Manual in a nutshell
THANK YOU for volunteering!
Our class agents, members of the Alumni Fund Drive, play such an important role in nurturing the College’s strong alumni community. Every time you reach out to your classmates, you remind them that they are and will always be part of Athens College. Your efforts are essential for us to have an active, engaged alumni community and enthusiastic alumni support. The College is thankful to you for generously offering your time, treasure of knowledge and network, talents and resources in support of the College’s Annual Fund. The effects of your work are evident as many of your classmates support their alma mater. As we move towards our centennial in 2025, your role and efforts are increasingly important.
Our volunteers (Fund Drive)
Our Alumni, Parents and Alumni Parents Fund Drive volunteer groups constitute one of the leading fundraising volunteer communities of its kind in the country. The groups fold within the Athens College Development Office operations and have a threefold aim: to cultivate a culture of giving and solidarity safeguarding the College’s vision, mission, values and tradition; to enhance relations among the thousands of Athens College community members and with the School; and to motivate support of the Annual Fund and our students with a view to fostering balanced excellence and building a modern, more diverse community of learners.
The Alumni Fund Drive
The Alumni Fund Drive, established in 1967, is an integral part of the College’s Annual Fund scheme in support of the Financial Aid Program. It is the annual fundraising effort by alumni volunteers — the class agents — who represent their class, helping make sure that no student misses out on the Athens College groundbreaking education and unique life experience for financial reasons.
Its mission is to create and reinforce lifelong intellectual, professional, and personal connections among classmates and all alumni; to strengthen the links between the alumni and their alma mater; and to serve the mission of the School. Its main actions in support of the Annual Fund include: communication with classmates (email, social media, calls, in person); motivation and/or organization of class reunions; coordination of milestone class reunions (50 years, 25 years from graduation) and dissemination of Annual Fund appeals.
The AFD and the Development Office work closely with the Athens College Alumni Association (SAKA) to keep in contact with the broad AC alumni base.
Why alumni give and why it is important
There are many different reasons that make alumni decide to support their alma mater and a number of factors that weigh in this decision. Among those reasons, alumni essentially, alumni give to express gratitude to the College for giving them lifelong friendships, networks and a better life for them and their families; to lead by example; and to enhance the reputation and increase competitiveness of their alma mater, positively reflecting on their degree and investment. They also give because they are asked!
Alumni participation and giving is important because our alumni are ambassadors of the School to the world, role models for current students, bearers of the premier education of Athens College, and key supporters of the School who set the tone for other supporters to follow. They are intrinsic to the College’s 2025 Centennial.
Being a class agent
As a class agent, you represent your class and constitute the connecting link among classmates and with the School. You are the driver and catalyst of annual (for the College the fiscal year is September 1 - August 31) and lifelong class giving. It doesn’t matter where you are physically based. In Greece or abroad, you can be as active. In most cases, the work of the class agent is carried out online.
In short a class agent aims to HELP enhance a culture of giving and solidarity at the College and to BE A LEADER. To KEEP classmates connected and engaged with the School. To SHARE the College’s news and events with classmates and BE an advocate. To pass along classmates’ news, successes, well as their losses with the College and with the class. To HELP the College stay in contact with classmates through regular contact detail updates. To ATTEND class agents’ working groups and annual meetings. To KEEP THE COLLEGE ABREAST of stories of impact, distinguished personalities, experts and special supporters of the College within your class. To make his/her own gift to the Annual Fund before asking his/her classmates. To SET and SHARE giving goals. To INCREASE class participation. To INCREASE class giving for the Annual Fund. To ORGANIZE / PROMPT class giving projects and occasions. To ASK classmates for (recurring) gifts to the Annual Fund. To INFORM classmates on class giving progress and PROMPT additional giving. To THANK classmates who have given to the Annual Fund. If abroad, a class agent is also expected to SERVE as a connecting link and key contact person. To HOST country/region class reunions and capitalize on SAKA Chapters. To ACT as an ambassador of the School by building partnerships abroad (with Schools, Universities, companies, foundations, etc.).
A class agent’s impact is assessed mainly on the basis of class participation (in %). If class participation ranks top within the respective decade, the class agent is invited to receive the Alumni Fund Drive Cup. Other criteria include class giving, hosting of class reunions and motivation of activities as well as participation in AFD meetings and actions. Top five classes in participation as well as in giving are mentioned separately in the annual Report on Giving. In the manual, tips on the art of asking and ways to increase the impact of a class agent’s work are included.
To continue acting as a class agent, you are requested to sign the Class Agent Declaration and Confidentiality Agreement included in the form sent to you. Class agents’ name and main contact details will be published on the official School website to serve as contact points for fellow classmates and alumni. In addition to the Annual Class Agents Meeting, the aim is to hold regular meetings and workshops to promote collaboration among class agents and with the School.
Becoming a class agent
Any alumnus/a can be a class agent and join the Alumni Fund Drive. There is no maximum number of class agents per class. Interested alumni simply need to declare their interest to the AFD team at any time, and be included in the mailing lists and activities. They will also be asked to sign/adhere to the Class Agents Declaration and Confidentiality Agreement. Additionally, the AFD leadership or other members can nominate an alumnus/a as class agent. The manual elaborates on current class agents, alumni contemplating to be class agents, recent graduates, and senior students.
Among other tasks, the class agent’s main duty is to spark and foster class reunions that help reinvigorate bonds, prompt nostalgia and reignite the love for the College. Through class reunions, alumni/ae are brought closer to the School’s everyday functions and needs, while special events urge them to be active members of a greater community and provide a great fundraising opportunity. Targeted information, tips and checklists for Celebratory & Ad hoc reunions, Milestone reunions of 50 and 25 years after graduation and Reunions associated with SAKA events are included.
Important dates & Action Plan
Apart from the Athens College fiscal year which runs from September 1 to August 31 of the following calendar year, there are a number of important dates, activities and events you can capitalize on to increase engagement and giving.
Although traditionally the Alumni Fund Drive and your work as class agents support the Annual Fund, alumni may choose to make a gift to support what matters most to them. Thus, class agents need to be prepared to inform and guide them accordingly.
We honor our most committed alumni, parents, and friends for their valuable support and contribution through the College’s acknowledgment and recognition policies and tools, such as the Report on Giving and Honor Roll of Donors (donors of the year under different Giving Societies), the Annual Fund Digital Donor Wall, naming opportunities, the Alumni Fund Drive Cup, Stories and Voices of ImpACt and more.
Data & Tools
The manual includes the Class Agents Declaration, and Confidentiality Agreement, a glossary of development terms, and when process is completed, an updated class agents list (name and graduation year, contact number & email). Moreover, it will be enriched with alumni infographics and tools such as brochures, data updating forms, gift forms, annual fund campaigns archive, templates, best practices etc.