Alumni Leaders Resource Center
Alumni leaders are those dedicated Pitt alumni who support the University by planning and coordinating engagement activities for other alumni.
They serve as leaders of Pitt Alumni Clubs, which are non-membership, geographic-based communities and Affinity Councils, which are non-membership alumni groups who share a specific affinity in their relationship with the University of Pittsburgh.
How to Start a Club or Council
A successful club or council requires committed alumni to coordinate and promote engagement activities and recruit and retain other alumni who will do the same. Communication and an eye for sustainability is key!
Step One: Contact a member of the PAA Club & Council Support Staff who will support you every step of the way! The PAA will conduct an alumni engagement survey to help you identify other alumni who may be willing to assist you in forming the club or Affinity Council.
Step Two: Invite local alumni to a planning meeting, either in person or by teleconference. Social gatherings with food and fun are an especially good way to begin forming a group. PAA Club & Council Support Staff are happy to attend this meeting by teleconference or in-person to offer guidance and to connect with everyone!
Step Three: The PAA suggests having a core group of 4-6 Club or Council leaders who are committed to growing and sustaining a community! An ideal group would include:
Coordinate the planning meetings and maintain momentum.
Coordinate development and programming.
Work closely with the PAA Club & Council Support Staff to connect with alumni.
Schedule planning meetings and events for a year in advance.
Create a social media/communications plan to promote events. The PAA will setup your social media accounts and assist you in communicating with alumni (see Promoting Events & Using Social Media to Engage Alumni).
Respond to queries and outreach posted by alumni on social media.
Welcome new alumni and engage them at events.
Invite alumni to join the planning meetings to get them involved.
Maintain E-mail distribution list of engaged alumni and their interests and profession.
Step Four: Start planning and promoting! Club leaders are encouraged to participate in all four Alumni Club Signature Events: Pitt Networking Day, Send-Offs, Game Watches, and Pitt Make a Difference Day. Club and Council leaders are also encouraged to coordinate other engagement activities that are unique to their region or community!
Affinity Councils (Councils) are non-membership alumni groups who share a specific affinity in their relationship with the University of Pittsburgh. They offer diverse, alumni-driven engagements, such as networking events, service projects, mentoring and champion scholarship funds. Council events are unique to your community and maintain ties with each other, campus, students and traditions to maintain their affinity and connection to the University of Pittsburgh.
Club Signature Events
Alumni Club Signature Events represent the multiple perspectives from the University of Pittsburgh. The Student Send Off Events represent our students: Game Watch events represent our athletics; Pitt Make a Difference Day represents service; and Pitt Networking Day represents our alumni around the world.
Student Send-Offs are picnics hosted by alumni clubs to welcome new students to the Pitt family. See the photo gallery from a few of last year’s events.
Volunteers: Contact your local alumni to ask for assistance; setup a planning meeting or send out assignments by email.
Who: Incoming freshman, transfer students, alumni, family and friends in your area are welcome.
When: Between mid-July to mid-August. Please avoid the 2018 “Pitt Start” dates when incoming students will be attending the new student orientations:
June 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 28, and 29
July 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 17, 23, and 24
SUBMIT YOUR EVENT PLAN
Choose your date, time and location ASAP and submit your event information to the Club & Council Event Submission Form.
Postcards: Will be sent to all students and their families.
E-mails: Will be sent to incoming students and one to their parents. Reminder event emails will be sent.
PAA Web Page: A Student Send Off Event directory is listed on the PAA website at http://www.alumni.pitt.edu/students/pitt-sendoffs/. Events will appear as they are submitted.
Event Registration: Found on the PAA website at http://www.alumni.pitt.edu/students/pitt-sendoffs/.
EVENT SPIRIT BOX
Includes event outline, sign-in sheets, photo release signs, decorations, giveaways, name tags, markers, student and parent information. Boxes will be mailed to the host address one week in advance of event.
Display Photo Release Sign at the event check-in table.
Use the hashtag #pittsendoffs and send photos to our Social Media Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Per the University policies and procedures, the PAA will reimburse all hosts $100 per event plus $10 per registrant (students, family members, alums, and guests), up to $1,000.
Receipts for expenses will be required for reimbursement.
Each non-Pitt student guest will be charged $5.00 during the online registration. A family of five or more will be charged $20. Event volunteers do not need to collect any money from guests.
Per University policy, tips of 20% or lower of the total bill will be reimbursed. Anything above that will not be reimbursed.
NOTE: We do not reimburse for alcohol or bartender service. Alcohol is not to be served at events where students are present and should not appear on receipts. If alcohol is listed, we cannot reimburse for that receipt.
