An alumni program is a group of dads that has completed a fatherhood program, continues learning about fatherhood, and provides support to the primary fatherhood program.
While that defines what an alumni program is, it’s vital to understand why it’s so important to the sustainability of your fatherhood work.
There are six reasons you need an alumni program.
An alumni program will:
- Create a group of alumni who:
- Stay connected to a positive environment that facilitates continued growth as a dad after they complete your program.
- Recruit new dads into your program.
- Encourage dads enrolled in your program to maintain their participation.
- Act as guides or mentors for dads in your fatherhood program.
- Improve your program outcomes (e.g. retention of dads) by expanding your organization’s father-friendly environment.
- Galvanize partnerships with other organizations when the alumni serve the community on your organization’s behalf (e.g. conduct presentations on father absence and its impact on the community).
- Increase your organization’s assets (e.g. volunteers) and bring other assets to your organization through their skills (e.g. professional and hobbies).
- Provide staff with deeper expertise in working with dads (i.e. act as a guide to staff on how to effectively work with dads).
- Attract funding for your fatherhood program by mentioning the alumni program in grant applications.
Given these benefits of an alumni program, it’s hard to justify not creating one!
Now that you know what an alumni program for dads is and why it’s so important to the sustainability of your fatherhood work, the only thing left is how to create one.
National Fatherhood Initiative® (NFI) has a free guide on how to create an alumni program. In it, you’ll find:
- The rationale, benefits, and challenges of starting an alumni program.
- Sage advice on starting an alumni program.
- Case studies that highlight the alumni programs of five organizations in different settings.
- NFI resources that are ideal for building and maintaining an alumni program.
Use this guide to inform your next steps and, before you know it, you’ll see the benefits of your own alumni program!
If you already have an alumni program for dads, what benefits have you seen?
If you don’t have an alumni program for dads, download and read our free guide and establish next steps for starting one!