Last fall, the Alumni Association began the most comprehensive strategic review of our operations in our 104-year history. We talked to more than a thousand of you, our alumni, and the great things we heard helped us develop a vision for the future.
We learned that you are very satisfied with our performance. You believe that the Association represents you well, performs a vital role in the Tech community and builds your loyalty to Tech. Seventy-six percent of you said you promote Tech to others “regularly” or “all the time.” Among donors to the Roll Call annual fund, 97 percent plan to donate again or increase your gift. That speaks volumes about the transformational nature of earning a Tech degree.
Another remarkable fact is that our donor retention rate is 90 percent, far outstripping the national average of 41 percent.
The Association’s communications efforts are viewed among alumni as both important and successful. This includes the Alumni Magazine, emails, newsletters, invitations and websites. There is great pride in our magazine—it ranked as the top service we provide to increase your loyalty to Tech—and we’re grateful that you like it.
We benchmarked our alumni relations efforts with peer schools, and the Association outperformed peer alumni associations in almost every category.
As part of our research, we talked to many Institute leaders (most of those we talked to are not Tech alumni), who made comments such as the following:
- “I’ve never seen such a visible and impactful group of alumni at any school including my own two.”
- “I wish I was a Tech alumnus. There’s a bond that spans the generations.”
- “The relationship that Tech enjoys with its alumni is nothing short of extraordinary.”
- “I’ve never been at an institution where the alumni association and the alumni were as tightly woven into the fabric of the life of the university.”
This strategic assessment will help us build a new, sustainable business model for your Association. After four years of budget reductions, we have to either stop doing some of our good work or find a new way to more fully fund the Association. As of this writing, we’re still working through the process with President G. P. “Bud” Peterson and the Georgia Tech Foundation, our primary source of funds.
The most important things we can do to build your loyalty to Tech are things that we do every day: Strengthen the alumni network around the world; provide top-notch career services; be the voice of alumni to Tech and from Tech to alumni; advocate for Tech politically, corporately and through recruiting students and hiring graduates; and provide ways for alumni to interact with Tech from student mentoring to service.
We have been hard at work developing the new vision for the Alumni Association based on all of our research and your invaluable feedback. This vision is summarized in the following chart, created by the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association Board of Trustees, led by Chair Dean Alford, EE 76.
Each of these columns includes a focus area, which we will use to drive our efforts and resources. Our goal is to build great things from the remarkable support that you provide to Georgia Tech. You have affirmed what we do as an organization, and we’re most grateful.
Joseph P. Irwin, IM 80
President & CEO
Georgia Tech Alumni Association