Alumni Association strategy document
The Ohio State University Alumni Association is committed to fostering a climate of inclusion, and in 2012, moved to a new membership model that made each and every Ohio State alumnus a member. There is strength in the great diversity of Ohio State alumni, and Ohio State’s future growth rests in the ability to recognize, incorporate, and enhance participation through leadership, programs, services, employees and publications.
Ohio State Advancement overview
In 2007, The Ohio State University embarked on a journey to unite alumni relations, communications and marketing, and fundraising with the purpose of building awareness of, engagement with, and giving to the University. The strategic combination of the Ohio State University Alumni Association, The Ohio State University Foundation, and University Communications upholds our concept of One University, but also places Ohio State among the premier academic and research institutions in the country. In the words of former president E. Gordon Gee, Advancement “will allow us to achieve our shared aspirations.”
Our shared aspirations – specifically to collaborate as one and to achieve eminence – have been a constant source of motivation for the alumni, communications, and fundraising organizations during the early stages of Advancement. As defined by the Board of Trustees in 2008, Advancement is “the strategic, University-wide integration and coordination of alumni relations, communications and marketing, and development functions to foster positive relationships with students, alumni, and other key audiences; provide multiple opportunities for engagement; and generate involvement with and support for the mission of The Ohio State University.”
To aid in our efforts, an Advancement Framework Planning Team was appointed in 2011 to develop a blueprint for the University to accomplish the initial integration of the three Advancement functions. The team engaged global public relations firm Edelman Consulting to assist in the planning work, and together they delivered the blueprint in 2012 in the form of our Advancement Framework Plan.
As one of the three cornerstones of combined Advancement efforts, the Alumni Association is ready to move forward by leading engagement. The objectives that follow will help us secure our position as the “engagement engine” for Advancement.
We will fulfill our vision and mission by focusing on engagement. We must understand and anticipate the needs of our customers, both external (alumni and friends) and internal (colleges and units). By accomplishing this, the Alumni Association will add significant value to Advancement and therefore, to The Ohio State University.
Engagement defined: broaden and deepen constituent participation in activities that are sponsored by, or on behalf of, Ohio State with the aim of growing lasting and beneficial relationships that contribute to mutual success.
Over the next five years, the Ohio State University Alumni Association will broaden and deepen constituent engagement with the University, developing more meaningful relationships with Ohio State’s alumni, friends, and students.
- Strengthen ongoing relationships with alumni and friends through improved volunteer engagement.
- Implement the Office of Volunteer Relations.
- Improve systems, training, and resources for alumni and key constituent groups.
- Provide best practices to college, unit, Club, and Society volunteer leaders.
- Increase annual giving to Ohio State.
- Assist units in planning and implementing annual giving tactics.
- Improve the effectiveness of the call center.
- Develop a new digital strategy for annual giving.
- Design a regional strategy to engage alumni and friends around the world.
- Work with Advancement partners to develop an integrated regional strategy.
- Develop an engagement continuum for each region and Club strategy.
- Provide resources to Clubs in key regions.
- Create an early engagement strategy to strengthen the bond between Ohio State and its students and young alumni.
- Partner with Admissions and Student Life to design opportunities for students to learn about and become involved in Advancement.
- Ensure appropriate data transfers between student and Advancement data systems.
- Develop programs and events to engage young alumni.
- Develop shared engagement strategies aligned with college, unit, and institutional priorities and shared engagement services that assist with the work of colleges, units, and volunteers.
- Assist colleges and units with developing long-term engagement strategy.
- Provide central services for event registration, annual giving, and sharing best practices.
- Evaluate unit-based alumni relations and annual giving personnel reporting structure for even better collaboration between colleges, units, and the Alumni Association.
- Strengthen and grow our culture and team.
- Increase employee engagement.
- Hire and retain the best team possible.
- Continually improve systems and policies.