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Alumni Club Leaders

Toolkit

Below you will find resources and tools designed to assist alumni club leaders worldwide in efficiently and effectively coordinating and developing their organizations. Should you have any questions regarding alumni clubs and regional programs, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@drexel.edu or 1-888-DU-GRADS.

How To
HOW TO: Order and Analyze a Demographic Report
HOW TO: Develop and Analyze an Alumni Survey
HOW TO: Recruit Volunteers and Steering Committee Members
HOW TO: Develop an Annual Plan
HOW TO: Plan a Successful Alumni Event
HOW TO: Manage Club Finances
HOW TO: Identify Sponsorship Opportunities
HOW TO: Establish a Membership Dues Program

Tips
TIP: Leadership Structure
TIP: Roles and Responsibilities of Club Leaders
TIP: Event Budgets
TIP: Club Activity Ideas
TIP: Publicity and Marketing

Forms
FORM: Event Summary
FORM: Club Deposit
FORM: Personal Reimbursement

Policies
POLICY: Guidelines for Starting and Maintaining an Alumni Club
POLICY: Volunteer Code of Conduct, Confidentiality, and Conflicts of Interest

Links
LINK: Alumni Constituent Organizations Grants Program
LINK: Geographic Chapters

Alumni Club Leader Resources

How To

HOW TO: Order and Analyze a Demographic Report

Ordering a Demographic Report:

  • Contact the Office of Alumni Relations to request a demographic report.
  • The report will be sent to you via e-mail by Alumni Relations within 30 days.
  • A liaison from Alumni Relations will follow up to answer any questions you may have or to supply additional information.

Analyzing a Demographic Report:

A crucial step in a club’s success is knowing your audience. The Office of Alumni Relations will assist your club leadership in accomplishing this step. Initial demographics of the area will be supplied to each club for reference. A liaison from Alumni Relations will be available to help understand the demographics, and explain what they mean for your area. For protection of privacy, alumni contact information is not distributed in this report.

The demographic review will answer the following questions:

  • How many alumni are in this area and what are their locations?
  • What are their class year range?
  • What school or college did they graduate from?

This information will help decide what kind of club to form or, if a club is already formed, the best way to train for succession of leadership. The types of events you choose to plan will also depend much on the results of the demographic review.

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HOW TO: Develop and Analyze an Alumni Survey

Further research can be done as a new club forms or a current club requires fresh information. A survey can be developed and sent to all alumni in the club’s area. Though these surveys have similarities, they are also very tailored to each individual club and their specific needs. To view a sample survey, click here.

A survey is a good tool for gauging interest levels of different types of events. It may assist you in determining the best type of event to produce, the area to host it, and the best date and time that is convenient for alumni in your area.

Contact the Office of Alumni Relations to develop a survey for your area.

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HOW TO: Recruit Volunteers and Steering Committee Members

  1. Why are volunteers needed? Know the specific reason for each volunteer. Volunteers must have a feeling of purpose.
  2. Ask! People are more willing to volunteer for a project if they are personally asked by someone else who is involved.
  3. Keep an ongoing file of possible club volunteers and add to it by asking for new names from local alumni already participating.
  4. Announce that new volunteers are needed in club mailings, in e-mails, and at club events.
  5. Contact past event attendees that expressed interest or attended multiple events.
  6. Plan special events with the goal of recruiting new volunteers; advise staff attending.
  7. Assign club members or regional volunteers the task of recruiting at least two new volunteers each year.
  8. When possible, leave space on mailings or registration forms for alumni to indicate an interest in volunteering.
  9. Remind potential alumni volunteers of the many benefits of volunteering (see below).
  10. Provide food at recruitment events – everyone likes munchies.
  11. Contact Alumni Relations for assistance!

Benefits of Volunteering:

  • Meet alumni from your area and develop friendships and professional contacts.
  • Help shape current and future life at Drexel by developing relationships with staff and administration.
  • Gain and enhance your leadership, communication, problem-solving, and team-building skills – qualities that can help your professional career.
  • Get valuable training opportunities by becoming an Alumni Ambassador.
  • Get in touch with current Drexel students and their energy, enthusiasm, and ideas by hosting a Dinner with 12 Dragons.
  • Build your career opportunities as you take on new volunteer roles.
  • Develop lasting professional relationships through networking opportunities with other Drexel alumni.
  • Get satisfaction from giving back and making a real difference at Drexel.
  • Take advantage of local opportunities to benefit your local community.
  • Have fun with people who share a common Drexel experience.

