The volunteer toolkit is for alumni networks of the Alumni Association. We hope you will find this toolkit useful as a reference for starting and maintaining a network.

Why form a network
Alumni networks exist to provide a tangible link to NC State and to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between the university and its alumni.

Interested in being a regional alumni network volunteer?
If you’re interested in being a volunteer leader in your area, please fill out our Network Volunteer Leader Interest Form.

Questions? Contact Melissa Shampine '07, assistant director of alumni outreach, at 919.515.0530 or melissa_shampine@ncsu.edu.

What Networks Are


Alumni networks connect graduates and friends to NC State by engaging them through events that foster pride and create a lifelong connection to the university. The Alumni Association supports regional networks within the state, across the country and even internationally. Networks provide a community where relationships can grow into strong common bonds. Alumni networks are open to NC State alumni, parents, friends, fans and students.

The purpose of an alumni network is to:

    Help promote NC State pride and traditions.
    Support the mission of both NC State and the Alumni Association.
    Organize events and programs to bring alumni together.
    Increase membership in the Alumni Association.

To build a successful alumni network:

    Make an annual plan — map out your goals for the next year.
    Be prepared, but be flexible.
    Have consistent leadership team meetings/conference calls.
    Allowing alums to volunteer where they have interest.
    Be true to the goals established for your network.
    Stay on target to get information back in a timely manner.
    Ask for advice.
    Be open to new ideas.
    Provide networking opportunities.
    Building relationships — have greeters to make alumni feel welcome.

What Networks Offer


Networks connect alumni to one another based on geographic location. Many networks offer a wide range of programming that includes cultural, academic, athletic and recreational activities.

Events » Each network offers unique events in their area. See what’s coming up on our calendar of events.

Game Watches » Cheer on the Pack in your area with local alumni and friends.

Student Recruiting » Pack Partners are alumni volunteers who participate in various activities to help recruit undergraduate students.

Wolfpack Freshman Welcomes » Welcome incoming freshmen from your area to the Pack.

Volunteer Opportunities » Join NC State alumni in your area to better the community through a service project.

Starting a Network


If you are interested in starting a network in your area, follow the suggested steps below:

   Visit our network page to see if a network already exists in your area.
   Contact us to discuss how many alumni live in your area.
   You will be sent a roster of alumni in your area.
   Find a few other NC State graduates who want to help.
   After you've gathered a few helpers, we'll assist with planning.

Email List Policy


Alumni Association email lists are only to be used by the network leader.

Network leaders may use the list to send out emails to network members to alert them about events and announcements. Check with the Alumni Association to make sure they are not sent the same day as Alumni Association emails. Be conscious of how many emails you send. If we over email people, they’ll stop reading or worse, unsubscribe.

Alumni Association lists should not be used if more than a month old.

Bounce backs and opt outs: We have procedures for handling these in order to keep our database current. Each network should share these returns with the Alumni Association after they send out a correspondence.

New data such as married name, mailing address, email address, phone number, business information, etc. should be collected by the network at events and sent to the Alumni Association to assist in keeping the list up to date.

Creating a Facebook Group


Network Facebook group pages are a great way to find other alumni in your area, publicize events and share news from NC State.

For assistance in setting up a Facebook group page, contact us. You will also want to check with us to make sure a Facebook group page doesn't already exist.

All network Facebook group pages need to have the network’s name and “NC State Alumni Network” in the group title. Reference the NC State Charlotte Alumni Network as an example.

Once your network Facebook group is set up, the Alumni Association will send out an email to your area asking alumni to join.

Why People Volunteer


    Passion for the cause
    Networking opportunities
    Meeting new people
    Getting involved with a group after relocation
    Sense of fulfillment
    Satisfaction—immediate, short and long term
    Recognition, value
    To have fun
    To contribute something
    Sharing an interest with others
    A sense of doing something worthwhile

How to identify interested network volunteers:


    Friends
    Referrals
    Regular attendees at network events
    Surveys

Advice for recruiting:

    Don't be afraid to ask.
    Don't assume that people are too busy.
    Play up the importance and positive impact of the position.
    Present accurately in terms of difficulty and time required.

