The Challenge

UCLA wanted to strengthen and reposition its Alumni Affairs program to enhance alignment with University priorities and to engage more effectively with the Department of External Affairs and other internal partners in support of the upcoming Centennial Celebration and Campaign.

Objectives included:

  • Identifying programming opportunities that would advance broad engagement strategies including information-sharing between Alumni Affairs and key University partners
  • Determining the resources required for Alumni Affairs to achieve pertinent External Affairs and University goals in the lead-up to the Centennial Celebration and launch of the new campaign
  • Implementing a disciplined approach to measure alumni engagement

Our Approach

GG+A has worked with UCLA continuously since 1987. In this particular effort, GG+A reviewed the Alumni Affairs program, coordinated a benchmark of peer institutions, and provided recommendations to reposition the program to become more focused on alumni engagement.

We developed a detailed, roadmap for achieving UCLA’s Alumni Affairs goals based on information and insights gained by:

  • Assessing organizational structure, budgets, campus partnerships, processes, programming, engagement metrics, communications, marketing, and the role of the alumni board
  • Analyzing a benchmark study of select peer institutions

 

Key recommendations included redeploying staff to front-line engagement efforts, increasing investment in existing programming, and an increased focus on student and young alumni programs.

Results

UCLA used the Alumni Affairs roadmap to grow and strengthen a fully integrated Advancement team whose early achievements include initiating an alumni diversity program and establishing a career development group. Since completion of the GG+A project, the University has been successful in launching its Centennial Campaign, enhancing alumni engagement and increasing annual giving participation rates.