The optimal alumni award nomination process

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The Optimal Alumni Award Nomination Process.

At Reviewr we have been blessed to work with thousands of awards in every imaginable industry. Today, we are here to discuss the optimal alumni award nomination process. After a deep dive looking at what works, and what doesn’t, we sat down with Mallory McKenzie from the Georgia State Alumni Association to put together the definitive guide to the optimal alumni award nomination process.

In this webinar we discuss:

  • Creating a simple nomination process to increase nominations.
  • Developing a nominee portion to ensure data accuracy and consistency.
  •  The essential data necessary for a fair and engaging review process.
 
Creating a simple nomination process for the nominator

One consistency amongst alumni associations is, “How can we increase the volume of nominations we receive”. Almost always, the answer is simple, “simplify”. When alumni associations ask for a comprehensive nomination form the nominator will often get overwhelmed and decide not to submit.

What presents a bigger challenge is also their effort levels in comparison to other nominators. While they are submitting out of the goodness of their heart – each nominator will put forth different effort levels. Is it fair to base the entire nominee selection process with such disconnected consistency?

Split the process  with the nomination first.

  • Collect simple peer submitted nominations.
  • Think about keeping it basic. Collect the who, the what, and they why.
  • The lower the barrier to nominate the more nominations will be submitted.
  • What type of unique data can you capture that can be used for long term marketing?
  • Consider an all year nomination process. While you might have dedicated review timelines, keeping the nomination process open all year will promote and increase nominations.
 
Have a dedicated nominee experience

If the nomination process is simplified then how can we ensure that enough data is captured to justify the alumni award selection process? Simple – ask the nominee to submit information.

Why having the nominee submit is ideal.

  • Data accuracy and integrity. 
  • Who knows more about the nominee than themselves?
  • Creates consistency amongst the nominees by eliminating discrepancies between nominators.
  • Builds a personal engagement with alumni with multiple touch-points.
 
Data – where the magic happens

Great, we know that the nomination should be simple and submitted by the nominator and that the bulk of the nomination should be submitted by the nominee themselves, but what data should be captured?

Don’t overthink it – keep it simple.

  • What data will the review committee need during selection? Start here.
  • Remember, the more data requested the higher the barrier to submit. Only capture data that provides value.

The data that provides value

  • The who, the what, the why.
  • Achievements, alumni involvement, unique elements.
  • Multimedia.
    • Consider video nominations and testimonials.
    • Self submitted video introductions.
    • More personal, more engaging for review staff.
    • Powerful data for long term marketing.
  • External resources
    • Links to LinkedIn and articles.
    • Letters of recommendation.
      • Use Reviewers letter of recommendation recipe to automate this process by notifying the writer and providing a link to upload document directly to nominee profile.
  • Consider doing research.
    • Internal staff vetting of nominee. Avoid unpleasant surprises.
    • Alumni staff research about alumni achievements that can be added to the nomination. Think about data captured in alumni database such as donor involvement and volunteer opportunities.

Running an alumni award has many moving pieces, but let’s not over-complicate things. While this list is not the end all be all guide to alumni award nominations, its a good starting point where you can add your own unique twist. Interested in seeing examples of alumni associations that are using Reviewr to power programs like Alumni Recognition Awards or 40 under 40 style events, feel free to drop us a note and connect!

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