Who to recruit:

    People who are comfortable working in a committee framework.
    Representatives from diverse backgrounds, experience and ages.

Advice for delegating:

    Delegating tasks and responsibilities will help reduce the workload.
    Check in or follow up with your leadership team.

Event Planning


Successful events require planning! Plan your network’s events as far in advance as possible. Refer to the timeline below for a better understanding of the process. Make sure when selecting a date to check community calendars and to avoid religious holidays.

Four to six weeks from event date:
   Select and confirm location.
   Fill out the event planning form.
   The Alumni Association will post the event on our online calendar.
   If needed, the Alumni Association will set up online registration.
   The Alumni Association will send out an email to alumni in the area.
   Network leader should link to the event page on their Facebook group.

Two weeks from event date:
   The network leader should contact key volunteers and alumni to make sure they received the invite/email and check to see if they can attend.

One week prior to the event RSVP deadline:

   The Alumni Association will send out a reminder email.

Three to five days from event date:
   Contact the Alumni Association to find out registration numbers.
   Determine how many “walk-ups” can be accommodated.

Day of the event:
  Arrive at least 30 minutes early.
  Decorate, test audio/visual equipment and set up registration.
  Greet guests as they arrive.
  Take photos.
  Smile, enjoy yourself and keep an eye out for new volunteers.

After the event:
   Send photos as soon as possible for sharing on social media.

Network Finances


Each network should be self-supporting and operate on a break-even basis. The Alumni Association does not have funds to cover costs associated with network events.

    Charge enough to cover costs or solicit sponsorship.
    Networks cannot maintain independent bank accounts.
    Members of the network are not authorized to sign contracts.
    Check with Alumni Association regarding payment arrangements.

Event Costs


The Alumni Association will accept RSVPs for events when money is collected and then pay any bills incurred by the function. Event costs should be estimated as accurately as possible taking into consideration:

    Cost of reserving the facility
    Food and beverage costs
    AV fees (if required)
    Bar charges  
    Taxes/gratuities

All events need to charge attendees the actual cost for the event. Example, if an event costs $23 per person (including rental fee, gratuity and tax), then the cost per person needs to be $23.

Sustainable Event Checklist


In conjunction with the NC State Sustainability Office, the Alumni Association would like to offer these tips to think about as ways to make your event more sustainable, when possible.

Before the Event


Event Time and Location:
   Choose to hold the event in a location easily accessible by alternative transportation and/or an outdoor location or naturally lit indoor location.

Promote Your Event:
   Utilize digital promotion for the event.
   Include sustainable event efforts in promotional materials.

Purchase or Rent Sustainable Supplies:
   Borrow items to avoid the need to buy or rent them.
   Purchase items that can be reused every year or at other events.
   Purchase items made from recycled content.
   For giveaways, choose experiences or consumable items.
   Buy products locally if possible.
   Support environmentally and socially responsible companies.
   Purchase items in bulk that are not individually packaged.

Food Choices:
   Discuss sustainable food opportunities with caterer and vendors.
   Provide fresh and healthy options on the event menu.
   Provide vegetarian or vegan options.
   Serve local, seasonal and/or organic food at the event.

Reduce Event Waste:

   Create a recycling/waste diversion plan.
   Consider providing reusable or compostable tableware.

Benefit the Community:
   Partner with service or nonprofit organizations.
   Incorporate a service component into the event.
   Include wellness as part of your event.

During and After the Event


   Ensure event sustainability information is provided.
   Offer incentives to attendees or vendors for sustainability.
   Ensure waste, recycling and compost are bagged correctly.
   Donate any extra food to a local food bank or soup kitchen.
   Promote the success of your event sustainability efforts.