By Marissa Blankenship, GenUN Fellow and Ohio State University Student
At the start of the new year, we often find ourselves looking for new beginnings. For UNA campus chapters, the new year allows us to create new opportunities and strengthen a chapter’s reach. As we plan for the road ahead, it can be beneficial to use the road behind us to guide our path.
Who knows our work better than our alumni? For chapters that have been in existence for some time, alumni connections strengthen ties to the community and improve the chapter’s ability to host signature programming. For newer chapters, alumni connections are a wonderful way to recruit members and cultivate a knowledge base for what works and what doesn’t.
Thinking of reaching out to some of your chapter’s alumni? See the list below for helpful suggestions and tips to create a good alumni base.
- Keep membership information updated. When chapter members graduate or move, it’s important to have a way to remain in contact. Always maintain an updated member information database, and be sure to update your profile on the GenUN website by clicking the “settings” button in the bottom right corner.
- Hold events to establish and increase connections - for individuals and for the whole chapter. The more networking opportunities, the better! Hosting alumni career panels holds a dual purpose for your chapter. First, during recruitment, this is a huge draw- if you can offer connections, more people are likely to want to join in the fun. Next, meeting people and establishing connections can help shape members’ vision of how they want to use their passion for UNA to fuel their careers!
- Offer opportunities that also benefit your alumni. Whether it be speaking on a panel, skyping with a government official, or traveling with your organization, it’s important to offer opportunities to your alumni. The more there is to offer, the more chances they will have to be engaged (and more reasons to keep coming back!)
- Remind alumni to join their UNA-USA community chapter. Support for the UN is a lifelong passion! Though you may be leaving college, there is still a place for you with the organization as an active member. Every spring, UNA community chapters welcome recent grads into the fold. Find one near you here.