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HOW TO: Develop an Annual Plan

An annual plan is your roadmap to the future. Like a roadmap, this plan lays the general direction your club will be heading. Like any trip, there may be detours or unexpected events along the way, but the map will be there to keep you on track.

The development of an annual plan is simple. It takes into consideration where you are now, where you would like to be at the end of the year, and how you are going to get there. Here is a simple outline to help get you started, assistance is always available through the Office of Alumni Relations.

Annual Plan Outline:

  1. Current Status (summarize the successes and shortcomings of the last year)

  2. Objectives (main goals of the next year, mission statement, or common vision)
    • Leadership
      1. Do you want to increase or maintain leadership roles?
      2. Do you want to pass leadership roles to new volunteers?
    • Volunteers
      1. Do you want to increase or sustain the number of volunteers?
      2. By what percentage (specific goals are easier to measure)?
    • Events
      1. How many events would you like to complete?
      2. What kind of attendance do you want to see?
      3. What types of events does your area want?
      4. How will you measure success?
    • Finances
      1. Where are you now, are you self sustaining?
      2. Do you plan on collecting dues from members?
      3. What are the price points for event registration / event costs?

  3. Execution (how will you attain each object set forth in section 2?)
    • Leadership
    • Volunteers
    • Events
    • Finances

  4. Summary
    • Measurement (how will you define success in each area?)
    • Follow Up (how do the actions explained set a course for achievement?)

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HOW TO: Plan a Successful Alumni Event

Here are a few things to consider when planning an alumni event. This is a simple outline of common questions and issues that develop during the planning process. Event planning activities can be coordinated with your Alumni Relations liaison, who will provide planning, logistical, and financial guidance to ensure success.

  1. Is the event positive for the club?
    • Does the event follow through with the annual plan?
    • Is the event of interest to a large audience or just the planners?
    • Contact the Office of Alumni Relations to talk through the idea.
    • Who will be the point of contact for all communication regarding this event?

  2. Venue
    • Is the site suitable for the activity?
    • Will this venue supply any AV needs you may have?
    • Costs
      • What is the site rental fee?
      • Is there an additional charge for tables, chairs, etc.?
      • Are there setup and teardown charges?
      • Is there an added gratuity or food/beverage minimum charge?
      • Is there an advance deposit required?
      • Are there parking charges?
    • Is this location open and welcoming to all people?
    • Are there accessibility issues?
    • If it is outdoors, is there a rainout plan?

  3. Date and Time
    • Are there community functions taking place that may conflict?
    • What is most convenient for the majority of your region?

  4. Food and Beverage
    • Sit-down or reception style? Receptions work best when there is a speaker.
    • Hors d’oeuvres passed or stationary?
    • Dessert receptions work well for afternoon events.
    • When are final counts needed? Are there minimums required?
    • Cash bar, host bar, or drink tickets? Maybe just beer and wine is available.
    • What is the liquor liability in a private residence?
    • Be sure non-alcoholic drinks and vegetarian meal choices are available.

  5. Charges
    • How much to charge for an event?
    • Are all events in this price range or do you have varying prices?

  6. Reservations
    • Set up all RSVP needs through the Alumni Relations Office.
    • Keep a running tally of responses to keep in group history.

  7. Publicize
    • Contact Alumni Relations to assist in mailers and email notifications.
    • Is it on the web site?
    • Local newspapers or news boards?

  8. Planning Calendar
    • Coordinating with your Alumni Relations liaison, you will work through a back-planning calendar similar to this one. These tasks will be split between you, your committee, and the Alumni Relations Office.


