The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with that comes a plethora of fun parties to attend, yummy food to eat and gifts to give and receive. So why shouldn’t your University take part in this fun? Well, we don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t. Capitalize on the season of giving and encourage your alumni to give back to the place they once called home.
Below, we have provided 3 simple yet effective ways to increase alumni donations during this cheerful time of the year. Follow these suggestions for happy and supportive alumni!
Host a holiday party. Kick off the party season early by hosting a “Christmas Ball” or cocktail party the week following Thanksgiving or the first week of December. This is a good time to invite alumni to make a trip back to their alma mater because it’s unlikely they will be engaged with family holiday festivities quite yet. By hosting a party of such grandeur, it will make alumni feel special and as though they truly matter -- because they do. It will also spark their loyalty to your school and have them feeling more inclined to give back. Get the word out about this event by sending both electronic and printed invites to your target alumni audience in the fall, and be sure to build up anticipation for it on social media. At the event, provide guests with food and entertainment. Added bonus: you could even host an auction at the event as a means of fundraising beyond asking for donations.
Send a personalized holiday card. The holly jolly season means an influx of cheerful holiday cards from out of town relatives, random neighbors, and of course the classmates you have long since forgotten. But, let’s be honest, you need to be one of the many seasonal cards crowding your alumni’s mailboxes this season. Making them feel loved during this time of year is especially important, and can result in huge monetary returns. Make your University’s holiday card personalized so your alumni and donors feel special, and remember why they love their alma mater so dearly. Warning! Be sure to cater your holiday card to different religions and cultures. No one wants to feel left out during this joyous season.
Engage alumni on social media. Perhaps host a contest of sorts encouraging your alumni to post photos of themselves celebrating the holidays in your school’s style. This will make them feel included and bring your University to the forefront of their mind during the peak of the ‘season of giving.’ Perhaps share an alumni appreciation post articulating just how much your alumni mean to you. The possibilities are endless. This is a great time of year to reach alumni online. Chances are they will be checking social media to check up with family and friends and send well wishes, so take advantage of their increased online presence and you’ll most likely see an increase in both alumni communication and donations.
So there you have it, simple as one, two, three. Follow the simple tips and tricks above and we are sure you will be saying “Ho, Ho, Ho” as much the sleigh driving, white-bearded man himself.