Intentional and Strategic Management of Alumni Volunteers

Intentional and Strategic Management of Alumni Volunteers

March 21-23, 2023 | Minneapolis, MN

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


Alumni volunteers are immensely valuable to institutions in both their service and their giving power, as they tend to give 10 times more than non-volunteers over the course of their lifetime. Their generous contributions of both time and treasure are often indispensable to institutions.

However crucial their efforts are in advancement shops, managing volunteers also poses a variety of unique challenges. First, it can be incredibly difficult 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 in order to ensure that everyone is working towards a shared goal.

Our three-day conference is designed specifically for volunteer managers in higher education. Comprehensive and practical, the curriculum focuses on teaching you how to manage volunteers throughout their lives. Our expert faculty will:

  • Provide the best strategies for recruiting and onboarding volunteer talent.
  • Prepare you to navigate difficult conversations and manage group dynamics.
  • Teach you how to demonstrate the value of volunteers to leadership.

Packed with templates, exercises, and role-plays, this hands-on conference will prepare you to return to your campus with a comprehensive toolkit, strategy, and new level of intention.


Who Should Attend

This program is designed for alumni relations professionals who manage volunteers for alumni boards, regional chapters, clubs, and other volunteer programs. Though our content will be applicable to managers of all types of volunteers, we will not be diving specifically into any one particular type of volunteer here.


Post-Conference Virtual Training *free with registration

As a part of your registration for this conference, you can opt to extend your learning by attending a virtual training, Encore and Live Q&A: Recruiting, Training, and Engaging Alumni in a Digital Environment, scheduled for Wednesday, March 29, 2023. You will learn the latest practices in virtual volunteer management, including success stories from Duke University and Virginia Commonwealth University. This training is included in our membership. Details about how to access this opportunity for free will be sent upon registration for the conference.  To get access to more trainings, explore our membership.  

COVID Precautions

All attendees must complete a COVID-19 test 1-2 days prior to arrival at the meeting. In the event of a positive test result, please contact Austin Joseph to cancel your trip/registration. Masks, while recommended, are only required for attendees who are not fully vaccinated, and must be worn during the meeting, except while eating or drinking. For privacy reasons, proof of negative tests will not be collected. As the pandemic and CDC guidelines evolve, Academic Impressions’ health and safety protocols may also change. All attendees will be notified of requirements and/or changes prior to the event.

Follow Through With Success Coaching

Have you ever gone to a training only to find that you came back with great ideas but don’t have the time, support, or skills needed to make the changes?

Academic Impressions has produced thousands of trainings and we have learned that utilizing a coach after attending a conference helps provide accountability and bridges the training with the on-the-ground work of getting the job done.

As a result, we are now offering success coaching on select conferences.

  • Purchase this training + 3 one hour follow up success coaching calls
  • Work with an assigned coach who has extensive experience in higher ed.
  • Get individualized support to help you follow through on what you’ve learned.
  • Workshop your plans, run your ideas by someone and get additional help/practice.

To get success coaching, simply purchase the Conference and add Success Coaching during registration.

Learn More About Success Coaching

See What Our Attendees are Saying

“Outstanding speakers, friendly attendees and lovely accommodations. Academic Impressions was extra interested in making sure everyone was having a great experience. Great job!”

“[These conferences] could be overwhelming with the sheer volume of information provided, but I feel that the information is practical and gives clear direction on how to make a significant impact on our institutions/program. Thank you!”

“This was a wonderful, innovative experience. Great ideas and resources were shared by participants and presenters. High energy and an overall wonderful learning experience.

“This has been one of the best conferences I have attended. I have many more take-aways than I have with others and the speakers were very dynamic and engaging. Thumbs way up!!”

“I was so impressed with Academic Impressions that I cannot wait to recommend these trainings to colleagues and bring Academic Impressions to my institution!”

“The variety of expertise allowed me to bring skills back to my shop and overall improve our tool-kits.”


Your registration fee includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, access to the networking reception on Tuesday, breakfast and lunch on Wednesday, and breakfast on Thursday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.

Day One | Tuesday, March 21, 2023

All Times Central


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



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



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



2:30 – 2:45 p.m.



Strategies for Lifetime Involvement
2:45 – 3:45 p.m.
After addressing the key considerations for an intentional volunteer management program, we’ll get tactical. Our faculty will introduce a competency-based model for volunteers that encourages lifelong engagement. They will also address how to identify the core competencies your institution can offer volunteers, and how to inspire them to acquire each competency over a lifetime of engagement.



3:45 – 4:00 p.m.



Recruiting and Vetting Volunteers
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
How do you take your needs and shape them into a recruitment strategy? We will focus on effective strategies to recruit and vet alumni volunteers for boards, regional chapters, and one-off volunteer opportunities.



Day 1 Wrap Up and Q&A
5:00 – 5:15 p.m.



