Memories of bright college years may draw alumni together from time to time, but how do you keep them engaged? How do you get them to volunteer? How do you cultivate volunteer leaders?
During the aughts, I had been an active volunteer in my college alumni association – involved, if you will, in the alumni community of class and club. However, between 2010 and 2017, I became immersed … immersed in the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (also known as YaleGALE). This service initiative aspired to share learned experiences and best community-building practices among alumni volunteers throughout the world. It did so via international conferences and exchanges, in cross-cultural settings.
But what may have started as a sharing of volunteer “war stories” became a loose collection of case studies, a portmanteau of hard-won knowledge. After years of collaboratively researching, developing, and articulating this source material, it became apparent that while such knowledge may be essential to the success of volunteer organizations, its transcription and accumulation are not usually central to their mission – and may even be distracting.
One result of these efforts at distillation was The YaleGALE Guide to Alumni Relations and Volunteer Engagement, available in ebook or paperback on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/YaleGALE-Guide-Relations-Volunteer-Engagement/dp/152338574X/.
Some of the thoughts on how university architecture influences alumni community, that were presented in The Guide, are illustrated in Places, an illustrated book of recollections of the Yale Campus by the Class of 1970, available in pdf.
Another distillation was Travels with YaleGALE, a compilation of 10 years of YaleGALE newsletters, available in Epub format (click to download).
Zoom Reunions presents lessons from the award-winning Yale Class of 1970 online reunion activities of May 2020. It’s available as a paperback or ebook from Amazon: https://bit.ly/ZoomReunions.