Alumni Association Strategic Plan 2021 - 2026
The ESF Alumni Association exists to engage, connect, and support alumni, students, and the College community.
Adopted by the Alumni Association Board of Directors January 13, 2021
The ESF Alumni Association will become, and remain, an intrinsic component of the overall mission and direction of the College.
Adopted by the Alumni Association Board of Directors January 13, 2021
Base Planning Assumptions
Board members made minimal changes to the base planning assumptions. The updates are below.
- The Association will coordinate its goals and strategies with the College’s strategic plan.
- The Association’s strategic plan must be approved by the Alumni Board.
- The Strategic Planning Committee will create a yearly action plan based on the five-year strategic plan and the Institutional Goals established by SUNY ESF. The annual action plan will be presented at the Executive Committee for review and amendment and then submitted to the Board for approval at the June Board meeting.
- The planning process will engage the alumni and college community (faculty, staff, and students) as appropriate.
- Up-to-date demographic data on alumni will provide base support for planning activities.
- The Alumni Association administrative staffing will reflect the needs of the Alumni Office and the financial capabilities of the Association.
- The Alumni Association represents the diversity of the ESF community.
- The Alumni Association will be fiscally responsible when setting goals within the Strategic Plan.
- The Association will raise operating funds via dues and/or other means. It will also continue to encourage charitable contributions from the alumni population for the College. All of this will be done in cooperation and coordination with the College Foundation.
- As challenges or opportunities arise, this plan may be revised with approval of the Alumni Board.
2021 - 2026 Goals
With a focus on keeping the goals general, board members made the following updates.
- Remain financially sound.
- Advance the philanthropic goals of the College.
- Increase the visibility of the Alumni Association.
- Engage, recognize, and support alumni.
- Engage, recognize, and support students.
- Strengthen Alumni Association relations with faculty and staff.
- Sustain an actively involved and diverse Alumni Board.
- Promote and participate in the sustainability efforts of the College community.
It was also noted that committees should be goal-oriented with specific goal assignments and that the Association should assign academic department liaisons from the Board.
In order to function independently, the Association must be conservative in its spending plan and innovative in its income generation.
- Dues are critical to remaining financially sound and must reflect the cost of doing business.
- The Board will have a target of 2% annual increase in the number of dues paying members, until it is deemed that target needs to be increased or decreased accordingly.
- In order to monitor the Association's Reserve Account, the investment results of the College Foundation will be reviewed semiannually at Board Meetings.
- The Association will review and investigate other revenue sources such as Bookstore and related revenue and cost-sharing initiatives with other offices on campus.
- The operation of the physical Bookstore and Virtual Bookstore shall be reviewed annually including a review of income, expenses and inventory.
- The Association shall review and make recommendations for use of the funds in the Association's Reserve Account.
- The Alumni Association will do a cost/benefit analysis of alumni events on an annual basis.
The Alumni Association's primary responsibility is the development of alumni relations as a means of keeping alumni connected and involved with the College and the advancement of College priorities.
- Ensure communication between the Office of Alumni Relations and the Development office, through participation in monthly meetings and joint participation in their respective functions and other activities.
- Increase the awareness of the alumni about the purpose of the College Foundation and its activities through active promotion of the goals and strategies of the Foundation and of the College.
- The Association will, in cooperation with the Foundation, seek and share in gifts and bequests from alumni who feel a great affection for the Alumni Association and/or the College.
- The Association will work with the Development Office to develop events that support various fund-raising efforts and encourage alumni participation.
- Ensure communication between the College Executive Cabinet and the Alumni Association Executive Committee and Alumni Board through the participation of a chosen representative of the College President in monthly Alumni Association Meetings.
- The Association will assist the Admissions Office in recruitment and retention efforts.
The Association must continue to make its existence known to students, faculty, the College community, the local community and to alumni worldwide in order to continue to grow membership in the organization which supplements the Alumni Association annual budget.
- Periodically survey the alumni regarding the visibility and value of the Alumni Association.
- Communicate with students about the Alumni Association during their college career and expand upon what is available to alumni through the Association.
- Continue to expand the use of the Alumni Relations website, e-mail and social media to provide information to alumni about the College and Association activities.
- Evaluate the ESF Magazine and E-News annually for improvements and changes.
- Engage in on-campus and off-campus activities to connect with all facets of the alumni body to increase the visibility of the Alumni Association.
An active and engaged alumni population is essential to the continued success of the Association and, in turn, the College. Recognition of these alumni will serve to enhance their connection to the College as well as spread a positive message about the institution and our alumni.
- Increase alumni recognition in electronic and print media.
- Continue the existing Alumni Awards Programs: the Graduates of Distinction and the Alumni Association Outstanding Service Award.
- Encourage alumni to participate in College and Alumni Association events and initiatives.
- Engage alumni through social media.
- Engage and recognize alumni through alumni virtual presentations.
- Continue to have alumni assist in student recruitment as guest speakers at College recruitment receptions, and as active recruiters in their own localities.
Building alumni relations should begin with our current students; by fostering these relationships we ensure active participation in future years.
- Continue to award alumni scholarships.
- Investigate student-run programs and events that the Alumni Association could sponsor or co-sponsor.
- Collaborate with the Office of Student Affairs, Career Services and student organizations to determine if events, or other opportunities, could be co-sponsored or otherwise involve the Alumni Association and our alumni.
- Continue to sponsor events to engage the students.
- Provide current students the opportunity to interact with the alumni and the Association.
- Work with faculty and others to use alumni as educators and mentors.
- Explore and implement means of highlighting student achievements to alumni.
- Demonstrate to students the value that the Alumni Association brings.
- Develop a connection between the Alumni Board and the individual departments.
- Engage with individual faculty and staff to advance their program/research.
- Recognize those faculty/staff that are graduates of the College.
In order for the Alumni Association to remain strong and viable, we must rely on the assistance of active alumni volunteers.
- Increase the interactions of the full Board to ensure active participation by all members.
- Educate new board members on the workings of the Association and the Alumni Board.
- Challenge Board Members and other College officials to encourage alumni involvement in the Association activities and to identify potential leaders.
- Implement board trainings and encourage participation in college-wide diversity initiatives in an effort to promote cultural awareness.
As representatives of the alumni body and a reflection of the ideals of the College, the Alumni Association must make every effort to operate in a manner that is both efficient and sustainable.
- Create a pathway to hosting sustainable on-campus events.
- Explore sustainability practices for off-campus events.
- Serve as a sustainability resource for alumni.
- Incorporate sustainable business practices for the ESF College Bookstore and the Association.