Eager to create an alumni database that makes accessing important information effortless?
It’s a well-known fact that staying in touch with your alumni network has many benefits, so knowing how to create an effective alumni database is often vital to the success of any alumni association.
Below, we explore the purpose of an alumni database and the information that should be included in an essential alumni directory.
Once we’ve explained the function of an alumni database, we show you how you can create one for your education institution by following just a few simple steps!
What is the purpose of an alumni database?
An alumni database, also referred to as an alumni management system, is a database of your alumni’s (individuals that have graduated or left an institution) information.
As well as listing your alumni’s names and contact details, typically these systems also hold data relating to their professional positions and the companies or industries they are employed by.
Additional information held within an alumni database can support targeted marketing campaigns, helping to increase the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
It can also be used to boost the number of attendees at events like recruitment fairs, fundraisers, galas, shows, and other networking gatherings.
What should be included in alumni database?
When it comes to determining the type of information that should be included in your alumni database, you’ll need to consider your motivation for wanting to strengthen alumni relationships.
If your goal is to help current students connect with alumni working in their area of career interest, then collecting post-graduation employment information is likely to be a high priority.
On the other hand, you may want to obtain data regarding the number of alumni that went on to further their education with a post-graduate degree. This information can provide you with vital statistics to use in marketing campaigns for the next generation of potential students. In general, however, alumni databases try to obtain as much relevant data as possible.
Alongside the basic alumni information which includes up-to-date contact information such as their physical address, phone number, and email address, it’s important to collect any relevant details with regards to their education and employment.
Once you’ve amassed a background of alumni information, you can dig deeper by monitoring their email response rates and tailoring communication preferences.
How to create an alumni database
The key to creating a comprehensive and useful alumni database involves choosing the right tools and methods for the job. After all, tracking hundreds of thousands of post-graduates is no simple task. Below, we’ve created a straightforward step-by-step guide that explains the best methods and tools to adopt when trying to build an alumni database quickly and easily.
Use the right software
Instead of trying to keep track of alumni data using a complicated Excel spreadsheet or similar solution, it’s always best to invest in the appropriate software. Opting for flexible alumni engagement software with a unique builder system, like Aluminate from Aluminati, can make data updates and alumni database management an effortless task.
Import available alumni data
Once you’ve settled on the most suitable platform to aid the creation of your alumni database, you’ll need to import all relevant existing data. Typically, the platform will feature a data import and export tool that transfers this important data with ease to the desired location. After this initial alumni data has been transferred, the software will then collect more fresh data which can then be easily exported, if desired.
Incentivise your alumni
Before your alumni graduate, or just after, it’s important to make them aware of the benefits of joining your alumni association. The easiest way to do this is via email, but community gatherings and other institution events can also be a great opportunity to shout about the rewards of becoming part of an alumni association. Once they can see the value in joining, they’ll be willing to provide contact information that will form the foundation of your alumni database.
Continuously update the data
To ensure your alumni community is aware of upcoming events and any other notable gatherings related to the educational institution, it’s vital that the database is not only maintained, but regularly updated too.
Whichever method of communication gets the most alumni responses (while adhering to the communication preferences of each individual) should therefore be utilised to contact members of the alumni association.
One they’ve been contacted and asked to check their contact information or to update their education or employment status, they can ensure the database contains up-to-date information.
Automatic information capture on social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook can also be used as a means of accumulating this crucial updated data with ease.
Our Aluminate software, for example, comes with a Social Media Centre that makes connecting with your alumni via social media a straightforward task.
Contact Aluminati today!
Featuring interaction modules, content tools, and a whole host of administrative functions, you can foster new and meaningful relationships between organisation staff, alumni, and even current students.
Designed to help increase student engagement, drive alumni donations, and improve the way you collect and use alumni data, our flexible engagement platform has a range of benefits. This includes a selection of important tools such as interactive chat messaging as well as an online library of protected digital resources.
If you’d like to find out more about this intuitive and fluid platform designed specifically for the education sector, don’t hesitate to contact our team. Alternatively, you can also request a demo if you’d rather learn more about how the platform can be used to support alumni connections at your educational institution.
For those who would rather speak to a knowledgeable member of our team before arranging a personalised online demonstration at a time and date that suits you, you can also call us on 01638 676 232.