Alumni, Boards & Communities

The ABC's to building your base

Providing 21st century engagement strategies for the progressive organization

Welcome to Alumni, Boards & Communities a blog & newsletter providing engagement theory, techniques & tactics for building your base.

Beware of the dropoff!

We have all experienced this whether it is with alumni, membership and even boards…the dangerous dropoff! This can happen in the first 3-5 years when a student becomes an alumni, after the 1st year someone becomes a member or even within the first month if expectations are not set. Once someone in your community has dropped off you have to spend double the time to get them reengaged. Here are some tips to catch your community members before they drop off.

1) Create an on-boarding plan- All members of your community require an on-boarding plan. This introduces them to the community, sets the engagement culture and creates a smooth transition into the community.

2) Failure metrics- What are your red flags? In soccer the red flag is given for a game penalty. In your case a penalty is whenever someone is exhibiting a behavior that is outside the expectation. This is a good way to cluster your community because it allows you to see who is active, less engaged and who has dropped off. As important as it is to have success metrics it is equally important to have failure metrics. Without having indicators of when things are not going well you can often become stuck in outcome purgatory with no way to capture the downward slope in engagement until it is too late.

3) Create a smoke signal- Do you have easy ways for your community to share their issues and concerns. What are the smoke signals that you have created that make it easy for your members to say, hey I am having an issue with X, or I really don’t like Y. These smoke signals should be integrated in your programming, services and communications. This is not simply a survey. If you have failure metrics your smoke signal works as an intermediate prior to failure so you can capture issues with dissatisfied community members before it’s too late.

Email me at for a copy of the Metric Tracker to manage your success and failure metrics.