events across 19 locations
With a current alumni strength of over 9,000, QuestBridge is a national nonprofit based in Palo Alto, California that connects the nation’s most exceptional, low-income youth with leading colleges and opportunities. By working with these students — beginning in high school through college to their first job — QuestBridge aims to increase the percentage of talented low-income students attending the nation’s best colleges and to support them to achieve success in their careers and communities. QuestBridge provides a College Prep Scholarship for high school juniors and a National College Match program for high school seniors.
One of the best nonprofit educational programs in the US, here are some quick facts about QuestBridge:
QuestBridge Scholars and alumni nationally
Number of students served by QuestBridge programs
Number of National College Match Finalists that have been admitted to a college partner
Number of students and parents have attended QuestBridge conferences to kick start their college admissions process
QuestBridge Scholars “matched” to a college partner with a full four-year scholarship
With a two-member team handling all alumni relations functions for over 9,000 constituents, the QuestBridge Alumni Association found it challenging to keep alumni engaged throughout the year.
In the case of traditional educational institutions, alumni have a stronger connection with their fellow alumni due to time spent together at college. However, QuestBridge alumni are spread all over the United States and have had limited interaction with each other. Even in cases where alumni are living in the same vicinity, they often don’t get to interact. As a result of this, there’s very little incentive for alumni to show up at events organized by the nonprofit.
With limited staff resources, QuestBridge faced multiple challenges with respect to planning events. It was difficult for the two-member Alumni Relations team to manage everything from the creation of event pages to handling multiple channels of communication.
The ‘Dinner with QuestBridge Strangers’ program helps the institution to not only bridge the gap between its alumni but also create opportunities for peer-to-peer support, networking, personal and career development. The institution successfully hosted sponsored dinners with the help of regional alumni representatives in 19 locations across the US.
29 dinners hosted in less than a year
Here’s how the ‘Dinner with QuestBridge Strangers’ program works:
1. QuestBridge urges alumni to volunteer as hosts for the sponsored dinner parties via emails.
2. Once the hosts and the venues are decided, QuestBridge shoots a mass email to all alumni encouraging them to sign up for a dinner nearby.
As a post-event follow-up, the institution collects feedback from all event attendees via emails and feedback forms. The collected feedback is greatly useful for gauging the success of past events and better planning of future events.
Here’s what QuestBridge’s event attendees had to say about their wonderful initiative:
With a central dashboard for managing pre-event planning to post-event follow-ups, the institution is easily able to host multiple events.
In addition to creating event pages for registrations, QuestBridge also created pages with guidelines for dinner hosts and a dedicated page with photos from previous dinners. QuestBridge made sure that all event-related details were clearly communicated to alumni.
It has also become significantly easier to get an overview of important metrics related to event participation and overall alumni engagement, based on which future campaigns can be planned.
128 event attendees in 2018
353 event attendees in 2019
QuestBridge continues to create local alumni communities and strengthen the bonds between its alumni by continuing with the tradition of QuestBridge Dinner with Strangers. You can explore more of their pages here.
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