The Alumni Roster includes tools for displaying lists of alumni, for registration and subscription, and for personal data maintenance by your members. See also the Directory item for information on offering services to sponsors and advertisers. For example, the TCHS Alumni News Directory is incorporated into a full-service Journalmaker site, which you may care to explore further. (The example opens in a new browser window.)
Registration begins by capturing the person's name and class year. Maiden names are captured and then merged with current surname, so the former Mary Jones, now Mary Smith, will appear as Mary Jones Smith in the directory, listed alphabetically under J, which is where old friends will first look. Capitalization is manipulated to conform to standard US spelling, punctuation and format where possible. Alumni can also make minor modifications in the editing screens, changing -- for example -- Mcbride to McBride. The system captures name, address, telephone and email and allows each registrant to append a brief comment to his/her listing.
To maintain the privacy and security of alumni, the directory does not publish addresses, telephones or email. The data are available to the owner or editor of the alumni site, but not to the public, to prevent the "harvesting" of contact information by automated systems. A double-blind email form appears adjacent to each listing, allowing a visitor to write to the alumnus, but the email address is not displayed to the sender or in the page coding. If the alumnus does not care to reply the communication ends. Spammers and other senders of unwanted bulk communications cannot use the system as a source. For a small implementation fee, rosters can be subjected to a password requirement, so that only enrolled users can access the member lists.
Alumni data are easy to maintain.
First, registrants can update their own contact data. Each user is assigned a user ID and password upon registration. If these are forgotten, the system will email them to the registrant's address of record upon request. The user then has access to all the public and private information stored in the system.
Second, the editor of the site has a parallel set of forms plus some extra control fields to set the registrant's status (active, inactive; paid, unpaid, etc.).
With some occasional help and reminders, you should be able virtually to eliminate the frantic hunt for alumni that is typical of reunions and other special events.
Communication with registrants is simplified by a group mail tool. The site's editor can simply type a message in a form. Once the message is ready, the editor refers to a list selection screen, for example to mail to all registrants who are in a particular class year and/or meet other criteria. With a single click the mail is on its way to all the selected persons.
You can also generate mailing lists for distribution of (yuck!) printed materials for those technophobic holdouts from the machine age.