Many alumni associations are funded primarily by dollars raised from various forms of memberships. Yet many institutions are rethinking this structure, given the accessibility of social networks and competition for dollars from advancement initiatives, and the tremendous opportunities in crowdfunding. Institutions are challenged to provide the right mix of benefits that make paying for a membership an easy choice for alumni. But what about stakeholders that aren’t alumni, or donors who aren’t members? Similarly, universities with robust regional programs are challenged to make events well attended and accessible to all while keeping event costs down. In this episode of Advancement Live, host Ryan Catherwood explores these concepts and more with an all-star lineup from 360Alumni, UCLA and U.Va.


Episode Host

Ryan Catherwood

Ryan Catherwood

Ryan Catherwood is the Assistant VP for Alumni and Career Services at Longwood University. Prior to joining Longwood, he was the Director of Digital Strategy in the University Advancement office at the University of Virginia. His work is dedicated to strategies that utilize events, crowdsourcing, inbound and content marketing, email marketing and social media community management in order to drive alumni and student engagement, participation, connections, networking, volunteerism and giving at Longwood University.


Christina Balotescu

Founder and CEO of 360Alumni, a private label engagement and fundraising platform for higher education.


Natalee Ellars

Senior Director of Alumni Marketing and Membership at UCLA


Elizabeth Muse

Director of UVaClubs and Cavalier Admission Volunteer Network in the University Advancement office at U.Va.

  • Jordan

    This is a great blog for university alumni staying together via the internet. You are right and some universities are changing their alumni networks by having free sites as well so that you can enjoy some level of alumni connection without having to pay the yearly/lifetime alumni fee.

    I just can’t stomach paying for an alumni fee right now after graduating and having to pay student loans. Actually, I’m going about it quite the opposite way. I’m giving back and helping students from the university that I graduated from by tutoring students via I earn a little extra money each month by tutoring students in the same degree as me. It’s actually quite easy and interesting.