Regional clubs provide local engagement opportunities for alumni, wherever they live around the globe, and club leaders make it happen! Here you’ll find a wealth of information, from programming ideas to sample governing documents, geared toward supporting your leadership efforts. For questions and further details, please reach out to your YAA staff liaison.
Events connect members of your local Yale family to each other, your community, and back to Yale, in addition to helping cultivate new leaders and demonstrating ability and enthusiasm. A good way to start is by engaging your membership through surveys; this will help you to understand the demographics of your group and to focus your energy on their interests.
Ideas for event planning
Leverage existing events and incorporate private tours or talks to enhance these experiences
Find the hidden treasure venues around you that peak curiosity
Utilize local Yale talent, including those teaching or studying at local universities
Involve your constituents in local community service efforts
Harness enthusiasm and engage many generations with a large event every few years
Continuing education – book clubs, faculty forums, and/or discussion groups around a theme or food
Plan an event around a performance or exhibition (and perhaps connecting it to Yale alumni talent)
Head outdoors for observation, conservation, or exercise
Engage in Bulldogs athletics – either by playing or watching a Yale game on TV
Invite visiting athletics teams or performance groups to visit your club, or plan other opportunities to incorporate current students
Establish a position for a young alumni on your board
Target activities at your next generation of volunteers
Plan family-centric activities or arranging for babysitting for large events
Networking opportunities including forums, panels, or casual receptions
The YAA-Redpath Speakers Program sends current Yale faculty and administrators to speak to alumni at club luncheons, receptions, annual dinners, and other special events. We will work with you to identify the right speaker to meet your group’s needs.
Each regional Yale club is entitled to one subsidized speaker each academic year (July 1-June 30).
Contact your YAA staff liaison to request a speaker at least 3-4 months in advance.
YAA coordinates the visit, pays for all transportation and hotel costs, and handles all reimbursements.
The club remits $300 to the alumni association for the visit.
You must guarantee a minimum of 30 people for the event. If your club is unlikely to meet this minimum, consider partnering with other nearby clubs or with alumni associations from other universities. Before extending an invitation to non-Yale groups, contact your YAA staff liaison so we can confirm approval with the speaker.
Include a broad category or academic department (preferable to a specific person).
For a specific person, provide a list of pre-approved names you authorize us to approach. The YAA offers a full listing of available campus speakers you can request, and some of the topics they typically cover.
Include a pre-approved list or range of dates.
Once the speaker and date are confirmed, we will coordinate the itinerary with you.
Many of Yale's a cappella singing groups go on tour during breaks, and they may also be available for gigs within driving distance during the academic term.
From time to time, YAA staff meet with the business managers of student singing groups, which allows us to speak with the groups about the alumni association and regional clubs, the role of students as ambassadors of the university, and how they should contact a regional club regarding an event. We encourage each group to coordinate travel among themselves and with the regional clubs within any region to which they plan to travel.
The Yale Singing Group Council provides profiles and contact information for all of Yale’s undergraduate singing groups.
Advice for regional clubs wishing to host a singing group:
Contact their business manager to negotiate contract terms. Terms may vary depending upon the availability of other concerts in your area, your ability to provide housing and/or meals, and your commitment to selling tickets to performances.
Please be sure that you understand what commitments you are making on behalf of your club. The singing groups depend on your ability to provide whatever has been agreed upon.
If the group plans to visit several clubs in your area, contact the appropriate club president(s) to coordinate schedules or to inquire about being included in invitations to performances in their territories.
For alumni who cannot make it to New Haven or Cambridge, watching The Game with local Yalies can be a great alternative. Many regional clubs plan gatherings to watch the telecast.
Game-Watching Event Details
When you have chosen a venue, be sure to submit your event details to be included on the YAA website calendar in addition to promoting locally.
There is no cost to regional clubs for the telecast in the U.S.; network broadcast details will be provided to club leaders each year when available.
Outside the U.S., live international streaming video and a post-game on-demand broadcast is available via the Ivy League Digital Network. School packages may be available for more affordable pricing.
Annually, Yale regional clubs and individual alumni celebrate and recognize outstanding secondary school junior class scholar-citizens. This recognition award includes an appropriate book to which is affixed a Yale bookplate inscribed with student’s name, date of award, Yale club sponsor, and/or award donor. Clubs or individual alumni purchase and inscribe the book, which is presented to the student at an appropriate ceremony. The student recipient is determined by school officials. Students may not self-nominate or campaign for the award nor be related to individual Yale alumni award givers.
