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3 ways independent schools can engage alumni virtually

July 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked many questions for alumni relations, including how do schools shift existing engagement opportunities to fit a new format, and what tools do schools currently have to help facilitate new forms of virtual engagement? We believe that innovations that result from these questions have the potential to be valuable additions to permanent advancement strategies.

Below are three examples of how independent schools have shifted their approach to alumni engagement.

The Lawrenceville School invites alumni to virtually join annual road race fundraiser

Every year the school hosts the Big Red Race—a road race from which the proceeds go to fund the Lawrenceville School Camp, a summer camp experience for underprivileged youth. Traditionally, the race is in person and, winds through the campus but for 2020, the school pivoted to hold a virtual race weekend. Going virtual meant alumni all over the world could participate.

Oregon Episcopal School encourages alumni to join a virtual end-of-year ‘Sing Out’

As part of the school’s annual closing celebration, students traditionally sing a treasured song and any alumni present at the event are invited to join them on stage. In an effort to bridge the virtual distance between people, the music teacher invited alumni to join current choir students by submitting a video of themselves singing that could then be assembled into a coordinate performance.

Greens Farms Academy spotlights alumni work related to COVID-19

The school’s Frontline Fridays blog series showcases and celebrates alumni working “to keep their communities healthy, safe, and fed during the COVID-19 public health crisis.” Profiles include healthcare workers, business owners finding opportunities to give back, and other GFA community members engaged in service.

How are you driving alumni engagement via social media? Are you running a creative Instagram campaign? Doing something fun on Twitter? Leveraging podcasts to connect with alumni? We want to add it to our resource center. Please email Sarah Manes at [email protected].

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