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.
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
- Alumni Board ex-officio seat
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.