Intentional and Strategic Management of Alumni Volunteers

Intentional and Strategic Management of Alumni Volunteers

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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; they tend to give 10 times more than non-volunteers. 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 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’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 everyone is working towards a shared goal.

Our three-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!

“So thankful that there was FINALLY a conference available that was focused exclusively on Volunteer Engagement. This conference allowed me to sharpen skill-sets I already have and learn some new ones to make me a stronger Alumni Relations professional!”

- Amanda Putzer, Director - Volunteer Engagement, New York University

Read what past attendees have said about this event.

“Laura, Shannon and Sarah are change agents in the recognition of alumni volunteers in higher education. Coming from different institutions and career levels, they complimented each other's expertise and experience with serious, applicable practices making an impact in the development of our institutions. Kudos to AI for bringing these change agents together!”

- Shannon Mischler, Director, Alumni Engagement, University of Pittsburgh

“In-depth content with multiple perspectives that enabled me to have a lot to reflect upon for what we can do next. Best practice experts in the room and colleagues for sharing made this an outstanding event and use of my time. Thank you!”

- Karen Battistoni, Manager of Professional & Alumni Volunteer Services, University of Massachusetts Amherst

“I'm accustomed to conferences having 50% material I can use, or less. This conference has so many tangibles I can take back that we can use. The small size of this conference gave me an opportunity to connect with others and gain tangible ideas and great connectors.”

- Carla Craig, Assistant Director of Advancement, College Alumni Engagement, University of Central Florida


Day One
12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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.



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. 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.



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

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 catch-up with attendees and speakers whom you may not have connected with yet.


Day Two
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. You will 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 Three
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.



Matt Carcella

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. He has presented locally and nationally on topics ranging from online dating behavior to LGBT inclusion in human resource policy to diversity practices in engagement and fundraising.

Read Matt's full bio here.

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Sarah Indewey

Director, Resource Development, United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington

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.


Patricia Châu Nguyễn

Senior Director of Diversity Programs, Alumni Affairs, UCLA

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. Nguyễn also consults nationally on issues related to interfaith conversations, ethics, meaning-making and intersectionality in practice.

Read Patricia's full bio here.

All-Inclusive Members Get

$250 OFF!*

Learn More About Membership

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?

Nick Pettet

Nick Pettet
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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*All-inclusive members receive $250 off of conference registrations (in addition to the early bird discount if applicable). Academic Affairs, Advancement/Alumni Relations, Business Office, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and Leadership members will continue to receive $100 off conference registrations. Upgrade your membership to qualify for a higher discount. Please note this discount is not applicable on pre- or post-conference workshops or conference binders.