Intentional and Strategic Management of Alumni Volunteers

Baltimore, MD | August 21, 2024 12:30 pm ET - August 23, 2024 12:30 pm ET

Registrant Access Only

This training will not be available asynchronously.

Intentional and Strategic Management of Alumni Volunteers

Baltimore, MD | August 21, 2024 12:30 pm ET - August 23, 2024 12:30 pm ET

Learn how to effectively manage volunteers through their full engagement cycles.


Alumni volunteers are valuable to institutions in both their service and giving power, as they tend to give 10 times more than non-volunteers over their lifetimes. Their generous contributions of both time and treasure are often indispensable to institutions, and they can play a pivotal role in fostering a culture of philanthropy for your campus community. 

However crucial their efforts are in advancement shops, managing volunteers also poses unique challenges. First, it can be difficult, at times, to manage people who are not officially employed by the institution and who have their own motivations. Secondly, it’s an ambitious undertaking to align volunteer efforts with the mission of the institution while also creating a cohesive experience across different types of volunteers to ensure that everyone is working towards a shared goal. 

For volunteer managers like yourself, you are likely aware of the volunteer engagement cycle, which includes six important phases: planning, recruiting, onboarding/training, managing relationships/information, evaluating, and recognizing your volunteers. Our three-day conference is specifically designed for volunteer managers in higher education who want practical takeaways to help them to intentionally and strategically manage volunteers throughout the six phases of the volunteer engagement cycle. This hands-on conference will prepare you to return to your campus with a comprehensive toolkit, strategy, and a new level of intention when working with your volunteers. 

Who should attend?

This conference is designed for alumni relations professionals, or teams of professionals who manage volunteers for alumni boards, regional chapters, clubs, and other volunteer programs. Though our curriculum will be applicable to managers of all types of volunteers, we will not be diving specifically into any one volunteer group.

Attend with a team for a discount!

This conference is ideal for teams of professionals who manage volunteers. Register 3 or more people and save!

  • Members: $1,667 per registration (3 or more)
  • Non-members: $1,833 per registration (3 or more)



Your registration fee includes full access to all conference sessions and materials and access to the networking reception on Wednesday, breakfast and lunch on Thursday, breakfast on Friday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.
Day One: Wednesday, August 21, 2024
12:30 – 5:30 p.m. ET

Conference Registration
12:30 – 1:00 p.m.



Welcome and Introductions
1:00 – 1:30 p.m.



Phase 1: Developing an Intentional Volunteer Management Plan
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
In this foundational session, we will talk about the key ingredients for an intentional volunteer management framework, including the phases of the volunteer engagement cycle, to help you better plan your efforts. We’ll discuss how to work with partners to develop a vision for volunteer engagement that aligns with both the institution’s mission and your volunteers’ passions.



2:30 – 2:45 p.m.



Phase 2: Considerations for Recruiting Volunteers
2:45 – 4:15 p.m.
Now that we’ve addressed the key considerations for an intentional volunteer management program, we’ll discuss the second phase of the volunteer engagement cycle—recruitment. We will explore how to take your needs into a well-thought-out volunteer recruitment strategy. Additionally, we will focus on effective strategies to recruit and vet alumni volunteers for boards, regional chapters, and one-off volunteer opportunities. We will also briefly offer some practical strategies, such as career pathing, to inspire your volunteer’s commitment over their lifetime.



Day One Wrap-Up and Q&A
4:15 – 4:30 p.m.



Networking Reception
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to meet attendees and speakers you may not have connected with yet.



Day Two: Thursday, August 22, 2024
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET

Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Phase 3: Considerations for Onboarding and Training Volunteers
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Now that you’ve successfully recruited your volunteers, it’s critical to explore onboarding and ongoing training needs for your various volunteers to ensure that they have an overall positive and meaningful experience. Some of these decisions will include how to:

  • Prepare them to understand their role (or setting expectations) and value as a volunteer.
  • Equip them with tools and other resources so they can fulfill their responsibilities.
  • Align your volunteer’s role with your institution or academic unit’s strategic plan.
  • Sustain their connection with your institution over a lifetime.



10:30 – 10:45 a.m.



