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Best Alumni Software: Putting Your Alumni Second

Best Alumni Software: Putting Your Alumni Second

This blog will discuss and focus on the pro’s and con’s of a single sign-on system.

Tough question for you.

You work in Advancement and clearly your alumni are important.

Yet, if there was a choice between making your life easier or your alumni’s, which would you choose?

A case in point that I recently came across is ‘Single Sign-on’.

‘Single Sign-on’ is when a school requests that all their alumni sign-on to any of their alumni software or alumni on-line directories use one common username and password.

On the face of it this is intended to be ‘user-friendly’ as surely it is much easier for alumni to sign-on to all of their school systems using just one password.

Yet, I would hypothesize that if you asked 100 random alumni to recall their school single sign-on username and password, the majority would struggle to do so.

Moreover there seems to be a much easier alternative available – ‘Social Sign-on’.  That is asking alumni to sign-on using one of their social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn whose passwords they are much more likely to remember.

So, why do so many schools insist on ‘Single Sign-on’ in their alumni software?  And, is this simple case – an example of a deeper problem?

Simply put, schools seem to  put their own needs first, and those of their alumni only second.

Yes, there are lots of advantages for the administrator of a school by using ‘Single Sign-on’ for easier verification of users and data synchronization.  But there are also technical solutions which, with a little more effort and creativity, could deliver the same results, while being easier for alumni.

Truly, it is not always easy to put alumni first.  But if we are serious about engaging our alumni then let’s start by making it as simple as possible for them to engage with us.

Isn’t the best alumni software the one that puts your alumni first?

I would welcome your thoughts.

Please also read The Case for Mentoring.


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