Top 3 tips for Engaging with Alumni through Corporate Social Responsibility
It comes as no surprise that some of the world’s largest and most successful organizations are embracing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within their company culture. But, have you considered how these efforts can be utilized towards furthering engagement with your alumni? Discovering fresh approaches for ensuring alumni engagement is always valuable, and utilizing CSR is one angle not to be overlooked! We recently hosted an alumni leaders event in NYC where alumni leaders from legal, consulting, accounting, and technology firms came together to discuss alumni management as a whole, but one of the most interesting parts of the event was the lively round table discussion on CSR. As a result, we were able to identify our top 3 tips for engaging with alumni through Corporate Social Responsibility.
“Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a business approach that contributes to sustainable development by delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for all the stakeholders.”
-The Financial Times
1. Involve Alumni in Volunteering
In this day and age, people are seeking businesses that are contributing to something beyond their bottom line and volunteering is a great way to do so. Whether your organization is already involved in volunteering opportunities, or if it’s a new initiative, why not reach out to your alumni for participation as well? Inviting alumni to join volunteering events is an inexpensive alternative to a typical “wine & dine” alumni gathering. Additionally, attendees will leave with a great sense of accomplishment and a positive outlook towards your company and their focus on being socially conscious.
2. Invite Alumni to Participate in Pro bono/ Public Service Activities
Organizations and people are oftentimes in need of specialized skills but are unable to afford the professionals or resources required. Organizing events where alumni and employees are able to lend a helping hand to those in need can be an extremely valuable activity. Whether your alumni offer career advice or provide a service at a discount or without payment altogether, the outcome will surely generate positive brand exposure and an overall positive feeling among those who participate.
“91% of global consumers expect companies to do more than make a profit, but also operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues.”
-Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study
3. Allow Alumni to Share CSR Opportunities
Although alumni may not be participating in your organization’s CSR efforts (yet), it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not contributing elsewhere. Oftentimes, alumni are working on their own CSR initiatives through their new employer, so why not allow them to share these interesting opportunities within your alumni network? Much like an alumni spotlight, allowing alumni to share CSR events or activities only reflects positively on your company and can be a great way to build links between your company, your alumni, and your community.
The ultimate goal of an alumni program is to drive employer branding, re-hiring, and/or business development. Advocating to be socially responsible is an effective way to achieve these goals. Not only will companies increase their employer branding through CSR, but they will also create extremely valuable touch points with their alumni, which could lead to a sparked interest in rejoining the firm or high-quality referrals. After all, companies that take an active role in promoting CSR activities are generally viewed more favorably than those that do not. So, why not embrace the feel-good CSR initiatives together with your alumni?
For more information on how to engage with your alumni through CSR initiatives, feel free to contact us. We will be more than happy to discuss this topic further with you. If you are considering implementing a formal corporate alumni platform, check out our high-tech, end-to-end alumni relationship management solution here.