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Articles > Customer Showcases > The Churchie Old Boys' Association reaches 3,200 online members

The Churchie Old Boys' Association reaches 3,200 online members

The Churchie OBA continues to grow their online membership & offers support to their community

The Churchie Old Boys' Association, the alumni network of the Anglican Church Grammar School located in Brisbane, Australia, was formed in 1917 by an initial committee of 11 Old Boys. They wanted to offer support to the school and maintain fellowship amongst the Old Boys, and more than a century later their alumni community is still thriving and offers support to its members and the school through networking and mentoring.

In 2022 they launched an online community, affectionately nicknamed ‘COBweb’ by its members, to make it easier for members to come together and interact. Over 3,200 community members have already joined. Their new platform hosts several opportunities for alumni to engage wherever they are in the world, including a business network, dedicated careers area, and groups to join.

They have since launched a second site with ToucanTech, the Churchie Foundation, which has a focus on fundraising. Having two separate sites makes it easier for Churchie to optimise each for its intended purpose.

Creating opportunities for businesses

The business directory is a great way to find alumni-owned businesses, with listings ranging from financial advisers to film production companies. Any member of the OBA network is welcome to list their business or the business they represent for free, which is an excellent perk to encourage new members to join. They have also received sponsorship for their directory from Old Boy and school community business.

New Viking Wellbeing initiative

The Viking Wellbeing initiative is an emotional health care-service that is accessible to Churchie Old Boys, and indeed the whole Churchie community, to help deal with increasing social and professional pressures.

A confidential counselling service is offered to Churchie Old Boys and their families, and they can can rely on this service to assist overcoming emotional and mental challenges. This is an excellent and important initiative that will no doubt help many members of their community. The Churchie OBA has always been instrumental in creating a sense of belonging amongst its Old Boys to create an incredibly supportive community. The Viking Wellbeing initiative embraces and espouses that philosophy.

Generating content from community members

Alumni are keen to hear updates from both the school and other alumni; their email newsletters reach over 4,200 monthly readers. The team at the Churchie Old Boys' Association were delighted recently to receive a news story submission from one of the Old Boys who shared his success in winning the 2021 National Bionics Innovation Prize. He submitted his article through the 'Share a story' function which was then approved and published by an admin; encouraging community members to share their experiences is a brilliant way to generate content and learn more about them. 

Making it easy to connect

At the heart of their online community are thousands of alumni who want to get back in touch with one another or find new connections, so making it easy to find one another and start discussions is an important role of the platform. Their general forum, where alumni have started to leave well-wishes for alumni competing in sporting events, and to remind members about upcoming reunions, is a great example of this. They have also created several clubs and groups for industry networks, tertiary institutions, locations and year groups, which many members have joined already - the classes of 1991 and 2016 each have over 50 members! These clubs, which can be run by volunteer club admins, make it easy for those with common interests to connect and receive tailored updates.

Contacting their whole community

As well as their online community, ToucanTech offers an easy way for the alumni team to contact their members - both online members and offline - via email. With a 99% opt-in rate to receive comms, the Churchie OBA have shared notices about upcoming events, and used tailored emails to launch their new community. They have also created ‘Viking Spirit’, a monthly e-newsletter, which includes promoting reunions and sharing exciting alumni sports updates, as well as links to new stories on the website to encourage members to log in and read.

With such a historic and engaged alumni community, the opportunities for the Churchie OBA network are endless. They have recently started using their ToucanTech platform to engage their 2021 leavers, with 90% of their graduating class registering for the alumni platform already! Their recent success is indicative of the strong connection that their alumni feel towards their alma mater, and we’re sure they will continue to grow and offer new ways for their members to engage. 

“ToucanTech offers an impressive suite of well-designed interactive features, all in one easy to use customisable online platform. Moving to ToucanTech has enabled us to consolidate multiple digital offerings and strengthen our alumni engagement opportunities for maximum effect. Their industry knowledge, combined with their professional and personable approach, is unparalleled. I thoroughly recommend this wonderfully supportive and responsive team.” 

David Miles, Churchie Old Boys Manager, Anglican Church Grammar School

To find out more about building your own online community, with an integrated CRM, email engine and database, speak to a member of the ToucanTech team.

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