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Articles > Building Your Community > 2022 trends for US community relations and advancement

2022 trends for US community relations and advancement

What the Wheeler School, RI, and other community organizations in the US are planning for this year's alumni relations & advancement activities

This year, more alumni communities in the US are able to reunite in person, thanks to the easing of restrictions in most states. What will the impact be on alumni relations in 2022, now that many communities have adapted to engaging through online channels? 

A hybrid approach to events planning to include more international alumni 

Events such as alumni homecoming, reunions, sporting events, and galas / fundraisers are likely to have an element of digital inclusion going forward, to encourage participation from global alumni. Whether it’s a livestream of the event, or separate digital events, the benefits of being able to speak to alumni who cannot travel or do not live locally has been one of the best opportunities to come from COVID for alumni relations teams. AIA Philadelphia, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, is planning a series of workshops over Zoom as well as in-person events to reflect their members’ desires to learn from wherever they are. 

Online communities continue to grow and thrive

During COVID, many people reconnected with their school communities, and online platforms brought people together. The Wheeler School sent out a listening survey to their entire alumni community during COVID, and the feedback that they received about wanting to stay more connected to the school and alumni network led to their first online alumni community being set up, powered by ToucanTech. Since launching in 2021, over 300 alumni have joined their online platform, and registrations are boosted with alumni joining to sign up to events, and to access the photos that are exclusively posted on the site following the event. 

Major donor conversations and fundraising can begin in earnest

During 2020, fundraising for schools took a back seat while many American families dealt with uncertainty about their own income. In 2021, advancement teams began to cautiously reach out again, but in 2022, we can expect school fundraising to prosper again, thanks to the communities built during COVID and the opportunity to create deeper connections online. To ensure sustainable fundraising success, advancement teams should focus on a tailored stewardship approach, using digital channels including email and online community platforms to keep in touch with donors and share updates. 

For school advancement teams, 2022 holds many opportunities to reconnect with alumni and donors both online and in person. Find out who your most engaged supporters are, and tailor engagement opportunities by using an all-in-one system with a connected CRM, database, comms and community platform. To find out more, speak to a member of the ToucanTech team today

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