    • 12 Weeks Prior to Event

      1. Set goals of event
        • Attendance
        • Budget
      2. Distribute responsibilities
        • Publicity
        • Program planning
        • Decorations
        • Budget
      3. Reserve the Location, Caterer, and Bar Service
        • Contracts must be approved by university official
        • Don’t forget audio/visual needs if necessary

      8 Weeks Prior to Event

      1. Turn in written description of event including price and RSVP date to Alumni Relations so it can be published on the web site, and included in all publicity materials

      6 Weeks Prior to Event

      1. Event announcements sent out by Alumni Office
      2. Submit supply requests, gather everything needed
      3. Review committee assignments and get status reports

      3 Weeks Prior to Event

      1. Confirm space arrangements (tables, podiums, AV, etc)
      2. Assign event duties and responsibilities
      3. Start making personal phone calls to encourage attendance

      1 Week Prior to Event

      1. Designate a photographer – photos can be sent in to Alumni Relations to help document your success!
      2. Review agenda with the event emcee if there is a program
      3. Prepare all registration materials including lists and name tags
      4. Provide final count to event facility

      3 Days Prior to Event

      1. Review all logistics with event site contact
      2. Prepare all materials to be brought to event site

      Day of the Event

      1. Arrive early to be sure the space is arranged properly and acquaint yourself with the facilities
      2. Have a table set up with nametags, membership information, volunteer contact sheets, giveaway items (when available) and a volunteer to answer questions
      3. For larger events split this table up into stations around the room to alleviate congestion at the door
      4. Have a prepared agenda for the entire event

      Post Mortem

      1. Evaluate the success with all volunteers involved
      2. Send thank you notes if appropriate
      3. Follow up with new attendees to cultivate new volunteers
      4. Turn in the Event Summary form to the Alumni Relations Office within the next week

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HOW TO: Manage Club Finances

The Office of Alumni Relations oversees university-held accounts for all financial matters related to club operations. Each club account is maintained exclusively for the use and support of its club mailings, events and activities. Officers have access to the funds through the Office of Alumni Relations.

In addition to limiting financial liability, there are other benefits to having the Office of Alumni Relations oversee management of club finances:

  • Ability to directly bill goods and services to Drexel (directed to the club account)
  • Usage of university tax-exempt status, based on local tax laws, on goods and services secured for club events
  • Receipt of membership dues (all are directed to the club account)
  • Integration of online event registration and payment systems via credit card

The great majority of all purchases, deposits, and contractual obligations will be completed by the Office of Alumni Relations staff liaison with the use of a university purchasing card.

In the rare event this cannot happen, requests for payments from the club account must be made in writing to the Office of Alumni Relations. The chapter’s treasurer or other appropriate officer should complete and return the request to the club’s liaison. Submit original bills from vendors to the office for payment.

Most event registrations will be taken care of through the Office of Alumni Relations prior to the event or by your event liaison on the day of. Should the event arise when a committee member must accept a registration, deposits of cash and checks, along with any supporting documentation, are to be given to your staff liaison as soon as possible. Please use the Club Deposit form to ensure accuracy of deposit.

On occasion, chapter volunteers make purchases on behalf of the chapter and need to be reimbursed. To receive a reimbursement for a chapter expense, fill out the Reimbursement Form and send to the Office of Alumni Relations. All original receipts must be included. It takes 7-10 business days for a reimbursement transaction to be completed after it has been submitted. The treasurer should keep copies of receipts before submitting them for reimbursement. Reimbursements must be submitted within 30 days of date of transaction.

Clubs that have had individual bank accounts prior to the revision and adoption of the 2009 guidelines should work with the Office of Alumni Relations to discuss transition steps.

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HOW TO: Identify Sponsorship Opportunities

There are alumni who themselves or whose businesses are willing to help defray the costs of an event, fully underwrite the costs, or provide a meeting facility at no cost. These resources should be explored with your Alumni Relations liaison and utilized whenever appropriate. Underwriters or contributors should be obtained in time to permit recognition in the event’s promotional materials. In-kind credit may also be available to those who give events and services to the club/university.

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HOW TO: Establish a Membership Dues Program

In order to secure additional funding for club activities, clubs may want to collect dues from their constituents. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations to determine if collecting dues is the best choice for your chapter, what an appropriate dues amount might be, and procedures for dues collection.

A chapter is not permitted to exclude non-dues-payers from events and activities; however, it may offer discounts and other benefits for dues-payers (e.g., if an event costs $10, the chapter can offer dues-paying members the opportunity to attend for $5). Dues for membership are not tax deductible.

