"The more involved your constituents are, the more loyal they are to your organization and so the more they want to give back or be a part of that progression."
- Heather Durkin, Germantown Academy

More than a Resume Builder…Making Giving Meaningful to Students with Heather Durkin

Session 12

We’ve heard from leaders in alumni relations for multiple universities, but what about high school? Heather Durkin, director of alumni relations for Germantown Academy, a private K-12 school, joins Beth this week to talk about building a strong tie to a school before college. Durkin works to strengthen relationships between the students and the school while they are on campus so that they understand the importance of giving back before they even graduate. She tells Beth about the Academy Club, a student-elected organization that prepares students for a lifelong commitment to the school. Durkin talks about the benefits of using both social media and one-on-one communication, which can relate to any organization.

They discuss:

  • The benefits of having communications, marketing and fundraising departments all working together
  • What kind of outreach is best for communicating with students, one-to-one or social media—or something else?
  • How to reach more people when social media is constantly evolving
  • Why creating a strong relationship with members early on will be beneficial even just a few years later
  • What ways can you encourage giving as a means of saying “thank you”?
  • How focusing on a specific message can increase participation 50% or more

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