Moi University in western Kenya had a small advancement team working in fundraising and alumni relations when they attended a CASE conference in Cape Town, South Africa in 2012. It was there that Moi Chairman of Alumni Relations at the university, Mr. Andrew Maoga and his team decided they wanted to become “one of the best advancement offices.” They gathered ideas from other universities at the conference and also asked University of Michigan State representatives and CASE staff to mentor them and help them establish and benchmark best practices.
With the Vice Chancellor’s support and engagement, Mr. Maoga first met with all the Deans, educating and informing them about what advancement means to the university and asking each Dean to appoint a representative to the University’s Alumni Committee.
Each College identified their specific fundraising needs and goals. With the guidance and support of the Alumni Relations office, they organized and implemented small, easy-to-achieve fundraising activities. These individual successes allowed each college to meet their unique needs and built a culture of philanthropy by also being part of the university’s alumni relations group.
University-wide “first project”
The Deans and Mr. Maoga’s office agreed that refurbishing the library chairs and imbedding the university logo on each chair would be an impactful way to strengthen the university “brand” with students while studying and then, again, when they sat in these same chairs during graduation ceremonies. An appeal to alumni for support was successful and the Alumni Relations officer was given dedicated time during commencement to talk about the importance alumni have in continuing to support the university. Graduates were literally sitting on an example of how alumni support contributed to the university.
The “library chairs” success inspired a program of benches and tables, branded with the university logo, located throughout the campus that are funded and named after alumni donors.
The Vice Chancellor also now allows time at his convocation for the alumni relations office to talk with first year students about the merits on their continued life-long association with the university.
Building the university “brand”
The Alumni Relations office established a retail shop of shirts, cups and other merchandise all branded with the University’s colors and logo. A system was established that encouraged Deans and staff to use these items while students were encouraged to purchase t-shirts and other items to show their pride. Alumni began seeing these items and started their own purchases to wear university-branded clothing and pins at their businesses and in their communities.
Regional alumni meetings
The University now schedules regular alumni meetings located in various regions throughout Kenya. Deans and staff attend wearing university shirts and sharing program results and projects needing support from alumni.
With thanks to Andrew Maoga, Former Chairman, Moi University Alumni Association