A Look Back…

As both a new academic year and a fresh season of alumni engagement opportunities begin, I’ve been reflecting on the successes and lessons of our year that ended June 30, 2013.

Thanks to the passion and generosity of IU alumni, Indiana University and your alumni association had a banner year. I’d like to share a few points with you:

  • Record-setting membership growth. IUAA hit the 58,000-member mark on June 30, resulting in a 10.7 percent revenue increase over FY 2010 and bucking a ten-year trend of declining membership. This means IU has more dues-paying members than could fit in the Memorial Stadium stands and on the football field in Bloomington! Our “Leap Forward” strategy was our roadmap to success, and we’ve set a goal to boost membership by another three percent this year. Our Membership Challenge to our volunteers this year is a significant factor in this goal.
  • “Four and More” for IU Alumni Magazine readers. We launched a redesigned online and print version of the Indiana University Alumni Magazine as part of the “four and more” approach through which print and online content work symbiotically. With the primary purpose of engaging readers and IUAA members in a conversation about IU and its influence in our world, all of the pages of the IU Alumni Magazine drive readers online for “more.” Since the launch of the redesigned magazine, unique visits to the online magazine website have doubled. In addition, this new approach has resulted in a steady 70% of web traffic to the magazine from new visitors — visitors who never previously interacted with the magazine online.
  • IU alumni give generously to support alumni engagement. Begun in late FY2012-13, the “Above and Beyond” fundraising campaign creates an opportunity for alumni to give to the IUAA annual operating fund. As of June 1, the most recent campaign has exceeded the donor goal by 55%, gift goal by 41%, and revenue goal by 6%. We truly thank all of our volunteers who have given this year and the difference you are helping us make every day with your gifts.
  • Alumni are giving the gift of their opinions. The IU Marketing Research team established the Alumni Survey Panel of 1,434 alumni to initially research and test various concepts originally gleaned from the Alumni Attitude Survey conducted in FY2012. The panel is now being used to test other marketing messages. Response rates of over 70% and active promotion of panel participation (80%) have resulted in the extension of the panel through the next year. As a result of feedback from the panel, IUAA creative projects have been eliminated, reworked, or escalated. Participants praise this innovative form of alumni involvement.
  • Your association is earning national acclaim. The work of the IUAA staff has earned recognition from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and University College Designers Association for its work on student engagement, alumni programs, alumni publications, social media, and marketing. In addition, I am the first IU alumni relations executive officer to serve on the board of the prestigious and selective Council of Alumni Association Executives (CAAE).

Last year truly was a banner year for IU alumni from all campuses, schools, and regions of the world. There has been so much to celebrate.

We thank you, our core volunteers who are the vanguard of the IU’s powerful global network of graduates, for your leadership and support. We couldn’t do it without you.

Until next time,




Posted in Notes from J T. Forbes
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