Alumni contact information and databases
How do chapters keep track of alumni? How do they keep track of their current information? How do they find information for older alumni?
A database should be maintained on a regular basis. Make changes as Brothers graduate, change addresses/ e-mail addresses, or become deceased. Provide this information to the National Office once a semester. If possible set up a database on your Chapter's website that allows your Alumni to login and edit their own personal information. Whenever you are allowing for unique user IDs and passwords, make sure there is an easy way for them to retrieve or reset this information. If that is not possible, publish your Alumni's contact information so that they can see if they need to update their information with the Chapter.
Alpha Rho Chapter
Alpha Rho maintains an Alumni Database on its website. Alumni are able to add and edit their own personal profiles in order to keep their information up to date. Current undergraduate Brothers, who have profiles on another section of the website, have their profiles moved over to the Alumni section upon graduation. Profiles include contact information, fraternity involvement, interests, and a picture. To protect privacy, contact information is not shown on the viewable profile section of the website, but is stored in a table format accessible on the Brothers Only page of the Alpha Rho website, making it easy for brothers to retrieve the information when needed.
Collecting contact information of members of your chapter and their home or parent's address, while they are still undergraduates is a good practice. While your chapter's members may change addresses frequently in college and after they graduate, their permanent or parent's address is more likely to stay the same.
Locating "Lost Alumni"
When publications are returned because or wrong addresses or alumni are otherwise declared "lost," use the following tips to secure corrections:
Collegiate Alumni Office
- Work with the university/college alumni office. They often have extensive files on alumni and have the personal to help locate lost graduates.
Ask Your Alumni
- Publish the names of all lost alumni in every newsletter. Send the names out to the alumni listserv if the chapter maintains one.
US Post Office
- If the lost brother has a "last known address," check with that local post office to see if he/she has left a forwarding address.
- Use ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED on all correspondence (check with your local post office for particulars of position on envelope, etc.).
Phi Sigma Pi National Headquarters
- Contact the National Headquarters. The National Headquarters maintains address records for every member of the fraternity. These records can be sorted in several different ways: by chapter, class year, geographic area, or alphabetically. Although the address in the national database may not be the current address of the alumnus/a, it may be his/her parents' address. You may also have Alumni who keep in touch with the office but for one reason or another have lost touch with the chapter.
- Facebook will list college networks if the individual used their college or alumni email address to register. This is useful if there are several users with the same or similar names. However it should be noted that Alumni may not have a collegiate alumni email account so this should just be used to narrow down results if someone matches your Alumni's name and your university.
- Look for friends you have in common. If you find several users with the same name as the Alumni you are looking for seeing if any of them are already friends with your Alumni. That is a good sign you have found the right person.
- Facebook email notifications mention who is asking to be your friend or who wrote you a message. Consider setting up a chapter facebook account if you are contacting lost Alumni. They may be more receptive to a message saying Alpha Chapter of Phi Sigma Pi wants to be their friend as opposed to an Alumni Chair whose name they don't recognize.
- Create a facebook group for your chapter's Alumni. Invite your chapter's Alumni Advisors to be Admins of the group so that they can invite other Alumni they are in contact with to join.
- Classmates.com, registration required
- Alpha Lambda had lost contact with one of their founders over a period of about ten years. An optimistic chapter member decided he wanted to find them and bring them back to an upcoming Founder's Day banquet. There was some information that lead the chapter to believe the last location of this Alumni was possibly in the Lancaster area. After doing some simple whitepages search in the area, they had a short list of matching names. One by one they called each person, and sure enough within just a few days of deciding they wanted to find their founder they had tracked him down and convinced him to come to the upcoming Founder's Day celebration. He has since become active with the chapter, attending several events a year and even establishing a chapter scholarship.