Booster Club Alumni Are a Gold Mine for Fundraising  

One critical part of your booster club’s success is maximizing the size of your audience for fundraising. A great way to do this is by leveraging club alumni. Alumni are a valuable resource for your club.  Most booster clubs do not utilize alumni effectively, so you are not alone in learning about how to tap into this resource. Alumni are a unique resource for your club because they are a defined audience already familiar with what you are doing and passionate about your activity. They feel an extremely close connection with your club up until the point they graduate, and then that feeling gradually fades as they move on to other activities and experiences. This happens naturally if that connection is not actively maintained. However, there is no need for the connection to fade quickly or completely. In fact, most alumni would love to maintain a strong sense of connection with their high school team! Give them that opportunity. Foster a sense of belonging with your alumni group, and they will happily maintain their connection with the team for many years to come.

You should make a point to not only communicate with alumni but seek their support and even lean on them for booster club fundraiser ideas. Here are a few ways you can make the most of your alumni network:

Keep a List

Like most things with a booster club, staying organized with your alumni list is important. Luckily, this is a very easy job to do. Task one person with keeping a list that includes updated contact information and is refreshed every year. 

Adding one more thing to your administrative duties may seem like a burden, but keeping a current alumni list is well worth the effort.

Keeping the list on paper or in a spreadsheet is always an option, but an easier way to streamline the process is through booster club software, like BoosterHub. With such software, you can easily access and organize lists, send communications, and more. BoosterHub allows you to tag each year’s class as each school year begins. It makes it easy to keep track of alumni by adding an “alumni” tag to each of the seniors.

Communicate Updates

When booster club members leave the organization, that doesn’t mean they no longer care about what’s going on. More often than not, alumni appreciate regular updates about what’s going on with the club. Also, consider including information about the alumni themselves: where they are, their careers, families, new cities or states of residence, etc. Make your alumni feel like they are still part of your organization.

It’s a good idea to send a quarterly newsletter to update alumni on the club’s progress and pass along support opportunities. Your newsletter could include things like:

  • Updates from the school
  • Information about current club leadership
  • Showcases featuring the sports team or individual students
  • Photos from the last fundraiser
  • Regular progress reports
  • Communication with alumni does not have to be a one-way street — you can also encourage them to get involved, provide feedback, and send their best booster club fundraising ideas.
  • Information on what alumni are now doing in their new careers and interests

Send Invitations

Alumni may not be active members of the booster club any longer, but that doesn’t mean they want to be excluded. Club alumni should be at the top of the list for fundraiser invites and other events. Events allow alumni to reconnect, meet the new leadership, and hear first-hand updates about how the club is doing. Alumni may not be able to attend most events, but even if they can attend one per year, you can maintain that connection.

Consider customizing your invitations (even if they are digital) so that alumni receive a special invite. You may be surprised by how engaged alumni are and how much they can boost support at your events. Alumni also have connections with other family members, friends, and neighbors who may be interested in becoming part of your organization, so keep tending those indirect connections by reaching out as well.

Ask for Support

Many booster club alumni want to be involved and support the club after they leave, but they won’t necessarily be proactive about it. They are busy navigating their new lives in college or career. That’s OK. They have other things on their mind at the moment. With prompting, they may be delighted to help.

As a current club member, make a point to ask for support from alumni. This approach can include asking for donations, asking for help spreading the word about an event or fundraiser, or asking for booster club membership drive ideas. A personal invitation or a personal request is a golden opportunity to bring an alumni on board and get them involved. Often alumni are not sure if they are welcomed back or even if they are remembered once they leave. Make sure to remind them that they are remembered and valued!

Club alumni want to see the organization succeed, so you are likely to find more than enough helping hands when you need them. Alumni want to feel that they were a part of something that grew to be a successful organization. They want the current organization to succeed! Their time available and their place of residence may not make it conducive for them to visit your game day or event, but make sure they have ways to contribute online, or via video, or social media. Have them send words of encouragement to the team before a big game. Ask them to share your club’s game schedule to their social networks. Ask them to be a big brother or big sister to your current players, giving them info about college and life after high school.

When you are running a booster club, maximizing your reach and your supporters is critical to your success. Engaging alumni is an easy way to find a group of interested supporters. Make it a habit to reach out and keep alumni informed and engaged.