5 Reasons to Use a Digital Scrapbook as an Alumni Engagement Platform

May 2023 — By BrightCrowd

Alumni relations departments are constantly bombarded with information about the latest engagement platforms, alumni management software, databases, and applications that provide the solutions to all their alumni engagement and alumni data challenges. It seems simple until universities quickly realize it isn’t. Most alumni engagement platforms require incredible legwork to launch, promote, and then manage, as well as a large financial investment.

Using an online alumni engagement platform can be an excellent way for schools to create a valuable digital network of connected alumni. However, they need a tool that makes engagement attainable within their current capacity and budgets.

That’s why hundreds of educational institutions are turning to digital scrapbooks to achieve their engagement goals. Here are five reasons why every university should follow suit.

1. Requires Minimal Investment

With the current state of the economy, many colleges and universities are looking at how they allocate their financial resources. Are they spending money on initiatives to support future growth and development, or are they using it to fund one-time events or uses? Every dollar matters, especially in times of economic instability, and institutions should selectively invest in alumni engagement efforts that allow them to reach large target audiences with minimal monetary investment.

Schools often turn to in-person gatherings such as networking events, reunions, and happy hours to help alumni connect. Although this type of engagement is an ideal way to forge new meaningful connections, their expenses can quickly add up. Compare the time and money of securing a venue, providing food and drinks, and sending out invitations to that of making a one-time investment into a customizable and interactive alumni platform – the cost of launching a digital scrapbook is a fraction of what the university would spend on a more formal event that often gets lower participation.

2. Reduces Internal Workloads

Maintaining an updated alumni database is a challenging feat. Whether putting together contact reports or creating questionnaires about event attendance or school involvement, alumni departments spend endless hours obtaining, organizing, and analyzing information. Not only does this use up valuable resources in time and energy, but it leaves room for human error.

An alumni engagement platform that takes advantage of a digital network's improved efficiency and efficacy can be a game changer for university alumni departments. With a digital scrapbook, alumni are more likely to provide in-depth quantitative and qualitative data. All of which can help colleges and universities collect valuable information regarding their alumni with little-to-no additional effort.

3. Provides Flexibility to Focus on Targeted Alumni Groups

Targeting large alumni groups may seem cost-effective, but it decreases the chances that a university will achieve its intended goal. Not all alumni connect with their graduating class or even their major the way they do with other affinity groups they sought out and joined while on campus.

Digital scrapbooks allow schools the flexibility to focus on more than just a specific graduating class or school major. With the ability to customize content to multiple affinity groups in schools, alumni are more likely to participate and feel compelled to reconnect with their classmates and alma mater. These deeper connections help expand the impact of alumni relations efforts.

4. Easy to Use

Alumni relations departments have limited resources to spend hours sifting through alumni databases and soliciting donations, and alumni don’t have the time to sit down and fill out arduous information. Using a digital scrapbook as an alumni engagement platform can help solve a handful of these challenges. A successful platform should quickly be up and running while maintaining a smooth transition process. Digital scrapbooks don’t take days or weeks to deploy; they take mere minutes!

Using an account administrator, universities can create a shell of their digital scrapbook and add basic information or questions they wish to be addressed by alumni. Once completed, schools can send out invitations to alumni within a targeted audience, asking them to make their own personal page. In as little as 20 minutes, universities can start collecting valuable alumni data – this couldn’t be easier!

For alumni with limited spare time, digital scrapbooks are a great way to participate in engagement efforts without making a significant commitment. The ability to quickly input their personal information and search for fellow classmates can help them reconnect with their peers and forge lasting relationships. Simplifying the way that alumni connect also helps strengthen school spirit and overall engagement.

5. Expands Participation

A successful engagement strategy obtains valuable alumni contact information, secures volunteers for future events, and forges relationships with potential donors. Every year, colleges and universities spend ample time organizing alumni events that’ll allow them to achieve just that. Whether it’s a class reunion, homecoming celebration, or networking event, schools work tirelessly to help alumni reignite old friendships, expand their personal and professional networks, and become more active within their respective college communities.

Implementing the use of a digital scrapbook can drastically enhance these efforts. Individuals unable to physically attend events can still participate and engage with their alma mater. Using the power of the digital network, schools can expand their target audience to incorporate more affinity groups in schools and alumni with more opportunities.

Use BrightCrowd Digital Scrapbooks to Build a Strong Digital Network of Alumni

BrightCrowd’s digital scrapbook is a simple, cost-effective way to drive alumni engagement. By allowing universities the opportunity to implement unique and interactive communication methods, they can foster a sense of community by having alumni connect with one another and the school itself. Not only does this improve the university's overall image, but it also increases its chances of obtaining the necessary funding.

Request a demo today to learn how BrightCrowd can help your college or university take its digital network to the next level.