With this years new push to increase membership in Florida DECA, one area to focus on is your Alumni members. Alumni members not only increase your chapter size, with a positive impact on competitive events allocation, but also give your chapter resources. Alumni members who have been involved with competitive events can serve as manual (5,11 or 30 page papers) editors or practice judges for mock competition. They can also provide suggestions to your members who will be competing. From ideas for projects to advice on how to prepare for your time in front of the judge, your alumni members have already experienced these circumstances and can provide a more personal input as to their proven methods of preparation. Alumni members also give your chapter a network for the students who wish to hear about the endless possibilities that DECA has provided outside of the classroom and a possibility for business or corporate relations depending on the circumstances.
Overall, the idea is to utilize your Alumni members in the most efficient ways possible, but also in a way in which you chapter can most benefit and that is unique to you. To gain alumni members, be sure to connect with your outgoing seniors prior to graduation and to establish a form of communication for them. One recommendation for this is to have a Facebook group where your members can join. You can also utilize online payment options so that your alumni members can pay their dues and donate to your chapter if they wish. To keep in contact with your members, a Facebook group is a great method but a chapter could also consider creating an online form where their outgoing members can signup to be an alumni member. In this form you could collect information that would be useful later such as when that member might be available for classroom presentation to current members or manual revision and even contact information that can ensure you are able to also stay in touch. Google Drive offers a free “Forms” solution that could be helpful to chapters. The Facebook group option is also a free tool that can help your chapter tremendously.