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Creating and Executing a Successful Class Agent Program

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How-to-guide for establishing a volunteer driven fundraising program.

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Creating and Executing a Successful Class Agent Program

  1. 1. Creating and Executing a Successful Class Agent Program<br />Lori Wineman<br />wineman@oxy.edu<br />Associate Director of<br /> Annual Giving<br />Occidental College<br />AGPN, Pomona College, March 24, 2011<br />
  2. 2. The new way to stay connected<br />Building relationships<br />Ask volunteers to do more<br />Preparing for capital campaign<br />Peer to peer solicitation is critical<br />Maximizing impact of each reunion year<br />2x fundraising<br />1/3 of alumni fund is from reunion years<br />WHY a Class Agent Program?<br />
  3. 3. <ul><li>Ranked #8 in U.S. News and World Report, Top Liberal Arts Colleges
  4. 4. 2010: Alumni Fund $6.6 million with 53% participation
  5. 5. Reunion increased from 1,500 to 2,500 attendees in 10 years, and increased reunion giving from $1.1 million to more than $2.2 million</li></ul>Carleton College: A Case Study<br />
  6. 6. Occidental College<br />Program launched in August 2010<br />Over 90 Class Agents from 1951+<br />4 staff management<br />Occidental College Program<br />
  7. 7. Before:<br />Small volunteer committees (5-15 / committee) not comparable with each other<br />Inefficient training and oversight<br />Less significant role for the individual<br />After:<br />One Class Agent program shares resources<br />Competition among class years (more comparable)<br />Common training and administration<br />More significant involvement (“leader of college”)<br />Before and After<br />
  8. 8. Staying Connected: The Old Way<br />
  9. 9. Staying Connected: The New Way<br />
  10. 10. Building Relationships<br />Example: 1 staff works with 10 Lead agents and 40 Class Agents, that reach out to 3,000 alumni<br />
  11. 11. How do you get MORE out of your Volunteers?<br />
  12. 12. Give Class Agents ownership<br />Let them set their own goals<br />Give them the tools<br />Set clear expectations<br />Choose dependable volunteers <br />Clearly define their role<br />Give more to them: they give more back<br />Build a relationship so they WANT to give more<br />Get MORE out of your Volunteers<br />
  13. 13. <ul><li>Engage, Educate, Update, Ask
  14. 14. Serve as informed leaders of the institution and engage/re-engage classmates </li></ul>Create class goal and strategy<br />Commit to goal in front of entire program (Oxy) <br />Write their own solicitation letters<br />Make them personal! <br />Ask for targeted gift amounts including leadership level<br />Write personal emails, make phone calls, and send facebook messages to cultivate gifts from classmates.<br />Recruit other Class Agents and successors<br />Class Agent Roles:<br />
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Oversee Annual Solicitations signed by Class Agents <br />Fall: letter<br />Calendar Year End/January lead<br />Fiscal Year End <br />Build relationships with Class Agents<br />Offer basic training<br />Provide updated gift information & tools<br />Show them the big picture<br />Keep Class Agents motivated and energized.<br />Staff Roles:<br />
  17. 17. Online portal:<br />Updated gift information for each Class Agent<br />Custom built by our IT Team<br />Training materials <br />Handbook, binder, expectations and guidelines<br />Institutional updates<br />Emails of what’s happening on campus<br />Talking points<br />Event calendars<br />Important Tools<br />
  18. 18. Seeking:<br />Leaders on campus<br />Consistent donors<br />Passionate<br />Dependable<br />Comfortable fundraising<br />How to get first 50 Class Agents in 4 weeks:<br />Library research + Office of Student Life (6)<br />Personal contact (10 – 1 per class)<br />Lunch meetings or phone call<br />Peer to peer recruiting (50)<br />How to Find the Best Volunteers<br />
  19. 19. Cultivation<br />Lunch meetings and welcome gifts <br />Make it FUN!<br />Overnight summer retreat + workshops<br />Happy hours paid by staff<br />Stewardship <br />Gifts<br /> Ex: Box of dining hall “famous” cookies, tiger hats, school pride ties<br />Volunteer recognition dinner<br />Cultivation and Retention <br />
  20. 20. Oxy “Tiger Trainings”<br />6-hour workshop with all Class Agents<br />Social proof: peer influence<br />Overview of agenda<br />Training and Education<br />
  21. 21.
  22. 22. Most successful events are volunteer driven<br />Increase involvement with the campus and alumni community<br />Regional and local volunteer coordination<br />Agents work closely with Alumni Relations planning committee<br />Events<br />
  23. 23. 2x fundraising in a reunion year from average donor. <br />Capitalizing on Major gifts ($50K+) in reunion year<br />Before Class Agent Program:<br />Reunion Gift Committee<br />Volunteers freshly trained & inexperienced<br />After reunion year, no longer volunteers<br />After:<br />Class Agents represent every class year (1945+)<br />Volunteer retention and growth <br />Leads to: well trained agents maximizing fundraising during their reunion year<br />Reunion Year Impact<br />
  24. 24. Capital Campaign<br />Bring Class Agent program to the next level<br />Involve as many volunteers as possible<br />Committed, talented volunteers available to serve as leaders are essential<br />Class Agents identify, cultivate, and solicit major gifts peer to peer.<br />Increase Annual Fund dollars and capital gifts.<br />
  25. 25. Class Agents:<br />More than 2x gifts<br />Regular giving to <br /> leadership giving<br />Lifetime donors<br />Alumni fund:<br />Increased participation and $$<br />School events & reunions:<br />Exponential rise in attendance<br />Measurable Results<br />
  26. 26. Identify what your institution needs<br />Present to volunteers and board a plan for new Class Agent Program<br />Create a FUN, interesting program overview document for alumni (main recruiting tool)<br />Set common goals<br />Build online tools& training materials<br />Plan first training workshop<br />How to Start<br />
  27. 27. Questions?<br />Lori Wineman<br />Occidental College<br />wineman@oxy.edu<br />