The following documents are required to receive a reimbursement. Please submit by September 30th. Reimbursements can take up to 4 weeks because they are processed through the University Payment Processing Office. If you have circumstances that place you in need of a quicker turnaround time, please contact your PAA Club & Affinity Council liaison. Timely and complete submission from the volunteer will provide for quicker turnaround times.
Completed W-9 form
Original itemized event receipts
Receipts must only contain items for the sendoff event, no personal items.
Receipts must show proof of payment, have a zero balance or say “paid.”
Receipts from restaurants must include the itemized and payment receipt with tip and total.
Please consolidate your purchases as much as possible.
Sign-In Sheet to account for number of guests.
SUBMIT REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
The W-9 Form, receipts and sign-in sheet can be submitted through the:
Online reimbursement form
If you’re having trouble setting up your account or cannot access it, please send an email to email@example.com for assistance.
Faxed to the PAA at 412-624-8288
Mailed to the PAA at 140 Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15260.
If you are interested in donating the expenses for the event to the University as a ‘Gift in Kind,’ please contact your PAA Club & Affinity Council liaison.
Game Watches are an opportunity for alumni and friends to gather and support the Panther Athletics.
PLANNING THE GAME WATCHES
Check the basketball schedule and football schedule for up to date game times.
Ensure that the game will be televised with sound.
Select a venue that has easy access to parking or public transportation (Steeler-friendly bars may be a great supporter of Pitt alumni events). Do NOT select a venue that has a minimum spend amount or requires a deposit.
Ask the venue about drink or appetizer specials.
Any food and drinks are paid for by individual alumni.
Submit your event information on the Alumni Club/Affinity Council Activity Submission Form. Let us know if you need a new Spirit Box, which includes pom pons, attendance sheet, and promotional items.
Arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the event/game to set up sign-in sheet and ensure viewing accommodations. After game, please take a picture of the sheet and send to the PA Club & Affinity Council Support Staff.
Post photos on social media and share with the PAA Social Media Manager.
PROMOTING THE GAME WATCHES
The PAA will promote your event to all alumni in your region.
E-mail your alumni network, e.g., a month out, 2 weeks out, 1 week out, 1 day before.
Post to social media.
Pitt Networking Day
Pitt Networking Day provides an opportunity for Pitt alumni in your region to get together and create personal & professional Pitt connections.
PLANNING A PITT NETWORKING DAY EVENT
Select a central venue that has easy access to parking or public transportation.
Do not select a location with a room rental, reservation charge, or minimum charge. Remember that you are driving traffic to this establishment, so they should be happy to have you!
Semi-private spaces often work better than separate rooms, because people have more freedom to move about the room and like having the ability to order drinks directly from the bar.
Submit your event information through the Club & Council Event Submission Form, http://www.alumnionline.pitt.edu/s/1729/2-pittsburgh/index2col.aspx?sid=1729&gid=2&pgid=1357&cid=2409.
Spirit Box will be mailed to host address with sign-in sheets, decorations, giveaways, nametags, markers, and alumni information.
Find out if any drink or appetizer specials can be offered. These events are typically cash bar and should not cost any participant more than their own bill at the end of the event.
Set the event time to what works best for the people in your area. We recommend 1½ - 2 hours. Successful events usually begin between 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM.
A designated host should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the event to set up and ensure all accommodations are in order.
Set-up a registration table and sign-in sheet with the name of club and date. After the event, take a picture of the attendance sheet and E-mail to your PAA Club & Council Support Staff.
Have a great time and take pictures! Post pictures and details on your club’s social media platforms and share with the PAA Social Media Manager.
PROMOTING PITT NETWORKING DAY EVENTS
The PAA will promote your event to all students and alumni in your region.
E-mail your alumni network, e.g., a month out, 2 weeks out, 1 week out, day before).
Post to social media.
Pitt Make a Difference Day
Pitt Make A Difference Day (PMADD) is the University’s largest day of service, engaging students, alumni, staff, and faculty! PMADD, which is usually held in October, is an opportunity for alumni to show their Pitt spirit and serve their communities across the world. Alumni volunteers select the service event for their region, and they can vary from public park cleanups to volunteering at a local food bank.
PLANNING PITT MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY
Reach out to a non-profit organization or volunteer network that offers volunteer opportunities on a regular basis for a short period of time. For example, your local parks department may have clean-up days, you might stock food at a food pantry or shelter or share craft activities and company with nursing home residents. The opportunities are endless!
Submit your event information through the Club & Council Event Submission Form.
Wear your Pitt Spirit wear!
Have fun and take photos to share photos on social media accounts and send to the PAA Social Media Manager.
