If you want to build a better booster club, raise more money and boost your high school arts or athletics activity’s success dramatically, you must involve or continue to involve alumni and parents of alumni in your program in significant ways. Too often, alumni and parents of alumni are all but forgotten, and this is a HUGE mistake because many will and want to continue support if they are involved and asked. However, you need to continue to make them feel a part of your program and family, and ask them for their support, ideally before their good memories fade.
Here are several ways that you can continue to involve and cultivate your program alumni as well as their parents.
Feature alumni in your game or performance program, website and newsletter. If you have a game or performance-day program, a website for your program/activity and a mailed or electronic newsletter that your regularly send out to your constituents (all of which you should have), devote a portion of them to featuring alumni and alumni news.
Initiate and host an Annual Hall of Fame Banquet. Host a first-class Hall of Fame Banquet that you will invite all program alumni, parents of program alumni, parents of current program participants and youth parents to every year. Make a big deal about this every year. Distribute, or otherwise make available, nomination forms in a variety of ways. Have your current program participants serve the actual meal and, if appropriate, perform at the event. Schedule the annual hall of fame banquet the day before a major game or performance, and then introduce inductees at this game or performance in a prominent way. Finally, always include two categories of inductees every year: those who were exemplary PERFORMERS and those that were exemplary SERVERS or volunteers, whom are model people for your program today.
Hold an annual homecoming game or incorporate alumni into performances. On the day after your annual Hall of Fame Banquet, consider hosting an annual homecoming game or homecoming performance if you can.
Hold an annual “Homecoming Day” at the game or performance event. After the homecoming day/performance on the day after your Hall of Fame Banquet, you could and should also host an “Homecoming Day” at the game or performance event where program alumni and their parents might get in free or at a reduced rate, receive some sort of game or performance-day giveaway and will be introduced at some prominent point at the actual performance or game.
Ask alumni and alumni parents for annual gifts. Alumni and alumni parents want to be asked for gifts and doing so is a great way – in fact the only way – to grow support for your program substantially year after year. You will also find that those who give will be even more engaged and are likely to continue to give and be major supporters of your cause too.
Organize and formalize an alumni committee on your booster board. This person and the committee he or she recruits should initiate and oversee all activities involving your alumni and alumni parents. By making this a standing position and standard committee of your board and changing your booster club bylaws to reflect this, it will help to assure that the focus of these activities will continue in future years.
Following these simple suggestions will help you to build, sustain and strengthen the bond with alumni and alumni parents, which will continue to benefit your program financially and in many other ways.