How can your camp find your alumni? How do camps engage them? How do you encourage them to make a donation? These are the most common questions at our Knowledge Center.
Why engage your alumni?
Your alumni are the people who are most likely to LOVE your organization and most likely to want to give back IF you connect with them regularly. If they LOVED their camp experience, they are more likely to want to send their children, encourage their children’s friends to attend, and give back financially.
How do I find them?
Start with your old records, databases, and yearbooks. Involve a group of volunteers to help look for alumni names and addresses. Use social media to communicate that you are missing them. Maintain this information consistently in your database. Collecting current names and addresses takes time and commitment. (See webinar)
How do I engage our alumni?
Define what you can offer your alumni that would make it worth their time to engage with you again. Can you give them access to their old camp friends? Are you offering fun alumni events, reunions, or other opportunities to return to camp? Look at alumni interests across ages and stages of life. Make your offers clear and easy to understand. Grandparents who are alumni of your camp have different interests than a 28 year old alum. Some offers might be a CIT of 1980’s reunion, early registration to family camp, or a t-shirt. (See article, see webinar)
How do I get donations from alumni?
Have you made a clear and compelling reason to them about why they should give to you?
- ASK: If you don’t ask, they won’t give. Is giving online easy and fun to do? If you make it hard, people will give up.
- THANK: Do you thank people quickly and correctly? If you don’t thank donors in a timely and professional manner, people will lose trust in your organization.
- REPORT: Do you let your alumni know that their donation made a difference? If you don’t, they will not be motivated to give again.
JCamp 180 is committed to helping your organization apply best practices to your camp’s outreach and communications. We’ve hand-picked the resources below to get you started. For our full set of resources on this topic, click the “More Outreach/Technology Resources” button at the bottom of the page to go to the main Knowledge Center page
. You can either further refine your search using keywords or scroll through all the resources.