Who would have thought one year ago that we would be where we are today? I know I didn’t – if anything, I thought that, at most, the rest of the Spring semester would be spent online, but the long-term nature of the pandemic restrictions had not come into focus yet.
Everywhere we look, there’s evidence of how the pandemic has impacted and changed higher education. That’s also the case for institutional advancement – for many institutions, events in February 2020 were the last time alumni engagement teams interacted with alumni in person. Clearly, we’ve had to adapt, adapt some more, and then adapt again. In all of that, the focus has remained on engaging alumni and donors, but in new and different ways. Here are three ways that colleges and universities have evolved their approaches to ensure continued opportunities for engaging constituents and encouraging their ongoing financial support.
How we engage is different, and different can be good
The pandemic forced us to look at engagement differently, with traditional events shifted or delayed. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll celebrate when the schools we work with can safely have an in-person reunion or homecoming again! However, I’ve also seen new types of opportunities develop that can complement engagement strategies for the long term.