Small Group Discussions: Applying New Content in your Context
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Now that we’ve reviewed the first three phases of the volunteer engagement cycle, you’ll have an opportunity to apply newfound knowledge in your own institution or shop’s context—either based on the size or type of your volunteer program—with at least one of our speaker panelists to help facilitate the conversation. This is intentional time for you to continue networking with colleagues, to ask your most pressing questions related to recruiting, onboarding, and/or training your volunteers while also contributing to thoughtful dialogue with your peers.



12:00 – 1:00 p.m.



Phase 4: Creating a More Inclusive Volunteer Experience & Managing Group Dynamics
1:00 – 2:45 p.m.
By taking the time to understand your volunteers’ motivations and interests in serving as ambassadors of your engagement and philanthropic initiatives, you can become better equipped to create a more inclusive volunteer experience for them. This is possible even when different social, economic, or political viewpoints are expressed among volunteers or more directly with you or your staff. This session will equip you with baseline communication strategies to work across differences, including across generations, and how to effectively respond when individual interests and group dynamics get in the way of fulfilling your organization’s needs. You will also practice how to have difficult conversations with volunteers in this session.



2:45 – 3:00 p.m.



Solutions Clinic: Getting Advice from Peers to Manage Difficult Volunteer Scenarios
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
There is no single approach or magic bullet for how to manage a difficult volunteer situation that you or your peers may be experiencing. Often, there are situational nuances with each difficult scenario that will likely force you to be flexible and thoughtful in the moment as the scenario unfolds. Because of this, there’s tremendous value in tapping into the collective knowledge of those in the room by learning how others might approach a difficult situation involving a volunteer. Those with experience can share their best recommendations, while those who are newer to the role can share a fresh perspective. By participating in this solutions clinic, you will collectively get to provide possible solutions and strategies for how to resolve any specific challenge you’re facing involving volunteers.



Day Two Wrap-Up and Q&A
5:00 – 5:30 p.m.



Day Three: Friday, August 23, 2024
8:30 am. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Continental Breakfast (included in conference registration)
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Phase 4: Telling the Story of Volunteer Impact through Data Collection
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Knowing what data points to gather from your volunteer engagement programs is a critical step in ensuring that you can convey the value of volunteers and the impact that they’ll have on your institution’s philanthropic and strategic goals. In this session, we’ll focus on practical tools to gather and analyze the data and share advice on how to structure your data collection strategy.



10:30 – 10:45 a.m.



Phase 5: Evaluating Your Volunteer Program
10:45 – 11:30 a.m.
Assessing and analyzing your organizational program and its volunteer involvement strategies and practices is critical to ongoing success and change management. In this session, we will review suggested steps, tools, and resources to increase the positive impact of your volunteer program on your organization’s mission and volunteers.



Phase 6: Considerations for Appreciating and Recognizing Volunteers
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Volunteers deserve recognition for the time, talent, and/or treasure that they share with your organization, so taking the time to meaningfully recognize their contributions, even on a tight budget, is necessary for them to feel appreciated as valued members of your organization. We will invite conference participants and our speaker panel to share some of their most creative ways to show appreciation for the work of your volunteer force.



Final Q&A and Closing Remarks
12:00 – 12:30 p.m.


The Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

550 Light Street

Baltimore, MD 21202

A discounted room rate of $179/night is available if you use this link to book your room before August 1, 2024.


“After 18 years in another career field, I recently made a turn into the world of higher education. The presenters at this conference were deeply knowledgeable and approachable. I’m coming away with a deep well of knowledge, ideas, and excitement around how to better guide and serve the passionate volunteers who love and support Appalachian State.”

“This conference was PACKED with useful information and ideas for volunteer management. It’s good for new and seasoned professionals and was a lovely opportunity to learn new things and grow my professional network. I left energized and excited to implement new things in my program.”

“This was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. As someone who is new to the field of alumni relations, I now feel more equipped to better serve my institution and the alumni we serve. I’m excited to get to work on some new processes!”

“This conference was the perfect learning experience for me at the start of my role. Being able to dive deeply into one aspect of my job gave me such incredible and nuanced ideas for how to strengthen the alumni volunteer engagement on our team.”

“I enjoyed my time at the AI conference—it was great to meet people from other institutions, hear best practices and lessons learned, and engage in conversations with colleagues. I thought Academic Impressions did a great job fostering connections, and they made it easy to spend time together.”