Young Alumni: Establishing Lifelong Relationships

Young Alumni: Establishing Lifelong Relationships

January 27 - 29, 2021 | Eastern Time

Prepare students for a lifelong connection with your institution.


Your young alumni are one of your most influential and important alumni groups — if your shop can engage them and foster a habit of giving, the likelihood of them becoming major and/or lifelong donors increases significantly. As such, it’s crucial to have a robust and meaningful young alumni program, since it can often translate to long-term financial health for your institution.

Join us online and learn how to develop intentional young alumni programming that begins when they are students and follows them through post-graduation. This virtual conference is a must if your institution wants to establish strong, lifelong relationships with its newest alumni. Our expert faculty have a track record of engaging and inspiring young alumni and they’re coming to this three-day event with practical content focused on:

  • Cultivating a culture of philanthropy on campus
  • Transitioning students to alumni
  • Effective in-person and online events
  • Volunteer recruitment and management
  • Developing multi-channel giving strategies

You will leave this conference with a complete gap analysis assessing the current state of your young alumni programming, as well as an action plan to get you started after the training concludes.


Who Should Attend

This program is ideal for alumni relations and annual giving professionals who specifically work with young alumni and want to build new engagement efforts or improve upon the programs they currently have. You will leave this virtual conference better able to develop a comprehensive plan to improve engagement with your young alumni population.

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions

See What Our Attendees are Saying

"At first, I was skeptical that a virtual conference was capable of being both engaging and informational - but Academic Impressions has mastered it! The 3-day online event was structured in a creative way that all participants had multiple opportunities to interact with each other and the presenters. No one's questions went unheard or unanswered. Thank you for this great experience, it has changed my view of virtual conferences and I look forward to attending more in the future."

- Desiree Ford, Digital Communications Manager, Binghamton University

“The virtual conference has been amazing. The presenters have all been great and the information they’ve provided is going to help us better use our social media. Even though this conference had to be virtualized due to COVID-19, the online format has been set up in a way that we can all collaborate and share ideas. I’m very eager to take what I’ve learned back to campus and start implementing new ideas.”

- Chris Forde, Coordinator of Marketing & Public Information, Lincoln Trail College


Day One


Welcome and Introductions
11:00 – 11:30 a.m.



The Student Philanthropy Model
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
A successful young alumni program depends upon cultivating a spirit of philanthropy before students become alumni. Our student philanthropy model and its three core components: awareness, gratitude, and giving, will set the context for the program.



12:30 – 12:45 p.m.



Gap Analysis
12:45 – 1:00 p.m.
What is your young alumni engagement strategy currently? By working through an exercise that has you take a close look at your current efforts, you will identify which areas need bolstering the most. This activity will guide your focus for the remainder of the program.



Student Philanthropy Programming
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Now that you understand the student philanthropy model, we will walk through the student lifecycle, identifying where you can cultivate awareness, gratitude, and giving. You’ll then examine best practices for transitioning your students to alumni through effective volunteer, event, and philanthropic opportunities.



Longer Break
2:00 – 2:30 p.m.



Capitalizing on Student Volunteers
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
In this session, we’ll talk through a “super” volunteer program that trains students starting as early as their first year on campus and calls on them throughout their young alumni years. Through this alumni ambassador program, highly trained students are given significant leadership and solicitation training and used for planning events, admissions panels, social media ambassadors, etc. Our faculty will explain how to integrate such a program into your efforts and leverage existing campus leadership and governance programs — expanding on your transition efforts and strengthening your volunteer program.



3:30 – 3:45 p.m.



Understanding Transition: Ensuring Engaged Students Become Engaged Young Alumni
3:45 – 4:45 p.m.
You’ve worked hard to engage your students, providing opportunities for them to increase their involvement, and educating them on the importance of giving back. However, if you haven’t considered the magnitude of the student-to-alumni transition, you will likely lose your already-loyal representatives. During this hour, you will gain a better understanding of the current generations and learn how to best communicate with them during this coming period of transition.



