NMU Alumni Association Strategic Plan 2001-2004
Goal I. To increase the visibility of the University and the Alumni Association to all alumni.
Increase involvement between alumni and Northern
a. increase communication with alumni
-produce a timely and eye-catching Sweepstakes promotional piece each year
-explore opportunities to connect increasing numbers of alumni through electronic mediums, increase number of alumni receiving weekly newsletter
-enhance alumni website, add information daily, develop methods to make more user-friendly and interactive
-create one key marketing message
-continue to create improvements in Horizons magazine
-offer career related programs for alumni
-publish tentative schedule of alumni events one year in advance
b. plan a focused summer reunion bi-annually
c. maintain and add alumni contacts in areas of high alumni concentration
d. develop schedule of cities that should have an NMU or Alumni Association presence
Recognize achievements of alumni and involve outstanding and prominent alumni in the Alumni Association.
Goal II. To carry out our mission by responding to the University’s student
recruitment needs, development initiatives and other priorities as needed.
Support the University’s enrollment goal
a. increase the number of alumni volunteers involved in recruitment efforts
b. include admitted/prospective students in an alumni or board gatherings when appropriate
c. collaborate with the Office of Admissions on strategies and or programs that could involve alumni and prospective students
d. involve more students in alumni events
e. incorporate recruitment initiatives into Alumni Association communications and marketing whenever possible
Integrate and coordinate Alumni Association and Development Fund activities to maximize resources for both areas.
Goal III. To evaluate program effectiveness, implement and promote new programs and improve services and benefits to meet the needs of a diverse alumni population.
Maintain and improve participant satisfaction with programs, services and benefits
a. survey alumni to determine satisfaction and acquire feedback on programs & services
Develop programs and services that respond to the feedback from alumni
a. collect data from survey and make decisions on what programs to execute
Educate all alumni about the programs and services the Alumni Association provides.
Ten percent of addressable alumni will become dues-paying members of the Alumni Association by 6/2004
a. expand and enhance the data on alumni by converting the membership database to BANNER
b. prioritize and segment promotions to alumni with the most potential for new members
c. target and test two direct mail membership solicitations per year
d. continue to use telemarketing for membership recruitment in partnership with the Annual Fund
e. explore benefits that attract new members
Seek additional resources to increase revenues
a. maximize credit card royalties by renegotiating the contract by 3/2002
b. increase endowment growth by continuing to fundraise for private gifts
c. develop merchandise program with exclusive Alumni Association items.
d. research products with broad appeal and set up on-line purchasing
e. seek advertisers to assist in cost of production of Horizons magazine
Establish and develop an Alumni Association Endowment Fund.
Goal V. To recruit and involve qualified board members that represent
the demographics of our alumni.
Establish guidelines and desired characteristics for Board members
Create a succession plan and pool of potential Board members.
Snapshot: Who belongs to the NMU Alumni Association
as of 4/27/2004
Total Members: 3024
Total Addressable Alumni: 40,011
Annual Members 2499
Lifetime members: 525
Out of state 39.6%
By decade of graduation
Arts & Sciences 31%
Professional Studies 28%
Technology & Applied Sciences 5%
First-time members joining the Alumni Association in 2003-2004
Development Fund Activities FY 2004
Banner conversion –
- Nearly 100,000 records with 45 tables of data behind each one.
- No additional staff were added for the conversion, increased workload and overtime for current staff.
- In final test mode, scheduled to go “live” on Monday, May 3
Development Fund Board of Trustees reorganization –
- Created four new committees of the board (Investment, Finance and Audit; Gift Acquisition and Policy; Committee on Trustees; Strategic Planning)
- Developed and approved the first operational budget and an overall development fund budget
- Began process of evaluating and modifying existing policies and guidelines of the Fund
- Wrote a strategic plan to be approved and adopted at May 14, 2004 meeting
- Established new format for recruiting and selecting trustees for the Board
- Reviewing terms limits and criteria for service on the board.
- Due to budget cuts and reorganization, in the last three years the staff of the Development Fund has gone from 11 individuals to 7. There is one AdIT staff person who has been assigned to us during the campaign and the Banner conversion.
- Two positions are currently vacant: the Gifts Officer position which has been empty since October and was frozen for part of that time, and the Director of Development Fund Operations. These are the two full-time positions that have direct responsibility for the cultivation and solicitation of gifts. Goal is to have both positions filled by June.
- Goal to increase fund raising staff from two to five; possibly implementing standard model of assigning a development officer to each college.
Campaign Wrap-Up and Post Campaign –
- During strong economic times, the rule of thumb is to raise twice post-campaign what was raised pre-campaign. In the three years leading up to the campaign, yearly totals were 2.2M, 1.9M and 2.1M. This year without a gifts officer for majority of the year, we raised 2.1 M (includes public broadcasting gifts of 800K)
- There are a few uncommitted gifts that could increase total to 2.5M by the end of the fiscal year.
- An end-of campaign report was compiled for historical reference and to serve as a basis for evaluating timing of the next campaign.
- Strategic plan will guide direction for the next three years. Goals are based upon the overall purposes of a development operation: acquire funds, steward funds and disburse funds.
- An aggressive fund raising effort with quantitative targets will be established by the Development Fund Board of Trustees.
- Will focus on “project campaigns” for the next three years. Possible projects may include:
o Student Leader Fellowship Program endowment 1M
o Lee/Carey Hall renovation to Alumni/Visitor center 8M
o International Experience endowed scholarships 1M
o Washington Center Intern Program endowment 1M
o Reynolds Recital Hall seat naming project 200K
o Student Recognition Program endowment 100K
(other projects may be identified during the three year time period.)
When is the next campaign?
A campaign doesn’t always have to be a comprehensive capital campaign. Some of our peer institutions have chosen not to do comprehensive campaigns, but do an ongoing series of project campaigns.
A successful campaign requires that the following be assembled and managed within a highly structured timeline and framework:
- committed institution and volunteer leadership
- a compelling case for support
- a strategy for identifying major gift prospects
- an appropriately trained staff
- an adequate budget
- infrastructure support
Timing of the quiet phase of the next campaign will be determined through a feasibility study typically done by an outside consultant. The study recommendation should be initiated jointly by the NMU Development Fund Board of Trustees and the President and approved by the NMU Board of Trustees.