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Tips

TIP: Leadership Structure

Leadership in each club will vary by each geographic region. It is very important to consider what type of leadership structure you will use in the formation and continual advancement of your club. The main differences are outlined below:

Alumni Club:

  • Leadership consists of a steering committee of a core group of volunteers
  • One committee member is designated as president or club leader to serve as the primary contact between the club and Alumni Relations
  • Duties are evenly dispersed among committee members
  • Regular leadership meetings are held (at least 2 per year)
  • Communication and publicity are collaborative efforts between the club and Alumni Relations
  • Finances are run through the Alumni Relations Office

The leadership design of each club depends on the concentration of alumni in the area and their activity level. Throughout the life of each club, leadership design may change as local demographics and involvement change.

Alumni Regional Volunteers:

The success of the Drexel University Alumni Association depends on a network of volunteers serving in a variety of roles. Alumni Regional Volunteers provide guidance and logistical assistance to the Office of Alumni Relations in planning alumni events in geographic areas where alumni clubs do not exist.

Alumni Regional Volunteers serve in the following ways:

  • Agree to serve as a point of contact for alumni relocating to your area and students on co-op in your area.
  • Provide logistical support by investigating possible event venues and locations.
  • Help to promote events in your area by making personal phone calls or sending personal email.

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TIP: Roles and Responsibilities of Club Leaders

The club leader or president is the primary contact for each alumni club. These leadership positions are a lot of fun, but there are some responsibilities included:

  1. Lead volunteer recruitment as necessary
  2. Plan club leadership meetings as necessary
  3. Plan regional events, or designate volunteers to lead planning
  4. Submit updates for the club web page
  5. Report club activity to your Alumni Relations contact
  6. Coordinate budgetary and financial needs with your Alumni Relations liaison
  7. Ensure each volunteer signs the "Volunteer Code of Conduct, Confidentiality and Conflicts of Interest" policy

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TIP: Club Activity Ideas

Events should be at a variety of interest areas and price levels. The types of events you choose to plan may also depend on the number and activity level of your volunteers. Resist the urge to over-program. Three or four interesting, well-attended events per year is a good goal to strive to achieve. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Cultural Events bring together alumni and friends in the spirit of the Drexel University quest for knowledge and service to society. Sometimes these are considered “high-end” events and may be at the top of the cost bracket. They may include:

  • Concerts
  • Guided tours of local landmarks or museums
  • Theatre productions
  • Art gallery openings or presentations
  • Community service projects
  • Book discussion or movie groups

Social Events provide an informal opportunity for alumni to meet and network. These types of events are great for volunteer recruitment, or for a first time planner. These events are usually very budget friendly. They may include:

  • Sporting events
  • Networking socials or happy hours at restaurants or pubs
  • Picnics or potlucks
  • Wine or beer tasting events
  • Young alumni happy hours

Alumni Career Services can be offered in partnership with Alumni Relations. Alumni Career Service events are designed to help alumni reach their professional goals and manage their careers. These events may include:

  • Distinguished alumni speakers
  • Panel discussions by local alumni
  • Career Development Seminars
  • Networking Receptions

Drexel-Focused Events give alumni an opportunity to reconnect to the university. This type of event requires advance planning and effort, and significantly more support from the Alumni Office. These events may include:

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TIP: Publicity and Marketing

The Office of Alumni Relations can provide publicity and marketing opportunities on a global scale. This benefit includes:

  • Mail (all information required a minimum of 8 weeks prior to event)
    Draft for approval will be sent 6 weeks prior to event
    Mailer will be sent 4 weeks prior to event
    Charges may be incurred for printing and mailing


  • Email (all information required a minimum of 8 weeks prior to event)
    Draft for approval will be sent 6 weeks prior to event
    Email will be sent at intervals: 4 weeks prior, 2 weeks prior
    No charge is incurred for email


  • E-Newsletter
    Drexel Details alumni e-newsletter consists of all alumni happenings and is sent to all
    alumni monthly
    Club-focused e-newsletters can be developed and sent out on a regular basis


  • Web Site
    Every event gets publicized on the Alumni Relations web site (www.drexel.edu/alumni)
    Links to area information and club pages can be added

To optimize publicity, clubs may choose to publicize locally in the following ways:

  • Local news releases and news boards
  • Personal contacts
  • Calling trees (numbers can be provided by the Office of Alumni Relations)

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alumni@drexel.edu