Networking Reception (included in conference registration)
5:15 – 6:15 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 | Wednesday, March 22, 2023

All Times Central


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



Evaluating Risk in Volunteer Management
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Volunteer programs are subject to many risks and sources of potential liability, such as sexual harassment. Planning ahead to mitigate risk ensures protection of people, property, and reputation. We will provide practical tools and resources to recognize and effectively manage risks within your volunteer programs.



10:00 – 10:15 a.m.



Onboarding Volunteers and Setting Expectations
10:15 – 11:30 a.m.
We’ll demonstrate how to identify the story and impact your institution wants to have and how to communicate expectations for all volunteers to match that impact.



Lunch (included in conference registration)
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.



Creating a More Inclusive Volunteer Experience
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Advancing the diversity among your volunteers contributes to a healthier community and environment both on and off campus. This can be especially true among your affinity groups and regional chapters. Learn how to go beyond the strategies that have been traditionally deployed in volunteer engagement and management to build a more inclusive base of dedicated volunteers.



1:30 – 1:45 p.m.



Managing Group Dynamics
1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
What happens when individual interests and group dynamics get in the way of fulfilling your organization’s needs? We’ll prepare you with guiding questions to move your group in the right direction.



2:45 – 3:00 p.m.



Difficult Conversations
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Soft skills have become ever more important in volunteer management. With more documentation and legal pieces around codes of conduct and data sharing, for example, there are no longer always clearcut rules of the road. As a result, it is essential to understand how to mediate conflict among volunteers, communicate changes in policies, and even how best to let someone go. We will role-play a variety of difficult conversations you may need to have with volunteers in order to prepare you for how to communicate unfortunate news more effectively.



Retaining Volunteers as Champions of Change
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Volunteers have experienced great change as institutions have navigated the digital volunteer experience during the pandemic, and they continue to be challenged by questions surrounding the types of in-person experiences volunteers are open to. We’ll talk through case studies and strategies on how to address these challenges, and retain and engage those volunteers who have stepped up as champions of change.


Day Three | Thursday, March 23, 2023

All Times Central


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



Reflection and Goal Setting
9:00 – 9:15 a.m.
To open the final day, you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on what you’ve learned. You will identify the top takeaway that will help you to intentionally manage your alumni volunteers better, as well as the steps you plan to take upon your return to campus.



Gathering Data, Establishing Key Metrics, and Demonstrating the Value of Volunteers to Leadership
9:15 – 10:15 a.m.
This session covers what data points people should gather and also how to track ways alumni relations can convey the value of volunteering to their leadership.



10:15 – 10:30 a.m.



Volunteer Appreciation and Recognition
10:30 – 11:30 p.m.
How can we meaningfully recognize the work of our volunteers — even on a tight budget? Join us for a panel discussion on recognition. Peers and faculty will discuss creative ways to show appreciation for the work of your volunteer force.



Final Q & A and Evaluations
11:30 – 11:45 a.m.



Hotel: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Address: 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Phone #: 612.370.1234

Booking link

Room rate: $129.00

Room block dates: nights of March 20, 21 and 22, 2023

Room block cutoff date: February 27, 2023


Portrait of Matt Carcella

Matt Carcella

Senior Director, Diversity Alumni Programs and U.S. Regional Alumni Engagement, Cornell University

Matt has been in higher education administration for the past 15 years. Prior to his current role, he was the Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center at Cornell and previously held positions at Princeton University and St. Francis University Upward Bound.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Patricia Chau Nguyen

Patricia Châu Nguyễn

Director of Systemwide Alumni Engagement, University of California Office of the President

Patricia Châu Nguyễn serves as the Senior Director of Diversity Programs for UCLA Alumni Affairs. For the past ten years, she has served in multiple roles in merging student affairs diversity, equity and inclusion work in higher education – ranging from intercultural living and learning communities, multicultural Greek life, summer bridge programs, multicultural centers, and social justice education.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

portrait of Sarah Indewey

Sarah Indewey

Psychology Department Manager, Queen’s University

Sarah is an experienced leader in the field of higher education administration, holding a Master in Public Administration with a focus on Government-University relations.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.



$2,095 $1,745

through March 10, 2023

Members get $250 OFF.

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  • 3 one hour follow up success coaching calls
  • Work with an assigned coach who has extensive experience in higher ed
  • Get individualized support to help you follow through on what you've learned
  • Workshop your plans, run your ideas by someone and get additional help/practice


$2,095 $1,995

through March 10, 2023

Get access to THIS conference.

[pretty_coaching_checkbox id="pp-coaching-checkbox-2"] Learn More

  • 3 one hour follow up success coaching calls
  • Work with an assigned coach who has extensive experience in higher ed
  • Get individualized support to help you follow through on what you've learned
  • Workshop your plans, run your ideas by someone and get additional help/practice

Become a Member

Save $250 on this event and get 100s of online trainings FREE with membership!

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Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Nick Pettet

Nick Pettet
Learning & Development Manager,
Academic Impressions

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