It’s hard to stand out in the sea of non-profits. We all want to be donors’ favorite charity that they give to without a second thought and show great loyalty. How do we achieve that?
Being a standout non-profit is achieve through the combination of your BIG story and telling that story often. By reminding your community of the emotional connection they have with your organization, you keep them connected and engaged.
This has been the big question that we’ve been exploring here on the blog this month. Today we’re going to take a look a different angle of the question to consider academic development and how to tell your institution’s unique story.
The Challenge of Academic Development
Whether you work at a university, college, private school or primary school, you probably know that academic development is somewhat of a double-edge sword. On one hand you have a natural constituency, which can make acquisition easier. Think alumni, parents and grandparents. Even though your target audience is crystal clear, you still have the challenge of acquisition and retention. This is where your communications play an important role.
Academic development really hinges on tapping into positive student experiences that make alumni nostalgic and proud. You know that you can achieve this through telling stories from various student and alumni perspectives. But, how can we connect alumni to the school’s BIG story in the process of engaging them?
Telling your school’s BIG story is essentially the question, “Who are you?” This is a question that you must have a succinct and compelling answer to because you are constantly answering this question: on your “about page,” through social media, in direct mail, in newsletters, etc.
How to Tell Your School’s Story
If you’re looking to develop your school’s story to make it memorable for your constituents, here are several guiding questions to help you develop it.
- What is the founding story of your institution? Why did the founder(s) think it needed to exist?
- What values and vision have guided your institution over the years?
- There are thousands of schools out there. How is yours different?
- What makes your students and alumni special?
These are just a few questions to help you develop a stronger story for your school.