Case Study: How Pomona College Boosts College Reunion Participation
Pomona College, a distinguished liberal arts institution established in 1887, faced the challenge of boosting alumni participation during its annual alumni weekend. With a competitive landscape for liberal arts colleges and the pivotal role of donations and endowments in sustaining academic excellence, the institution sought innovative ways to fortify connections with its alumni base to help boost future giving.
Although it had organized traditional in-person alumni reunions for many years, Pomona College knew it needed to expand its engagement strategy to foster stronger ties with its alumni community and encourage increased participation, with a goal of fostering school spirit, camaraderie, and philanthropic support.
Recognizing the opportunity allowed by technological integration in modern engagement practices, Pomona College embarked on a strategy to introduce digital platforms to supplement its traditional reunion events. In the 2023 reunion cycle, the college piloted BrightCrowd’s digital reunion memory books to help drive greater engagement among the reunion classes - both with attendees and those that couldn’t be there in person.
The college established four digital books tailored for different reunion milestones, targeting alumni celebrating their 10th, 30th, 35th, and 50th reunions. These digital books gave participants the chance to share memories, reconnect with peers, and gain insights before in-person gatherings. The integration of BrightCrowd facilitated easier reconnections and nostalgic reminiscence, augmenting the college reunion experience and fostering a conducive environment for charitable contributions.
An impressive average of 49% of classmates engaged in the four pilot class books, with nearly 400 completed pages across the digital books. Encouraged by this success, Pomona College opted to integrate BrightCrowd into its ongoing digital engagement initiatives, purchasing a Library Subscription to use BrightCrowd for many alumni events and groups.
For the 2024 Alumni Weekend the college has launched digital books for all 11 milestone reunion classes in November 2023. Although the reunions are still months away, over 500 Pomona alumni have already created their pages in their class memory books.
The utilization of BrightCrowd's digital engagement tools proved instrumental in enhancing alumni participation and fostering meaningful connections among Pomona College's alumni community. The success of this initiative not only strengthened reunion experiences but also contributed to increased philanthropic support for the institution's long-term success.
Contact BrightCrowd today to explore how BrightCrowd's digital engagement solutions can elevate participation rates and support fundraising endeavors at your institution.