Alumni officers and volunteers met through video link to share experiences and ideas about keeping in touch with former pupils during lockdown.
Topics touched on virtual reunions and events, social media, engaging through archives, mentoring using online systems, and furloughed staff. Some schools stayed in touch with news, some schools were contributing to the coronavirus fight actively – particularly through the production of PPE for local hospitals – or were sharing stories of individual alumni who had achieved great things during the crisis.
We also learnt that many schools have side-lined their capital fundraising, and have started hardship funds, using deposits from parents as a starting point.
George Bunting shared his dynamic ideas for a virtual reunion using YouTube pre-recorded videos, live video links, social media, and other messaging methods. We would very much like to know how you are organising your virtual reunions.
Sadly, we also learnt that alumni and development staff had been, or were being, furloughed. The potential consequences of not engaging with alumni was touched on. It may not easily be able to resume fundraising when times are more settled, and not engaging could negatively impact on the reputation of the school, and alumni mentoring.
Attendees were encouraged to join the AROPS – The Schools’ Alumni Association LinkedIn Group, #AROPS and the Facebook page @SchoolsAlumni UK, and to share stories, ideas, solutions and to offer each other support.
Please contact George Bunting
, AROPS Regional Networking Organiser, with ideas for future meetings, or if you are prepared to host a meeting focused on a specific area of knowledge or experience you may have.