Project Group Evolution Initiative

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Project Group Evolution?

Why are these changes needed?

What is expected of my group?

Is this new model unique?

When will my alumni group be involved?

How will my alumni group fund its activities?

What’s the benefit to my group?

What resources will the Alumni Association provide to support my group?

How can my group learn more about this initiative?

What if my group still has reservations about Project Group Evolution and the restructuring process?

What is Project Group Evolution?

 

Project group evolution is a multi-year plan to restructure the relationship between alumni groups and the USF Alumni Association to focus on the University’s key alumni markets. The primary changes include a clearer framework for alumni group activities and well-defined support and vision as it relates to the Alumni Association’s mission.

All alumni groups will fall into one of two categories.  This classification has been determined by the Alumni Association based upon the number of constituents the groups serve. Groups serving approximately 1,000 or more constituents are classified as an alumni chapter or society and groups serving fewer than 1,000 constituents are classified as an alumni network.

Why are these changes needed?

By streamlining the goals of the USF Alumni Association with those of the University’s advancement division and empowering alumni groups to better advocate for USF, all parties will work together more seamlessly and efficiently thereby increasing connections on the local level. By increasing our focus on groups and setting more definitive expectations for these organizations, we will be better positioned to send a clear, unified message to our friends and alumni to support USF.

What is expected of my group?

Alumni Chapter/Society expectations include:

  • Maintain volunteer leadership team of at least four (4) members, including chair and chair-elect positions
  • Comply with all USF Alumni Association policies and procedures
  • Communicate regularly with alumni constituents and Alumni Association staff liaison
  • Participate in annual USF community service day event (participation will occur in your local area)
  • Host four (4) additional unique events per year
    • Three of the four events may be Athletics, cultural, networking/social, academic, etc. Note: all game watch parties count as one event.
    • One (1) of the four events must support an Alumni Association student initiative (Camp U fundraising, Round-Up, student recruitment, SAA dinner)
    • Raise a minimum of $500 per year for a group scholarship
    • Submit event and financial reports to the Alumni Association as required (event request, post-event report, annual report, officer update)

Alumni Network expectations include:

  • Maintain volunteer leadership team of at least two (2) members
  • Comply with all USF Alumni Association policies and procedures
  • Communicate regularly with alumni constituents and Alumni Association staff liaison
  • Participate in annual USF community service day event (participation will occur in your local area)
  • Host two (2) additional events per year (primarily watch parties and/or networking)
  • Submit event reports to the Alumni Association as required (event request, post-event report, annual report, officer update)

Is this new model unique?

While this model will be new to the USF Alumni Association, it is by no means unique. There are numerous schools that serve alumni with a tier structure including University of Virginia, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Central Florida and University of Tennessee.

When will my alumni group be involved?

We are officially kicking-off the transition process for chapters/societies representing constituencies of 1,000 or more alumni on July 1, 2014, the first day of the Alumni Association’s fiscal year.  The transition of all alumni chapters/societies with constituencies of 1,000 or greater will take place over several years. 

The roll out plan for the transition is critical to overall success. Research indicates that most universities that have gone through a similar transition experienced a 3-5 year period of various challenges and tweaks in the process.

Over the same period of time, alumni networks will work with their alumni liaison to meet their own set of expectations.  These groups are listed after the description of the alumni chapter/society roll out plan.  All groups will be accountable for meeting expectation for the fiscal year following their transition phase.

Rollout schedule for alumni chapters and societies representing 1,000 or more constituents:

Phase One (transitioned as of 7/1/14):
Atlanta Chapter, Engineering Alumni Society, Geology Alumni Society, New York Chapter, and Washington DC Chapter

Phase Two (transitioning 7/1/14 –6/30/15):
Education Alumni Society, Ft. Myers Chapter, Greater Tampa Area Chapter, Jacksonville Chapter, Los Angeles Chapter, Miami Chapter, Orlando Chapter, Pasco Chapter, Pinellas Chapter, Sarasota-Manatee Chapter and USFSP Society


Broward County Chapter, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences Alumni Board, College of Business Society, Hernando Area Alumni Chapter, Honors Alumni Society, Music Alumni Society, Palm Beach Chapter, Polk Chapter and Tallahassee Chapter

Phase Four (7/1/16-6/30/17):
Brevard Chapter, Chicago Chapter, Dallas Chapter, Denver Chapter, Houston Chapter, Philadelphia Chapter and Public Health Society

Phase Five (7/1/17-6/30/18):
Boston Chapter, Charlotte Chapter, Geography Society, Ocala Chapter, Phoenix Chapter, Psychology Society, Raleigh Chapter and Volusia County Chapter

Current Alumni Networks:
Anthropology Network, Architecture Network, Austin Network, Chattanooga Network, Citigroup Corporate Network, Clinical Psychology Network, Columbus (OH) Network, Entrepreneurship Network, Indianapolis Network, Key West Network, Library and Information Sciences Network, Lockheed Martin Corporate Network, Nashville Network, New Orleans Network, Public Administration Network, San Diego Network, San Francisco Network, St. Louis Network, Student Government Alumni Network, Theater Alumni Network, Urban Planning Network and Women’s and Gender Studies Network

How will my group fund its activities?

