THOUGHTS FROM THE OUTDOORS
Alumni are a treasure of all colleges, universities, and in some ways, executive education programs. Alumni represent the alma mater’s brand around the globe. Alumni help recruit students or hire graduates. Alumni are also a major part of the school’s fundraising strategy.
For some, alumni giving is on the rise. Others say major gifts are up while giving in general is down. Either way, it’s clear the schools need to do more with less and make sure that their alumni relations and development teams are among the highest performing and most innovative units on campus. Many alumni relations and development teams are doing a great job leveraging technology for update calls, webinars, and access to school leadership. Other strategies in play are often more predictable (luncheons, happy hours, reunions, summits, cruises, direct asks) and lead to common challenges we hear: the same people show up, it’s hard to attract the younger generation, the alumni don’t give much, and our donor pipeline is weak.
Recent graduates love you and are on the high of finishing their degree and going out there to change the world. They have no money and you already know you can’t ask for it. Grads five to 10 years out are starting families. Grads 10 to 15 years out are investing in their families and career/business growth. Grads 20 to 25 years out are making more money, and they are now saving for or spending money on their kids’ education and perhaps still paying off their student debt! Does that only leave you with people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s?
If you just keep asking the alumni to give, maybe.
If you give something amazing and give them an opportunity to GET, you have just taken your game to a whole new level.
Today’s generation loves experiences. Today’s generation loves to travel and see the world. Today’s generation loves adventure. Today’s generation is active and cares about health and well-being. We therefore challenge you and your alumni to:
TAP THE POWER OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS THROUGH ADVENTURE FUNDRAISING CHALLENGES!
The adventures can be as epic as Kilimanjaro or Machu Picchu, or they can be more accessible like cycling the Florida Keys, hiking the Appalachian trail, trekking or rafting one of the wonders of the world—the Grand Canyon. The challenge participants will GET the sponsorships to participate in these experiences and adventures of a lifetime, and you will engage your alumni like never before. Should donor cultivation and succession be top of mind, this strategy will help you cultivate a new generation of loyal fans and future donors via adventures challenges that also support:
Networking and Relationships
It’s one thing to reconnect with old friends and make new ones at a business summit, cocktail party, or luncheon. It’s quite another when we add the great outdoors, a challenge, emotions, support for each other, an incredible environment, and a noble cause. Barriers go down. Clarity, communication, and openness (for each other and new ideas) are at their peak. New personal and business relationships that may last a lifetime are built. And the school just built a new cohort of loyal, raving fans.
Negotiation, leadership, and a strategy session around the campfire at the bottom of the Grand Canyon: Do you think it will make an impact and the learning will stick? Like glue! A keynote speaker on global affairs after conquering miles along the turquoise waters of the Florida Keys or rafting the last segment of the Costa Rica coast-to-coast challenge: Will that make an impact? Yes. You can incorporate continued education sessions and integrate your own faculty and new research into an adventure challenge. Learning outcomes in the outdoors are superior. And hey, the outdoors is not just for kids anymore!
Health and Well-Being
There’s a subtle yet profound difference between when a person is eating right and exercising because they know it’s good for them and they have to versus when they want to because they have an adventure of a lifetime they are so excited about and want to prepare for. That’s why even companies with sophisticated corporate health and wellness programs love adventure fundraising challenges. Your alumni will too. And you just made a positive impact on their lives. You rock!
If you want to give it a shot on your own locally and have questions, reach out. We are happy to help.
If you are ready to take your game to a new level, yet this seems scary and overwhelming, we understand. We have experience in the non-profit sector. We understand peer-to-peer fundraising, and at Adventure for Charity we have developed turnkey tools and processes to help you do more with less. We have you covered from A-Z!
If you are or aspire to be a high-performing, innovative alumni relations and development office, let us know how we can help you GET the engagement and support from your alumni you want and deserve.
Adventure for Charity
About Adventure for Charity
Adventure for Charity (AFC) is an adventure travel company with a twist and the first company in North America with a unique blend of capabilities in adventure travel, the nonprofit sector, peer-to-peer fundraising, consulting, and health and well-being. AFC is a mission-driven social entrepreneurship outfit that creates a positive impact in the world one adventure challenge at a time by:
- Helping nonprofit organizations fundraise and engage in a unique way.
- Improving companies’ employee engagement, health, culture, talent development, and strategic planning.
- Enabling individuals to get outside, have fun, and do good.
About Adventure Challenges
Adventure challenges are multi-day or single-day adventures and experiences of a lifetime in various disciplines, including hiking, trekking, cycling, mountain biking, and water sports. They:
- Bring people together to support important causes.
- Help nonprofits and companies succeed by leveraging the great outdoors.
- Challenge the participants’ physical abilities, creativity, and dedication.
- Take place at incredible locations around the globe.
Learn more by visiting: www.adventureforcharity.com