Benefits of a College alumni group
Updated: Sep 12, 2019
A college recently asked us to provide a report for Governors on the outcomes and benefits received from their alumni group after the first year. The numbers make for impressive reading and show the benefits that alumni groups can bring to FE Colleges. I have added the report to this blog post.
Report for Governors - Think Alumni year one performance and outcomes report for the College
The College commissioned Think Alumni to create and manage the College’s alumni service and selected a menu of services which included:
Creating and hosting an alumni website, including producing all content, regular updates, and including a secure database of alumni online profiles.
Writing and sending monthly e-newsletters to 30,000 College alumni and tracking performance (e.g. open rates and clicks)
Gathering, editing and publishing alumni testimonials to the alumni website and for use by the College
Creating a college alumni group on LinkedIn and seeking and inviting ‘lost alumni’ to connect
Encouraging alumni volunteers and re-enrolments
Conducting a full destination survey of recent leavers to gather the data needed for the College’s annual submission to the SFA/EFA
In the year since launch, the College’s alumni group has grown to 71,119 alumni records, 30,669 with valid email addresses that receive regular alumni communications. Average open rates based on the most recent campaigns are 24.8%.
2063 alumni have logged into their online profile, demonstrating good alumni engagement,
1708 employment destination records held
686 alumni volunteer offers have been collected (e.g. mentoring students, speaking to students, attending an event, etc),
700 LinkedIn alumni-connections have been created through our LinkedIn search service – many of these will be ‘lost alumni’ (not included in the data outlined above) of which 353 have also joined the College LinkedIn Alumni Group
63 articles and discussion questions have been posted by Think Alumni to the College’s LinkedIn Alumni Group to encourage engagement and demonstrate an active alumni group
Outcomes and return on investment
Think Alumni advise that the first year’s outcomes are often the least impressive as the alumni group is bedding-in and the group numbers are only starting to grow. Every year should see improving outcomes as the size of the alumni group increases with the addition of recent leavers and lost alumni being found.
It is worth noting that if the College were to recruit 5 new students to full-time courses then the service will have paid for itself and anything additional would provide a return over and above the investment.
We have achieved the following outcomes in the first 12 months:
210 requests have been generated for information on further courses including for Apprenticeships, HE and Adult Learning. Some examples of the requests received are below:
“I would like to study Level 4 AAT ”
“Understanding Autism level 3”
“Electrical Inspection and Testing”
“NVQ Level 4 health and social care”
Think Alumni’s own analysis shows that an ‘average’ college sees over 400 re-enrolments from their engaged alumni after a couple of years.
Alumni online profiles include a feature for alumni to signal their interest in a range of areas. In the first year of the service the College has received:
43 requests to ‘hire an Apprentice’
40 requests to ‘use College facilities for corporate events’
19 offers to ‘sponsor an award or event’
Alumni communication activity managed by Think Alumni has generated 10,491 unique website visitors since launch –these are new website hits from potential returning students and college advocates,
50 quotes and testimonials have been written and posted to the College’s Alumni Wall - and 819 people have visited these pages in the first year,
12 full alumni testimonials have been published with another 10 in the pipeline,
A telephone destination survey is included in the Full Service annual fee. It is estimated this would cost £9k if commissioned from another provider to the sector.