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Reply To: Community Engagement Challenges in 2023

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Ana Gozalo
Forum Participant

Thank you everyone for contributing to our panel session on Community engagement. As promised, here are some of the takeaway points from the discussion.

Community Engagement Panel Takeaway Points:

Question 1: Future of Community Engagement in the Digital World
– Candace: Traditional approaches like phone calls and face-to-face events remain effective. Digital mediums expand reach.
– Karin: Combining online and personal approaches is key.
– Vanessa: Emphasises the importance of a mix of online and face-to-face for strong connections.
– Merryn: Digital channels are growing, but personal interaction and engagement are essential. Replies to social posts matter.

Question 2: Connecting Old Scholars with Limited Contact Information
– Candace: Suggestions include updating competitions, social media ads, and uploading “alumni lost lists” on the website.
– Karin: Recommends using mobile numbers, looking for family members, and leveraging LinkedIn and networks.
– Vanessa: Suggests using LinkedIn, year-level ambassadors, networks, and staff.
– Merryn: Advises leveraging networks, person-to-person contact, and using one alum to reconnect with others.

Question 3: Tracking Engagement Beyond Events
– Candace: Tracks involvement in the database, saves emails, and monitors email open rates and click-throughs.
– Karin: Tracks responses to digital communications and emphasizes that people engage with stories about others.
– Vanessa: Tracks through digital communications.
– Merryn: Uses various methods but notes the challenge of manual data collection for aggregate reporting.

Question 4: Encouraging Alumni Engagement, Especially from School Leaders
– Candace: Stresses the importance of showing staff the value of alumni for their programs and curriculum, filtering support from the top.
– Karin: Encourages leadership participation in reunions and meaningful connections with specific years.
– Vanessa: Recommends involving staff at reunions and engaging old scholars in school programs.
– Merryn: Advocates for asking leaders if they want to be involved and running with their suggestions.

Question 5: Tips for a Sustainable Alumni Engagement Program with Limited Staff
– All: Leverage volunteers to extend efforts.
– Karin: Use ambassadors and convenors for reunions. Convenors can seek out “lost” old scholars.
– Vanessa: Make the Alumni Committee accessible through Zoom.
– Merryn: Be selective in tasks, retire non-value-adding activities, and communicate the reasons to superiors.

We thank our Strategic Partners