Intentional and Strategic Management of Alumni Volunteers

Intentional and Strategic Management of Alumni Volunteers

February 12 - 14, 2019 | San Antonio, TX



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

Alumni volunteers are of immense value to institutions in both their service and their giving power; they tend to give ten times more than non-volunteers. Their generous contributions, both time and treasure, are often indispensable to institutions.

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

Our brand-new, two-day conference is the first and only training designed specifically for volunteer managers in higher education. Comprehensive and practical, the curriculum’s focus will be teaching you how to manage volunteers through their full life cycles. 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 leverage technology to make your daily work more efficient

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


Who Should Attend

This program is specifically designed for alumni relations professionals who manage volunteers for alumni boards, regional chapters and clubs, or 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 volunteer group.

Bring your team to unlock additional discounts - check the registration row below for details!


Day 1 - February 12, 2019
12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Your registration includes access to all sessions below and the related materials; the networking reception on Tuesday; breakfast and lunch on Wednesday; breakfast on Thursday; and refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.



Opening Comments and Introductions



Intentional Volunteer Management

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.



Strategies for Lifetime Involvement

Now that we’ve addressed 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. This session will 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.



Recruiting and Vetting Volunteers

How do you take your needs and shape them into a recruitment strategy? This session will focus on strategies to recruit and vet alumni volunteers for boards, regional chapters, and one-off volunteer opportunities.



Networking Reception



Day 2 - February 13, 2019
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Evaluating Risk in Volunteer Management

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. This session will provide practical tools and resources to recognize and effectively manage risks within your volunteer program.



Onboarding Volunteers and Setting Expectations

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.



Volunteers as Champions of Change

Often our volunteers are resistant to change. We’ll teach you how to engage your volunteers as partners to guide your alumni through challenging times and share tactics on how to empower volunteers to be champions of change.



Difficult Conversations

How do we talk to volunteers who are not following through? How do we communicate changes in policies? How do we let someone go? Join our expert faculty to role play various tough conversations you may need to have with volunteers. Practice these conversations and prepare yourself to effectively communicate unfortunate news.



Managing Group Dynamics

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.



Volunteer Appreciation and Recognition

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.



Day 3 - February 14, 2019
8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.


Leveraging Technology for Volunteer Management

No matter the scale of your program, you’ll learn how to leverage various technologies to efficiently manage volunteers. From a Google Sheet to a robust portal, we’ll share what works and help you make the most of digital tools.



Gathering Data, Establishing Key Metrics, and Demonstrating the Value of Volunteers to Leadership

This session covers what data points people should gather and track as well as ways alumni relations can convey the value of volunteering to their leadership.



Final Q & A and Evaluations

February 12 - 14, 2019 | San Antonio, TX

Conference Hotel Information:

Hilton Palacio Del Rio
200 South Alamo
San Antonio, TX 78205

Room Rate: $189
Room Block Dates: nights of February 11, 12, and 13, 2019.
Rate Available Until: January 21, 2019

Call 210.222.1400 to make your reservation and indicate you are with the Academic Impressions Group to receive the group rate. Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.


Laura Denbow square

Laura Denbow

Senior Director, Office of Volunteer Programs
Cornell University

Laura H. Denbow has over twenty-five years of higher education experience in the fields of career services and alumni relations. For the past eight years, she has served as senior director of the Office of Volunteer Programs, Alumni Affairs and Development, at Cornell University. In her role, Laura oversees the creation, development, and implementation of a university-wide strategy for providing meaningful volunteer engagement opportunities to alumni, parents, and friends over a lifetime.

Read Laura's full bio here.


Shannon Jaeger

Director of Volunteer Engagement
Lehigh University

Shannon oversees volunteer infrastructure and management for the current campaign for Lehigh as well as faculty engagement and college affinity. She is also responsible for providing volunteer engagement consultative guidance and support for all programs which engage alumni across the university. Her overall areas of focus include mobilization of volunteer groups and leveraging volunteer structures to achieve engagement and development goals.

Read Shannon's full bio here.

S_Indewey square

Sarah Indewey

Associate Director, Alumni & Volunteer Relations
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. In addition to contributing to overall alumni relations organizational strategy and capacity, Sarah’s focus is on developing, implementing, evaluating, and overseeing volunteer strategies, policies, and guidelines, including volunteer-led philanthropic initiatives

Read Sarah's full bio here.

Can't Attend? Buy the Conference Binder

Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.

Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.

Questions About the Event?


Whitney Egstad
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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