Regional alumni chapters provide Binghamton University alumni with opportunities to connect close to where they live and work. Affinity groups bring our alumni together based on a shared interest (e.g., student organization, professional industry).
We appreciate your interest in supporting our University as the leader of a regional chapter or affinity group. Below, we provide general guidelines on what the leadership role entails, what support is available from the Alumni Association, and how to successfully plan programs.
Regional chapter and affinity group leaders must be willing to have their name and contact information posted on the Alumni Association website, participate in leadership training provided by the alumni office, spread the word about the group's programs and activities, and actively communicate with the alumni engagement staff.
- The group must promote the interests and mission of Binghamton University, our alumni and the Alumni Association.
- The prospective group should have a base of at least 250 alumni (either living within 60 miles of the chapter location, or affiliating with the affinity group).
- Each year, the group must organize at least one event or program that is social, educational or career-oriented.
- Your group must have a defined leader or leadership committee.
- Chapters and affinity groups are encouraged to organize an annual Alumni Global Day of Service project. Affinity groups should participate in Homecoming each year, and organize a reunion every five years.
- An affinity group should have an active relationship with a University department in addition to the Office of Alumni Engagement.
- On-boarding call or meeting to discuss the steps needed to launch your chapter or affinity group, identify potential leaders or planning committee members, develop a timeline for your first event, and craft a social media strategy.
- Provide aggregate demographic data for your region or affinity group. The Alumni Engagement office will not provide contact lists or e-mail databases.
- Send messaging on behalf of the chapter or affinity group. In most cases, e-mail is preferred; however, for unique or significant events, a printed invitation can be requested. The Alumni Engagement office will handle the design and delivery of all approved messages.
- The Alumni Association website is a comprehensive resource listing contact information for all regional chapters and affinity groups, as well as an event schedule.
- The Alumni Engagement office will provide a chapter logo. Affinity groups can request a logo or use one of their own with University approval.
- Accept reservations and payments for approved events/programs via an online registration process. RSVPs are also accepted by phone and in person. Credit cards, checks and cash are all accepted.
- An Alumni Engagement staff person may attend chapter/affinity group events and our staff members are always available by phone to help with event ideas, planning and attendance and strategy decisions.
- Supplies for events will be provided as appropriate (e.g., signage/banners, raffle items or giveaways, name tags, printed materials).
- Chapters or affinity groups must be approved by the Alumni Engagement office, and will be largely volunteer-driven.
- Because the Alumni Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, chapters and affinity groups cannot engage in any political activity, such as attempting to influence legislation or supporting any candidates for elected office.
- The Binghamton University Foundation owns the alumni database and forbids its use for any non-University purpose. Alumni names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers and other information may not be used for private commercial purposes.
- Print and online communications must meet standards of professionalism, and are subject to review and approval by the Alumni Engagement office.
- Chapters and affinity groups may not create and maintain their own websites. Approved chapters and affinity groups will be listed on the Alumni Association website.
- Alumni may not speak to the media on behalf of the University or Alumni Association without the consent of the Executive Director of Alumni Engagement or a designee.
- If any Alumni Association bylaw or policy is not followed, we reserve the right to take appropriate action, including termination of a chapter or affinity group, or withdrawal of event support.
- The alumni office allocates funds for approved programs. Funding requests must be received at least two months prior to an event.
- Typical costs include printing and mailing invitations, food, venue costs and ticketing. Monetary support will be provided on a case-by-case basis.
- Chapters or affinity groups are expected to charge a fee to attend events. A good faith effort must be made for events to break even.
- Sponsor support can offset event expenses.
- Only Alumni Engagement office staff members are authorized to sign contracts prior to an event.
- You are not expected to personally pay for any event expenses. With prior approval, certain pre-paid expenses can be reimbursed provided that proper receipts are submitted.
- Chapter or affinity groups are not permitted to maintain financial accounts, charge dues or conduct fundraising raffles. Any ventures to raise funds for a specific purpose must be discussed with alumni and development staff, and follow the policies established by the Binghamton University Foundation.
Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are fabulous tools for engaging alumni globally and, when leveraged effectively, they can serve as forums to engage graduates within specific geographic regions or those who are connected to a particular affinity group. Prior to the launch of your group, we'll connect you with Carolyn Bernardo, our alumni engagement social media coordinator, to discuss a social media presence and strategy for your chapter or affinity group.
Groups should plan diverse programming to accommodate the needs and tastes of their audiences. Events should have a definite purpose and appeal to alumni. Planning should occur as far in advance as possible, typically eight weeks prior. Dates must be approved by the Alumni Engagement office to avoid conflicts with other events. Be sensitive to religious occasions and other special days of celebration. Weekends and weekdays vary in success from area to area.
The Alumni Engagement office will design, print and mail all invitations and correspondence. An e-mail message, generated by the office, can be sent to target alumni before an event occurs. The Alumni Engagement office will also post events on the Alumni Association website and social media sites.