Q&A Faculty Panel
4:45 – 5:00 p.m.


Day Two


Reflections and Networking
11:00 – 11:30 a.m.



Developing Multi-Channel Giving Strategies for Young Alumni
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (with 15-minute break)
Do you offer giving opportunities that are attractive to young alumni? This time will be spent helping you understand different giving strategies that can be implemented at your institution to better promote young alumni giving. The session will cover online, mail, and phone initiatives, as well as a discussion on whether your effort should gravitate toward restricted or unrestricted giving options.



Long Break
1:30 – 2:00 p.m.



Creating Events Targeted at Recent Alumni
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
How have you transitioned to online events, beyond happy hours and sporting events, to engage young alumni? In this session, you’ll examine how to design creative online events that will attract young alumni. You’ll consider different programming options aimed at graduates in the first five years compared to those in the first decade. You’ll also explore examples of successful in-person events for these different life stages, for those institutions that are offering on-campus programming. The hour will conclude by looking at the relationship between these events and the institution and exploring ways to measure their effectiveness.



3:00 – 3:15 p.m.



Digital Young Alumni Engagement
3:15 – 4:45 p.m. (with 15-minute break)
Now that we’ve covered in-person and online events and programming, we turn to all things digital to complement your efforts. We will cover social media engagement, video, podcast, live streaming and interaction, and emerging platforms that allow for gamification and augmented reality.



Q&A Faculty Panel
4:45 – 5:00 p.m.


Day Three


Refresh and Review
11:00 – 11:15 a.m.



Young Alumni Feedback and Assessment
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
How are you currently gathering and implementing feedback from and into your young alumni programming? We will examine how to assess your efforts, including programming and volunteers, so that you understand how and when to change course.



12:15 – 12:30 p.m.



Gaining Buy-In across Campus for Young Alumni Initiatives
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Young alumni are the next generation of leaders and will be a source of support for your institution in years to come, so putting resources toward cultivating them will pay dividends. How do you make this case for long-term return during a time when many shops are focused on short-term gains? We will help you develop a comprehensive young alumni program, build a reasonable budget while you are gaining buy-in, and recruit cross-campus allies to your cause.



Longer Break
1:30 – 2:00 p.m.



Talking through Your Challenges
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
As our time comes to a close, we’ll solicit your top challenges and break you out into small groups to discuss how these challenges are being addressed at your institutions and what strategies you currently utilize to overcome them.



Putting It All Together
3:00 – 3:30 p.m.
In this session, you will revisit the core components needed to build a lifelong relationship with your recent alumni. Then, using your findings from the gap analysis session, you will create an initial plan for the programming you want to implement or change at your institution.



Closing Q&A
3:30 – 3:45 p.m.


Portrait of Ryan Barnhart

Ryan Barnhart

Director, Alumni Relations, California University of Pennsylvania

Ryan is a CASE Award-winning higher education professional with over 15 years of experience in the higher ed space, with expertise in strategic enrollment management and planning, curriculum design and instruction in andragogy, to development and alumni relations.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

portrait of Elise Betz

Elise M. Betz

Executive Director, Alumni Relations, University of Pennsylvania

Elise began her tenure at Penn with the annual fund and currently manages a majority of the institution’s alumni relations efforts, including communications, alumni education, the multicultural alliance, and alumni travel. She also founded and manages Penn’s own comprehensive student advancement program, the first of its kind in the country.

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Portrait of John Tatum

John Tatum Grice

Director, Annual Giving, University of Wisconsin Foundation

John began his tenure in KSU Foundation's Annual Giving department, focused on direct mail, phonathon, student philanthropy, and student life fundraising. During his time at Oklahoma State University Foundation, his work was with the next generation philanthropy focused on engaging students, young alumni, and donors in all seasons of life through crowdfunding, days of giving, and peer-to-peer strategies.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.



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Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Nick Pettet

Nick Pettet
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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