Alumni Relations

Partnership of CollegeNET, Switchboard Aims To Strengthen Alumni Engagement

CollegeNET, a company that provides cloud-based technology to higher education institutions, will partner with Switchboard, an online engagement platform that also focuses on colleges and universities.

CollegeNET focuses on supplying software services that help with prospect and admissions management, tuition processing and alumni development. Switchboard is an online platform that communities can use to connect members. Members can post "asks" and "offers" and comment to each other.

CollegeNET will offer access to Switchboard to its client institutions, giving them a way to create stronger connections to students, alumni and patrons, as an added service. CollegeNET will target institutions that use its online services for donation and registration management.

The hope is that its customers will be able to increase donations among young alumni while fostering economic opportunities by helping students connect with alumni employers.

"Our customers know that, in order to get value in the form of tuition and donations, they must first demonstrate value to their communities," said CollegeNET Vice President of Finance Ed Trachtenbarg. "Our partnership with Switchboard aligns those objectives by building on the strengths of both technical platforms to provide a more comprehensive service."

The arrangement was tested this summer at Reed College, the alma mater of the founders of Switchboard, Mara Zepeda and Sean Learner. Reed students and alumnae who saw the value in Switchboard were asked to make a donation to the college using Contribute.com.

"The test efforts yielded results that helped us reach our donor goal," said Reed College Alumni Relations Director Mike Teskey. "It is important for us that alumni see the connection between the services they value and supporting the college."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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