Empowering local chapters to create beautiful, unfied sites in one flexible platform
Proud alumni of the University of Missouri, the founding Lat Long team wanted to stay closely connected to their alma mater from their homes in NYC. But as they looked for ways to engage with other alumni, they noticed a lack of centralization when it came to events, news and their alumni association in general. This sparked an idea. They saw an opportunity to transform the online experience for college alumni associations, chapter organizers and alumni across the US, creating a game-changing, one-stop destination.
Product Concept & Inception
Service & Operations
Web, Mobile & Platform Development
When the NYC chapter of Mizzou needed a new website to organize and communicate event details, Lat Long got the call right away. It wasn’t just a new site build—this would be a new platform to help alumni associations achieve top-down communication, create a cohesive alumni experience and preserve their brand aesthetic across disparate chapters in every city.
With a network of easily customizable sites powered by WordPress, we put the power in the hands of alumni associations, giving them tools to automate tedious administrative tasks, a reporting suite to keep their finger on the pulse of chapter activities and data aggregation from the local and national levels to create a robust donor database.
As more and more groups showed interested in Alumni Spaces, we packaged these templates for other major alumni associations and individual chapters. Knowing that volunteers ranged from tech-savvy developers to tech-curious retirees, we also needed to give users clear, easy-to-follow directions that allowed them to make updates on their own.
Alumni associations loved what we were building and were keen to deploy these templates to all their chapters and overcoming common challenges on the local level. For us, it was important to give these groups their own communication platforms. In our pitch, we pointed out that local alumni groups had been around for centuries—and social networks wouldn’t replace them anytime soon. So our mission was to build the best digital tools possible to help local leaders build connections and keep their in-person networks thriving.
When looking at national donor data, outreach is lackluster and alumni participation is around 10%. With the Alumni Spaces data aggregation element in place, we noticed another opportunity that would allow people of all financial abilities to donate to their alma mater. Not only could we instill the value of financial inclusion on a national stage, we could also show donors where their donations are going and how they’re making a difference with life-changing things like scholarships.
We created Alumni.fund to give younger alumni an easier way to contribute incremental amounts through Venmo, PayPal or credit in less than 30 seconds. Over time, these smaller gifts would help them build a habit of giving with small amounts adding up to big impact. While the platform isn’t live today, it inspired other transcendent ideas that have fundamentally changed the way alumni engage and give back to their alma maters.
Ultimately we created an important mechanism for sparking comradery and preserving the sense of community among alumni, even when they meet in faraway places.
What started as a national solution for a single university became a universally desired platform that reimagined the alumni experience, giving hundreds of chapters the power to maintain their own digital presence, no HTML chops needed.
This was also a milestone in data collection capabilities, establishing a national network for previously disparate alumni chapters. Now, more than 5 million alumni living all over the world have a direct connection to local events with old friends and fellow fans.
Adopted by numerous major universities including Oklahoma and Virginia Tech, many have seen increased engagement year over year since they started working with Alumni Spaces. Reported events for the University of North Carolina went up 27% and others, including Florida State and Clemson, have been growing every year since. All event details entered throughout the year are stored for analysis—allowing schools to use valuable insights to plan programming, measure participation and more.