Are your alumni emotionally engaged?
The new Alumni Matters study from CarringtonCrisp confirms that the key to engaged alumni is delivering a strong student experience; leave the relationship until the point of graduation and support from alumni will be diminished. The study, run by CarringtonCrisp, and supported by EFMD, questioned almost 7,000 alumni worldwide.
Among those dissatisfied with the student experience only 4% of alumni felt engaged and 8% connected compared with 58% and 63% respectively among those satisfied. Poor faculty and lack of intellectual challenge are key drivers of dissatisfaction.
For many business students, motivation is all about career outcomes, yet fewer than half the alumni respondents described career support at their school as good. While much communication is directed at alumni, schools are seen as weak in helping alumni contact each other. Four times as many alumni use other social media sites to contact fellow alumni compared to those using the official school social media channels.
With fundraising from alumni a growing objective for many schools, the study also highlighted the scale of the challenge - just over half (57%) of alumni say it is ‘A little unclear how to support the business school financially’. However, only 1 in 4 indicate there is no circumstance under which they would support a financial appeal.
Andrew Crisp, one of the report authors commented, “The alumni relationship is as much emotional as it is transactional, and potentially more so. Yet fewer than half the respondents agree that they feel engaged or connected to their school, are part of a community or have a sense of belonging. If business schools get this right, there will be much to be gained from the alumni relationship such as mentoring, providing placements, promoting the school brand and potentially better fundraising.”