Alumni Mentoring Programs: A Literature Review in 6 Articles

Alumni mentoring was the big buzzphrase in alumni relations and career services in 2016.

But the rise in such programs has some people asking, "What is mentoring anyway?" Is it a Karate Kid-style, one-on-one relationship that the institution has to set up from scratch? Or is it something more organic? What can mentees expect to get out of it, and what should mentors expect to do?

To help answer these and other questions, we picked six articles that cut past the hype and clarify what alumni mentoring programs look like at their best.

Day Late and a Dollar Short: Effective Campaign Preparation for Small Shops

Fundraising at a small institution is a fundamentally different enterprise than fundraising at a large one. Truisms fail and trends aren't always applicable.

That's why Keystone College shared its small-shop advancement strategies at the recent CASE D2 Conference.

Heather A. Schield is Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Frank Ohotnicky is Director of Advancement Services at Keystone. We asked them to reprise their CASE presentation for the Switchboard blog.

How Santa Clara University Hit Their Annual Alumni Engagement Goal in Just 6 Months

Santa Clara University’s Alumni Association set an ambitious alumni engagement goal for their new Switchboard. They wanted to sign 1,000 people up for the platform within a year—a high bar for any new program.

When they reached that goal in just six months, we knew we had to share how they did it.

Their blueprint can be used by any office that is serious about reaching their goals.

How Volunteers Inform Cornell's Advancement Strategy

Let's face it—sometimes managing volunteers can feel like more work than the volunteers are helping your office can get done.

It's important to have a strategy for integrating them into your work, whether you work in alumni relations, advancement, or elsewhere.

Loreal Maguire is Director of Volunteer Programs and Laura DenBow is Senior Director of Volunteer Programs in Cornell's office of alumni affairs. We asked them to share how Cornell integrates alumni into their advancement strategy.