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Design an Impactful Organizational Alumni Program

Optimize the alumni network through meaningful connections to support strategic objectives.

  • Alumni are not currently thought of as part of the employee lifecycle and organizations often treat alumni initiatives as a side of desk project.
  • Alumni desire a connection with prior employers and understand there is opportunity for mutual benefit, but many alumni groups lack involvement from the organization itself.
  • Additionally, organizations often have difficulty determining program ownership and placement within the broader organizational structure.

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Our Advice

Critical Insight

Organizational alumni programs are more than just an affiliation with a former employer; they’re about building a network that supports strategic objectives related to the talent pipeline, the employer brand, and business growth.

Impact and Result

Design a robust alumni program that encourages the organization to rethink the employee lifecycle and creates mutual benefit for both alumni and the organization.

Design an Impactful Organizational Alumni Program Research & Tools

2. Design the program structure

Identify alumni needs and create an initiative shortlist.

3. Prepare to implement the program

Identify modifications to programs, necessary trainings to support implementation, and develop a communication plan.

Workshop: Design an Impactful Organizational Alumni Program

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Define Program Purpose and Goals

The Purpose

Create a data-driven purpose for the program that can produce observable results.

Key Benefits Achieved

Defined goals for the alumni program including appropriate metrics to measure success.




Review strategic documents and organizational data to identify organizational needs.


Define the purpose of the alumni program and identify target alumni sub-groups.

  • Draft of program purpose statements and identified alumni sub-groups.

Define program goals and metrics.

  • List of program goals and metrics.

Module 2: Draft Program Structure

The Purpose

Establish responsibilities and determine necessary technology that can support the scope of initiative delivery.

Key Benefits Achieved

An alumni directory and program structure has been determined.




Select the level of support provided through the program and governance structure.


Assign stakeholder accountabilities.

  • Stakeholder accountabilities assigned.

Identify implications for technology (e.g. to establish and maintain an alumni directory).

  • Alumni program technology requirements identified.

Module 3: Plan for Program Initiatives

The Purpose

Review what alumni hope to get out of the program to align it with organizational needs.

Key Benefits Achieved

A shortlist of initiatives that will achieve mutual program benefit is created.




Review data on alumni needs.


Identify opportunities to connect alumni needs to program goals.


Create a list of potential alumni program initiatives.

  • List of potential alumni program initiatives.

Module 4: Assess Feasibility and Select Final Initiatives

The Purpose

Produce a final list of initiatives that balances the needs of both the organization and alumni.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A final list of initiatives that have a medium or high positive impact on program goals.




Estimate the feasibly of initiatives and create a shortlist.


Prioritize shortlisted initiatives based on anticipated effort and impact.

  • Final list of prioritized initiatives.

Identify implications for other HR programs (e.g. offboarding).

  • Implications for other HR programs identified.

Module 5: Plan for Implementation

The Purpose

Identify the modifications, training, and communications necessary to support successful implementation of the program.

Key Benefits Achieved

A clearly defined action plan that supports program implementation and ongoing success.




Identify manager training requirements/needs.


Draft high-level plan for internal and external communications.

  • Draft plan for internal and external communications (e.g. alumni calendar).

Create a high-level action plan.

  • HR action and communication plan.

Establish an annual program evaluation and planning process (as time allows).

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Guided Implementation 1: Identify program purpose and select goals
  • Call 1: Identify key stakeholders and discuss strategic documents and available data that will inform the program purpose
  • Call 2: Review program purpose and relevant alumni sub-groups
  • Call 3: Discuss program goals and metrics, including level of program support and budget

Guided Implementation 2: Design the program structure
  • Call 1: Discuss stakeholder accountabilities and identify current alumni interactions
  • Call 2: Assess alumni directory and data collection status and determine HR technology needs
  • Call 3: Review alumni needs and interests and discuss initiative shortlist

Guided Implementation 3: Prepare to implement the program
  • Call 1: Identify modifications to programs and necessary trainings to support implementation
  • Call 2: Review communication plan, including program calendar


  • Rebecca Barker Cedrone, Vice President of Marketing & Enterprise Partnerships, Aluminati
  • Kari Jensen Thomas, Manager of Business Development Training and Alumni Engagement, Faegre Drinker
  • Abby Raanan, Alumni Relations Manager, Faegre Drinker
  • Andrea Legani, Global Head of Alumni Relations, Citi
  • Michael Vodianoi, Research Scientist, Multi-Health Systems Inc. (MHS)
  • Debbie Cohen, Co-Founder & Author, HumanityWorks
  • Kate Roeske-Zummer, Co-Founder & Author, HumanityWorks
  • Judi Johnson, Alumni Manager, EMEA, Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Daniela Martinez, Global Accenture Alumni Lead, Accenture
  • Aluminé Poblete, Global Accenture Alumni Operations Team, Accenture
  • Anna Moreno Damico, Alumni Strategy and Engagement, Global Senior Manager, Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
  • James Sinclair, Founder & Chief Executive, AlumniEX