Take attendance and let your PAA Club & Council Support Staff know who joined you!
PROMOTING PITT MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY
The PAA will promote your event to all students and alumni in your region.
Participants will RSVP through the PAA online registration.
E-mail your alumni network, e.g., a month out, 2 weeks out, 1 week out, 1 day before).
Post to social media.
Panther Basketball Game Watches held at local venues.
Pitt Day in Harrisburg is the annual advocacy day for higher education at the Pennsylvania State Capitol.
Pitt Networking Day is held the first Thursday in June when alumni network and socialize together in their region.
Send-Off local alumni welcome incoming Pitt freshmen.
Panther Football Game Watches held at local venues.
Pitt Make a Difference Day a nation-wide day of service for Pitt alumni, faculty, staff, and students held each October.
Homecoming Alumni Summit for club & council leaders to connect with each other and PAA Staff.
Important Information for Clubs & Councils
The PAA provide event grants to Clubs & Councils with distinctive alumni engagement opportunities promoting the mission and values of the PAA through one of three programming areas:
Athletics, Social, & Celebratory
Career & Networking
The PAA is able to offer 10, $1,500 grants annually. All grant applications must be approved by the PAA Executive Board.
The PAA will approve the Club & Council Event Grant based upon the following criteria:
The Club & Council Event Grant Submission Form must be submitted 3 months in advance of the event to be considered for approval by the PAA Executive Board in conjunction with the quarterly PAA Executive Board meetings.
Preference will be given to UNIQUE events AND/OR THOSE that evolve from year to year to include more timely university representation and alumni inclusion.
Preference will be given to events that integrate multiple Clubs and Councils.
Preference will be given to Clubs that have successfully coordinated the four signature events.
Event viability, timeliness, cost efficiency, and quality and quantity of alumni engagement.
Preference will be given to proposals with actual vendor quotes: detailed information about event logistics, alumni volunteers, and audience expectations.
The club must adequately promote the event via social media and email.
If an approved event is postponed more than 45 days after the original proposed date of the event, the club must notify the PAA, who will have sole discretion to either grant an extension or request the return of its funding.
Promoting Your Event
The PAA will help you promote your Club/Council events and news via social media.
The PAA Club & Council Support Staff will assist you by setting up social media accounts for your new Club/Council so that you can actively promote events and engage alumni.
The PAA will send out promotional emails to all alumni in your region for club events and news.
The Club/Council must adequately and in partnership with the PAA promote the event, via social media and email.
The PAA will include the Online Alumni Registration Form weblink on the Club/Council social media accounts and promotional emails for individual alumni to register directly with the Club/Council. This list may be used by the Club/Council for direct promotion.
The PAA is unable to release any alumni personal identification information to non-University personnel.
RESOURCES FOR USING SOCIAL MEDIA
Clubs & Councils serve as primary ambassadors for the University of Pittsburgh! The PAA would like to recognize your Club or Council’s outstanding service and dedication to strengthening the national Pitt alumni network to “Raise Your Club/Council Banner” at the Homecoming Alumni Summit. All Clubs & Councils will be recognized.
By September 1 of each year, please submit a Raise Your Club/ Council Banner” Form with information about your most distinctive and engaging alumni event or activity.
Club & Affinity Council E-Newsletters
Club & Affinity Council E-Newsletters promotes best practices, highlights events and club and Affinity Council leaders, and shares information about campus life. Contact a PAA Club and Affinity Council support staff member to be added to the mailing list.
Alumni Leaders Monthly Webinars
Alumni Leaders Monthly Webinar facilitates club and Affinity Council leader discussions on best practices and challenges. The webinar is the first Thursday of the month @12:30 p.m. EST (unless otherwise noted).
Join Skype Meeting or phone in at +1 (412) 648-8888, code: 78490862. Contact a PAA Club and Affinity Council support staff member for more information.
Club & Council Advisory Team
The PAA Club & Council Advisory Team represents the interests of Alumni Clubs and Affinity Councils. This group of alumni volunteers will work in conjunction with PAA staff members to develop meaningful programs that will encourage Pitt alumni to engage with their alma mater. The advisory team provides guidance to the PAA staff on matters of alumni engagement and helps to build a culture of alumni leadership. The PAA Club & Council Advisory Team meets twice a year. If interested in participating, please contact a PAA Club & Council Support Staff.
Alumni Homecoming Summit
The Alumni Homecoming Summit is a half-day, morning conference on the Friday of Homecoming Week that provides opportunities for:
Alumni to network with Club & Council Leaders.
Alumni to connect with Pitt Schools, Colleges, and students.
Alumni to learn about being a Pitt champion and ambassador.