing and Communications, Events, and Philanthropy
3:30 – 4:45 p.m. ET

Identity-based alumni affinity groups can achieve their missions through engaging alumni, friends, and the campus community in education, philanthropy, and advocacy. They can also serve as a conduit for communicating about institutional events and decisions. To conclude our event, you will learn about different ways these groups can make a positive impact on your community.

Questions & Closing Remarks
4:45 – 5:00 p.m. ET


Supplemental Information

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Related Programs/Products

If you’re looking for additional ways to support diverse alumni, we encourage you to view these trainings included free with membership: