How The College of Idaho is driving alumni engagement amidst COVID-19 via a virtual race

With COVID-19 forcing alumni to be confined to their homes, the College of Idaho is adopting a unique approach to support its alumni during these testing times. The college is hosting a month-long 5K virtual run/walkathon that alumni can participate in from any location and any time during the month of April. With the 2020 Coyote Dash [Virtual 5K] race, the college is creating an opportunity for alumni to virtually engage with one another while being socially distant and take actionable steps towards their health and well-being.

100+

RSVPs in 20 days

About the College of Idaho

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state's first private liberal arts college. The institution is committed to an innovative, individualized curriculum in liberal arts and professional studies, building a strong campus community, and exercising stewardship. With a total alumni strength of 15,000, the college is known for hosting frequent alumni events to inculcate the culture of maintaining stronger relationships with one's roots.

The college is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition, and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players, and countless business leaders and innovators. The College also strongly believes in hosting frequent alumni events to inculcate the culture of maintaining stronger relationships with one's roots.

The College of Idaho is ranked #131 in National Liberal Arts Colleges.

What were the challenges faced by the College of Idaho?

Limited alumni engagement as an outcome of canceled events & meet-ups

The COVID-19 outbreak has severely affected events, giving days, and community meet-ups as a majority of them had to be either canceled or postponed. With all plans being disrupted, the Alumni Relations team at the College of Idaho was faced with the challenge of not being able to connect and engage alumni during such a crucial time. 

Stress, fear, and loneliness amongst alumni

With social isolation becoming the new norm, the College of Idaho sensed the feeling of accompanying stress, fear, and loneliness amongst alumni. The college was worried about the long-term impact of this situation on the mental health of its alumni. While the college was offering support via emails and social media, they needed to find a way to bring its alumni community together to power through these tough times.  

Limited staff resources

Part of a two-member team, Sally Skinner - Director of Alumni & Parent Relations and Danielle Dougherty Durham - Alumni & Parent Relations Coordinator, are the driving forces behind all alumni relations functions at the College of Idaho. For a small team with over 15,000 alumni to cater to, dealing with such a crisis was not only a new experience but overwhelming as well.

What was the College of Idaho able to achieve after implementing Almabase?


Drive virtual alumni engagement and maintain constant contact with alumni

The College of Idaho ramped up its digital engagement strategy with the month-long 2020 Coyote Dash [Virtual 5K] race and successfully got 100+ RSVPs in 20 days. 

The college set up a dedicated event page on its alumni network, including all the details that alumni need to know to be able to participate in the race. 

Check out the Coyote Dash 2020 [Virtual 5K] event page on College of Idaho’s alumni website

In addition to a dedicated event page, the College of Idaho used email to inform alumni about the event and leveraged influencers on social media to drive participation to the event.

The college also added a special ‘P.S. - We miss you!’ note right above the sign-up button

Here’s how the College of Idaho leveraged social media to drive more alumni to participate in their virtual 5K race:

The first #CoyoteDash2020 social media post on the College of Idaho’s alumni page on Facebook announcing 50 sign-ups.

Here’s another #CoyoteDash2020 social media post where alumni send across a challenge to their peers from the 1972 & 1973 classes

Value to alumni

With everyone confined to their homes, forced to work from home, limitations on social interactions, and physical fitness taking a back seat, the health and well-being of alumni was a major concern for the College of Idaho. 

With the 2020 Coyote Dash [Virtual 5K] initiative, the College of Idaho is bringing its alumni community together, driving more conversations and most important of all - creating an avenue for alumni to make time for themselves. Alumni photos shared on the college’s Facebook page are a great incentive for fellow alumni to sign up, helping drive consistent engagement & registrations. 

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The College of Idaho continues to support its alumni throughout the COVID-19 crisis and organize successful virtual events round the year with Almabase. Head over to the College of Idaho’s alumni website.

Visit the College of Idaho’s ‘2020 Coyote Dash [Virtual 5K]’ event page here.

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