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WOU Alumni Affinity Groups

Affinity Group Charter Guidelines

The purpose of this charter is to:

  • Describe the purpose, function, and expectations of Alumni Affinity Groups and their relationship to WOU, the WOU Foundation and WOU Alumni Board.
  • Provide instruction on the Alumni Affinity Group charter application process.


Alumni Affinity Group: A group of alumni volunteers with a specialized common interest that aligns with WOU Foundation’s mission and vision. Affinity groups are intended to bring people together over a commonality. We all benefit from interactions with people who share common experiences and interests.


WOU Foundation Mission & Vision

  • Mission: Western Oregon University Foundation strengthens, serves and supports Western Oregon University.
  • Vision: Ensuring every student has the opportunity to have access to a quality educational experience that increases their ability to succeed in our ever-changing global economy and society.

WOU Mission

Western Oregon University creates lasting opportunities for student success through transformative education and personalized support.


Alumni Affinity Groups’ Missions

  • Core: Strengthen, Serve, Support WOU
  • May expand to meet specific group objectives.
  • Should complement and advance the mission and vision of the foundation and university. 

Common Goals between WOU, WOU Foundation, Alumni Board & Alumni Affinity Groups 

Note: Not all Alumni Affinity Groups will pursue all goals, however groups recognize and support the following goals. 

  • Engagement of the broader WOU alumni community.
  • Partnering with WOU Foundation development officers to achieve major initiatives or program outcomes.
  • Fundraising for discretionary accounts and student scholarships. 
  • Recruitment of students to WOU and specific programs or demographics.
  • Mentorship for current students.
  • Development of industry and/or cultural leaders.
  • Being a resource for academic and/or student affairs departments and programs.
  • Developing liaisons to a specific industry or group. 
  • Establish career networking opportunities for students.

Support Provided by the Foundation/Alumni Board  

  • Representation
    • Alumni Board ex-officio seat
  • Onboarding
    • WOU Foundation/Alumni Engagement will provide an orientation to members of the Alumni Affinity Groups. 
    • The orientation will include an overview of applicable university and foundation policies and procedures. 
  • Fundraising
    • Group may create a WOU Foundation fund with a minimum of $5,000 OR by partnering with a WOU employee champion.
    • A crowdfunding platform that can be leveraged by Alumni Affinity Groups for fundraising.
    • Creation of a stand-alone giving-page for associated funds. 
  • Staff Resources
    • Staff partner(s) to support Alumni Affinity Groups’ efforts (e.g., marketing, program and event planning, fundraising)
  • Marketing
    • One Alumni Engagement sponsored kickoff event (up to $1,000)
    • Group webpage linked from main alumni page (can create a short url as needed)
    • Creation of standard logo for group. 
  • Administrative
    • Maintain alumni database, tax-exempt status, gift management, etc.
    • Accept all mail for group (university is official mailing address of group) 

Expectations of Alumni Affinity Group 

  • Require a minimum of three alumni volunteers. 
  • Recommend a member to the Alumni Board. 
  • Submit an initial Alumni Affinity Group Charter application (link) to establish the group.
  • Submit a Charter renewal request form (link) every 2 years. 
  • Represent WOU positively and with proper branding.
  • Meet a minimum of three times a year, maintain minutes/records in a google drive, provide access to alumni engagement partner. 
  • If group chooses to establish specialized social media, must provide admin access to university partner and alumni engagement/foundation partner.
  • Assist the WOU Foundation with maintaining updated alumni contact information. 
  • Work with the WOU Foundation to coordinate fundraising/development programs.
  • Provide content for the group’s webpage (once per year minimum).
  • Sign confidentiality agreements (link).
  • Adhere to foundation policies including ethics, with an understanding that violating policies or ethics may result in removal from the group or loss of charter. 
  • Receive approval from WOU Foundation Executive Director for all founding documents — e.g. operating principles, 
  • Maintain open and honest communication with university partner and alumni engagement/foundation partner.


Application Process

  • Complete the attached Charter application and submit to Alumni Engagement for review.
  • Alumni Affinity Group applications are reviewed by the WOU Foundation Executive Director and associated university department and approved by the Alumni Board.

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