Clubs or individual Yale alumni not currently making awards are encouraged to engage with area schools to initiate a Yale Alumni Book Award relationship. Clubs and individuals are also encouraged to increase the number of awards made. To discuss initiating or increasing the Yale Alumni Book Award program within your club, please be in touch with YAA Book Award liaison Johnson Flucker ’80.
Regional clubs participating in the Yale Book Award program help to:
- Bring Yale’s name to local schools by recognizing outstanding students.
- Encourage more students to consider Yale College for their undergraduate degree.
- Engage the community with articles and photos that highlight this honor.
- Present an opportunity for conversations between recipients, their families, and Yale alumni.
Details to know and how to participate:
- Yale regional clubs and individual alumni present this award to outstanding local high school students, generally at the end of their junior year.
- Clubs or individual alumni decide the number of awards and which schools are to be involved.
- In consultation with school officials, the club or individual alumnus determines the criteria for the award, which should include "outstanding personal character and intellectual promise." The selection of award recipients is made by school officials.
- Award books are selected and purchased by the regional club or individual alum. Clubs or individual alumni are free to choose any appropriate book, however, the YAA provides a list of titles published by the Yale University Press (YUP). Purchases may be made through the YUP website at 50% discount plus postage. Some restrictions may apply to international sales; please consult the YUP Alumni Book Award web page for more details. To receive the discount code, contact YAA Book Award liaison Johnson Flucker ’80.
- YAA-branded bookplates are provided free of charge. They are ordered, inscribed, and affixed in award books by club representatives or individual alumni. Request bookplates via this online order form (shipping time information below).
- Please order books and bookplates early.
- Books ordered from the YUP will be processed and dispatched by TriLiteral, LLC. Bookplate orders will be sent from the YAA.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, extended processing and shipping times are likely. Allow 4-5 weeks for U.S. delivery. International deliveries will likely take much longer.
- Every effort should be made to maintain a high degree of prestige and visibility for the award in your area.
- Local publicity is recommended. Local media outlets are often eager to publicize or promote; why not provide them with a photo of a previous year’s award recipient?
- Due to current conditions, we encourage virtual presentation of the book award, by a local Yale alum in conjunction with the official school ceremony.
The Yale Alumni Community Service Summer Fellowship brings alumni and current Yale students together for a summer of community service. Initiated in 1989, this internship program places students in paid eight-week community service positions throughout the United States. The program is run by Yale’s Office of Career Strategy. Please visit the OCS website for more information.
Yale Club/Association Scholarships are granted based on need as determined by Student Financial Services. Approximately 25 regional clubs currently sponsor scholarships.
Club Scholarships reduce the funds Yale must provide for Yale Scholarships, dollar for dollar.
Clubs may choose a student recipient from an eligible pool. If the decision is left to Yale, funds will be distributed evenly to all eligible students in the club/association territory.
Funds can go to undergraduates or graduate or professional students.
An endowed Yale scholarship will become part of the Yale University Endowment pool, which functions similar to a mutual fund, and only the income is available for use.
An annual fund is not invested and the entire contribution is used each year.
The Development Office assists with establishing an endowed or annual fund and to create an indenture describing the preference of students to receive the funds.
Some Yale clubs/associations have elected to set up and manage separate funds outside of Yale, contributing their income annually to the university in support of student financial aid, similar to an annual fund. These separate funds must be sent to and processed by Student Financial Services, and not given directly to students. The university must follow strict guidelines regarding the awarding of financial aid.
Student Financial Services (SFS) informs clubs of available funds to be spent each year and assists with student selection. SFS also notifies students that they have been chosen as a club/association scholar.
For additional questions, Student Financial Services can be reached at at 203-432-2700.
This award is given directly by a regional Yale club to honor members for their dedication to Yale through local volunteer activity. This is a way for a regional club to recognize outstanding leadership and service at the local level. For more information, visit our awards page.
Governance & Leadership
Regional club leaders are encouraged to consider what structure will best support your goals as an organization. The following samples and guidelines of official club documents and club officer duties should help.
The Yale Alumni Association has created a bylaws template as a starting point for Yale clubs who are looking to implement or update their bylaws. This template is a suggested design to help you avoid starting from scratch. Any set of bylaws you consider should be at least informally reviewed by an attorney in your locality.
Finance & Legal
501(c)(3) is a portion of the federal tax code for nonprofit organizations.
501(c)(3) status allows your club to:
Apply for a bulk-mailing permit, which qualifies you for reduced mailing rates
Be exempt from federal and state income taxes
Claim certain tax deductions on contributions (e.g. membership dues, scholarship funds)
NOTE: There are differences across states so it is very important to consult a lawyer in your state, before filing, so all requirements are met.
