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5 predictions for high school alumni relations in 2021

As the world emerges from lockdown, how will alumni relations change for US K-12 schools?

In 2020, alumni relations took on a very different form; there was a distinct lack of in-person events, coupled with a rise in digital engagement across the world. How have high schools been adapting to this change, and what’s on the cards for the rest of 2021? 

1. Careers advice will be an extremely valuable asset for alumni relations teams

With uncertainty clouding many industries, supporting young high school alumni with careers advice will continue to be a key engagement tactic, and a source of real value. It’s likely that careers services will accelerate in their digital capabilities; by enabling inspirational speakers or mentors from across the country to share their insight online, either one-to-one or in careers events, more alumni can benefit from their wisdom.

2. Virtual events are here to stay

As high school graduates jet off across the country - and across the world - many alumni relations teams will be able to maintain a connection with younger alumni through virtual events. These are unlikely to focus on reunion events, instead, hearing from alumni at college or working in exciting industries and networking events will see the greatest levels of engagement with new alumni. 

3. Creating a seamless transition from student to alumni will be an important measure of success

As alumni come to expect a seamless transition of information in their daily lives, so too will this expectation come to alumni relations. Our advice? Get started early, by importing senior year student and parent records to your database and asking senior year students to sign up to your online alumni community before they leave

4. Alumni will be used more frequently as ambassadors for your school

Enabling alumni to become the face of a school by showcasing their achievements is a great tactic and one that will be employed more in the coming years. Therefore, engaging your alumni and encouraging them to keep sharing their stories will prove a worthy return on investment, both for advancement and admissions purposes. 

5. Online communities won’t exist - just ‘communities’

After a year of communicating only online, we will no longer consider a distinction between online communities and ‘real life’ communities, and won’t view connecting online as a separate activity. Accessing alumni news through an app will become as natural and integrated as picking up the phone.

ToucanTech customers are building thriving online communities all over the world. Find out how ToucanTech can support your organisation by speaking to a member of the team.

For more guidance on fundraising, engagement and community management, check out our upcoming webinars or webinars-on-demand

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