International Alumni and Fundraising Program- Part 1
Creating International Alumni Clubs
Over the course of my administrative career, I had the opportunity to be responsible not only for the enrollment and retention of international students but also for creating international alumni and fundraising programs.
This “30,000 foot” view allowed me to integrate the international recruitment program with international alumni and fundraising activities.
While this administrative structure would not work at many schools and is certainly not for the faint of heart, it does have advantages. My next two blog posts will outline the steps I took to create international alumni clubs and how I raised money from international parents.
If you are responsible for enrolling international students, you may want to share this blog post with the administrators in your school responsible for alumni programs.
If you want to develop an international alumni program, you should begin before international students register for classes.
I would meet with all of the admission counselors and ask them to identify the international students they recruited who enrolled and who would be good candidates for becoming class agents. We began, at this early stage in the international students’ academic career, to groom graduates to support international alumni activities after graduation.
I created an international convocation and orientation program for both new international students and parents and began the “friend raising” process before classes began.
We created a robust international student services program and international students were encouraged to become actively involved in international student activities. A specific administrator in the Center for International Education continued the cultivation process over the next four years.
Fast forward to the beginning of senior year. Students who demonstrated an interest in participating in international alumni activities were introduced to the director of alumni affairs and were given the rules and regulations of how to become a class agent and set up an international alumni club.
I will not pretend that this was an easy thing to do. Anytime the staffs of international students, student services and alumni affairs are asked to work together synergistically, turf wars erupt. But it can administratively work and in my case, it did.
I was able to create five international alumni clubs. The international graduates in those clubs assisted our international recruitment program. They met with prospective international applicants from their country and encouraged them to apply. It was a meaningful way for international students to stay connected and added credibility to our international recruitment program.
In my next blog I will share with you how I raised funds from international parents.