Jesus College, Oxford

Turl Street, Oxford OX1 3DW
Telephone (01865) 279700
Email enquiries@jesus.ox.ac.uk

Creating an Alumni Group

There is no set pattern for what should constitute an alumni group. They can come in all shapes and sizes, from regional social gatherings, to business networking, to groups based around a shared passion for a certain sport. If there are alumni who are interested in creating a structured way to connect with similar alumni, the Development Office is keen to offer its support to allow them do so.  

It is important that each alumni group is free to come together in a way that best suits its members; however, there are some basic things which we feel it would be useful for all groups to consider when starting out.

Get in touch

The first thing you should do when considering creating an alumni group is to contact the Development Office. We usually ask for at least one old member to act as the contact point between the College and any new alumni group.  If you feel that you would be willing to take on that role, please get in touch and we will be delighted to talk through some of the basic first steps of creating a group.

Attracting new members

Once you have decided to create an alumni group, the most important thing that you will need is fellow members.

The Development Office can help to identify relevant alumni for you to get in contact with and once an agreed list has been created, we can then help to send out a recruitment mailing, either by post or in most cases by email. Alumni can then reply directly to the new Group.

The Development Office can also create a dedicated page on the College’s website for the Group to list contact details, news and forthcoming events. This page will be listed with other on the College’s website and should attract new members to the Group.

Some of our alumni groups have created their own websites, such as the Jesus Old Members’ Group (XL Network) website. The Development Office can offer guidance and support to alumni in creating their own website.

Many of our current groups also choose to set up profiles on social media sites. This is a highly effective way of engaging new members and keeping existing members up to date on events. If you would like support in creating a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account for your group, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Finally, the Development Office is in touch with almost 6000 alumni, sending out a range of print and online communications on a regular basis. Alumni groups have the opportunity to be featured in these communications.

Storing Members Data

Once you have attracted new members to your group you will need a safe and effective way to keep record of group membership.

Before the College releases any personal information to alumni groups, we will require those with access to the data to sign a data protection agreement.

In storing and using this data it is then highly important to ensure that information is held securely and that access to it is limited to relevant persons only. You will need to ensure that you use a password on your computer or a use secure filing cabinet for hard copy records. If you are in the UK you adhere to the UK Data Protection Act.

It is also important not to share personal data with third parties.

Organising Events

The main function of alumni groups is to organise events for its members. The nature of these events will very much depend on the nature of the group; however, alumni may find this events checklist useful in preparing for events.

The Development Office can also offer a range of support in organising events. We can help with securing venues and catering for events and can help to secure speakers for events.

Group finances

Alumni groups will be financially independent of the College and so it is up each group to choose how they manage their finances. Groups could charge an annual membership fee or a one-off joining fee to members; alternatively groups could simply add a small amount to the cost of every event ticket price.

It is import ant to keep a clear record of the group’s finances.

Annual General Meetings

The decision as to whether or not to hold an Annual General Meeting very much depends on the make-up of each alumni group. The Development Office recommends that alumni groups hold an AGM in order to update all members on the group’s activities and its plans for the upcoming year. Holding an AGM may not be either practical or appropriate for all groups and so the decision should be taken by the group’s members.

Many of our existing groups choose to combine their AGMs with a social event.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Development Office