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Zach Rubin, Co-Founder and CEO of Professional Book Club Guru, discusses how a book club can be the key to scalable alumni engagement.

In this episode of fuelling fundraising, Zach Rubin is interviewed by Ed Suchy, discussing how to adapt alumni programs and create a sustainable relations strategy. Read the summary below to learn more about their insightful discussion, or hit play to watch the full episode.


Zach Rubin, Co-Founder and CEO of Professional Book Club Guru, and Executive Director of Alumni Learning Consortium, is based in Maryland, USA. Working to create lifelong learning opportunities, the Professional Book Club has helped colleges, independent schools, library systems and professional development programmes to continue to accelerate online learning, particularly during the last year. 

“This year has changed engagement in a lot of ways, it has risen in almost every community.”

By enabling schools to create their own online learning event through the Online Learning Consortium and providing a key platform for professionals to continue connecting and developing through the Professional Book Club, Rubin has been at the forefront of the digital transformation of education during 2020. 

A book club can be a brilliant way to connect busy alumni and provide easy discussion topics to spark conversation. As Rubin explains, schools can create discussion forums, create engagement through preference polls, and provide online events for alumni to connect and talk in depth, wherever they are in the world. It also provides an excellent way to shine the spotlight on alumni or faculty by showcasing books written by members of your school community. 

“People want to read around a range of subjects; it’s okay to switch things up and take new suggestions.”

During the episode, Rubin explains how setting up a book club can be extremely resource-intensive, which is why the Professional Book Club Guru provides managers to facilitate discussions, help with user technical support and run the program, and how this contributes to engagement and running a successful community.

“The online model enables people who can’t commit to a certain time every week to get involved in a community and engage with others.”

Watch the full episode to find out more about how Rubin and his companies are building scalable alumni engagement with successful results, and providing career development during a critical time for many alumni. 


For more expert insight on development & alumni relations, tune into another Fuelling Fundraising episode


Zach Rubin

Zach Rubin had experience working with more than 150 colleges and universities on online alumni book club programs, so he began getting feedback from other schools on how this idea could work for them. Based on that feedback, development began on a new webinar platform that met the specific needs of alumni associations. University of Maryland and eleven other colleges and universities came together to found the Alumni Learning Consortium whose day to day management is provided by Professional Book Club Guru.

Ultimately, the vision of ALC goes far beyond webinars. The consortium wants to help all of its members to support alumni career development, podcasts, mentorship opportunities and content creation to keep alumni engaged in scaleable ways. Work to support all of these areas is underway with a spirit of innovation to enable better alumni engagement opportunities.

Find out more about the Alumni Learning Consortium and Professional Book Club Guru.

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