This is a common question. To assist chapters, societies and networks, the Alumni Association is offering program grants. Groups may request anywhere from $100 - $1,500 for an idea that they think will make a difference for their respective constituents. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis and can be requested up to 12 months in advance. A single group cannot receive more than $1,500 in grant money per fiscal year.  However, the Alumni Association may consider funding groups above this threshold for special programs. For more information about the alumni grant program visit the grant information page and application.   

In addition to the new grant program, all groups are encouraged to continue to generate revenue through various other sources and mechanisms such as sponsorships, per-event charges, silent auctions, games of chance (raffles), etc.  Please refer to the financial section of the volunteer leadership manual for more information concerning generating revenue.

What’s the benefit to my group?

One key component to the success of this plan is increased staff assistance from the Alumni Association to better support all groups and their efforts, through marketing, event-planning, scholarship administration and various other areas where groups welcome assistance.  The Alumni Association has reallocated staff resources to expand the number of people working with groups.  There will be two staff members spending the majority of their time advising alumni chapters and societies (phases one, two and three), one staff member spending a portion of their time advising alumni chapters and societies (phases four and five) and one staff member spending a portion of their time advising all alumni networks. 

Staff

Group Responsibility

Katie Giglio

Behavioral and Community Sciences Alumni Board, College of Business Society, Education Alumni Society, Engineering Alumni Society, Geology Society, Greater Tampa Area Chapter, Honors Alumni Society, Music Alumni Society, Pinellas Chapter, Sarasota-Manatee Chapter, USFSP Society

Open position

Atlanta Chapter, Broward County Chapter, Ft. Myers Chapter, Hernando Area Alumni Chapter, Jacksonville Chapter, Los Angeles Chapter, Miami Chapter, New York Chapter, Orlando Chapter, Palm Beach Chapter, Pasco County Chapter, Polk County Chapter, Tallahassee Chapter, Washington DC Chapter

Christina Cameron

Brevard Chapter, Boston Chapter, Charlotte Chapter, Chicago Chapter, Dallas Chapter, Denver Chapter, Geography Society, Houston Chapter, Ocala Chapter, Philadelphia Chapter, Public Health Society, Phoenix Chapter, Psychology Society, Raleigh Chapter, Volusia County Chapter

Tyrone Gray

All Networks: Anthropology Network, Architecture Network, Austin Network, Chattanooga Network, Citigroup Corporate Network, Clinical Psychology Network, Columbus (OH) Network, Entrepreneurship Network, Indianapolis Network, Key West Network, Library and Information Sciences Network, Lockheed Martin Corporate Network, Nashville Network, New Orleans Network, Public Administration Network, San Diego Network, San Francisco Network, St. Louis Network, Student Government Alumni Network, Theater Alumni Network, Urban Planning Network, and Women’s and Gender Studies Network

 


What resources will the Alumni Association provide to support my group?

In addition to additional staff support, the Alumni Association has vastly improved the alumni groups section of the website and added a robust section of volunteer leader resources.  This includes resources for new and established groups, group management, financial management, marketing, communications, event planning, templates and a forms section where required reports and updates can be made and submitted online.  Visit the alumni groups landing page to view all of the available resources.

How can my group learn more about this initiative?

Alumni Association staff members will meet with the leadership team of each alumni group prior to and during the club’s transition year.  Additionally, conference calls with all groups within a phase can be conducted to answer questions and address concerns of the groups that are transitioning.

What if my group still has reservations about Project Group Evolution and the restructuring process?

The important thing to remember is that we are restructuring for the betterment of the university we all love, the University of South Florida.  Extensive thought was put into this initiative prior to embarking on the restructuring process, and the process itself is being phased in over four years is to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible. While the new way of doing business for groups will be different from the current one, in the long run it will represent a better model for the groups and the university. There will be bumps along the way, but in the end this will be a better arrangement for all involved.

Groups Evolution