For more information, helpful references include:
Yale carries a special liability insurance policy that automatically covers official events organized by YAA-recognized Yale regional clubs, Yale College classes, and shared interest groups. If an event venue or other organization you’re working with needs to see this policy, you may download a copy from the Enterprise Risk Management section of the Office of General Counsel website.
Communications & Data
Please consult our Communications Tools for Volunteers for general advice on making effective use of social media, websites, and e-marketing to reach your club's members.
To mail your communications inexpensively and easily, you must follow certain U.S. Postal Service guidelines. The USPS Business Mail section can help you with this information.
You may also contract Alumni Services in the Development Office to print and mail letters, invitations, newsletters, postcards, etc., to all alumni in your area. Allow three weeks for processing. Contact your YAA staff liaison for more information.
Example Newsletters, Invitations and Emails
See also: Communications Toolkit
Data use by alumni volunteers is governed by our Confidentiality Policy for Volunteers. Yale alumni information may be used only for club-related activities and announcements. Alumni entrust the university to respect their privacy and the use of their contact information. Our practice of entrusting the information to volunteers stands or falls on volunteer willingness to abide by this policy.
Rosters are provided by YAA; requests should be submitted via this order form. Please allow one week to process your request.
Lists will include basic contact information for alumni, parents, and spouses of deceased alumni in your area. You might also consider periodically ordering move-in lists to learn of new alumni to your area.
Please help Yale track changes of address by collecting and reporting returned envelopes and bounced email.
People move often, and you can help Yale maintain the master database by bundling returned mail and sending it to: Gift & Records Services, Attn: Giovanni B. Amore, P. O. Box 2038, New Haven, Connecticut 06521-2038. Whenever possible, please send the actual returned envelopes as they often have forwarding addresses and are much easier for the Gift and Records Services team to work with.
Email bounces may also be sent to Alumni Records via email.
Encourage alumni in your area to register for the Online Alumni Directory. Alumni can update their own information and obtain up-to-date address information for classmates and friends.
The following policy language regarding conduct at alumni programs and events is provided as part of the YAA’s support for alumni organizations and has been approved by Yale’s Office of General Counsel.
The language below can be adopted: (i) as a policy by the alumni group by acclamation or preferably upon motion made, seconded and approved and documented in minutes, or (ii) as an amendment to the group’s governing documents, such as bylaws or constitution.
If your group has a Facebook page or other social media channels, you may wish to review the “About” section of the Yale Alumni Facebook page and adopt the language as your group deems appropriate. For more on social media and social media policies, visit the Social Media section of the Communications toolkit.
"The [insert name of regional club] is committed to promoting and maintaining a strong sense of community among alumni and in support of Yale. This club and its officers and board are therefore expected to sponsor programs and activities that are inclusive, protect confidential information regarding alumni and students, refrain from engaging in or promoting commercial ventures or political activities, and at all times adhere to Yale’s policies on non-discrimination and harassment."
Engaging all members and seeking to develop them to become future club leaders is very important.
Engaging Young Alumni
Included here are a few ideas on how to engage those alumni less than 10 years out of school:
Think outside of the box and let the young alumni suggest programming.
Create a role on the board to represent and welcome young alumni.
Do not label events for young alumni only; aim to engage your entire population in any activity.
Gatherings that are fun, informal, and social usually go over well.
Offer membership discounts, incentives for participating, and free admission if they can bring a few alumni friends.
Leverage the Internet and tools that make payment and registration simple (and online).
Include events that appeal to their athletic abilities.
Include competition and incentives to increase engagement.
Consider community service and events that support the local community.
Acknowledge and recognize their engagement, leadership, and support.
Find interesting venues that spark curiosity and interest.
Schedule activities after hours and on weekends.
The Alumni Schools Committee may also be able to identify other activities that are interesting to recent grads. Keeping those new alumni engaged is key, so continue to share things that work and exchange ideas with us when you find strategies that work.
Here are some more ways to engage alumni with a wide variety of interests and experiences:
Find opportunities that "fit" with people’s personal motivations.
Match to what people believe is in it for them: growth, recognition, achievement, participation, and enjoyment.
Define what you expect and provide descriptions of volunteer opportunities.
Welcome and engage new members and consider creating a mentoring system.
Develop your leaders and honor those who are willing to step up.
Make sure every meeting is the best use of time.
Lead, organize, delegate, and appreciate.