I love this time of year on a college campus. Final exams are coming to an end, and everyone is excited about commencement. Your graduates are excited about their future and what the next chapter of their life will bring. They will most likely be feeling nostalgic for their alma mater and not wanting to let go of the campus they have called home for the past 4 (or more) years.
So don’t let them fully leave — keep them connected by providing your graduates with an Alumni OneCard. Now, you may be thinking that it is costly to issue a new card to each graduate. And while there is a cost to issuing a new card, there are many benefits to the campus that can be reaped through Alumni campus card distribution.
1. Keeps them connected. By providing an Alumni OneCard, the graduate still feels connected to the campus. This means they may continue to attend athletic or cultural events. Many of these events may have a charge, and an increase in attendance can equal an increase in revenue.
2. Marketing. To obtain the Alumni OneCard, perhaps the new graduate needs to apply for the card. As part of that application, they agree to receive emails or other marketing materials from the campus. This can help increase awareness of what is happening on campus by the Alumni cardholder and can increase attendance to events. Keep them connected to the Alumni community and ongoing campus news.
3. Specialty card. Just because you are issuing a card to Alumni does not mean that the card has to be free. Perhaps your campus can charge $5 or $10 for a specialty Alumni OneCard that allows the cardholder to still use it to make purchases on campus from the bookstore, dining facilities, or at the stadium concession stand. A percentage of that card fee can go to the card office, and maybe a percentage can be used for scholarship funds.
4. Extend benefits. By providing an Alumni OneCard, your campus has the opportunity to extend benefits to that cardholder. Perhaps you continue to allow them to use the recreation or swim center or even use computer labs on campus. Of course, some of these services can be for a fee, allowing these areas to increase revenue through memberships offered to Alumni. Require that they have the Alumni OneCard to gain access to these benefits, which increases the value of the card to the cardholder. It allows you to offer special services to those with the Alumni OneCard, such as a special seating area at your games or reduced ticket prices to increase attendance. You may also offer other special deals to entice Alumni cardholders to make purchases.
5. Development. One of the biggest benefits to the campus, though, can be in the area of development. Most campuses will look for funding or donations from their Alumni. The person who feels more connected to the campus is more likely to continue giving to the campus. Issuing an Alumni OneCard can help make that recent graduate feel connected. Providing benefits to Alumni through the card continues to make that cardholder feel connected to the campus, therefore they are more likely to contribute to your development campaigns. This can make a huge difference and can be worth the expense of issuing a new card to Alumni either as a standard or upon request.
Issuing a card to a graduate with a designation of Alumni on it may seem like a small thing, but it can make a big impact with assisting your campus in having continual growth to the community.