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‘To develop life long mutually beneficial relationships with

our alumni and supporters’ The office of development and alumni relations is committed to this aim which forms part of the University strategy document, available to view in full here:

Alumni volunteering is integral to achieving mutually beneficial life long relationships. We can only achieve this by working in partnership with our alumni community. Many volunteer roles benefit students directly, helping them to enhance their employability and understanding of the direction they would like to take after graduation. Other volunteer roles provide crucial support to the University professional services and facilities. Volunteer activity can also positively influence student recruitment to Southampton through alumni sharing their own experience of studying here with prospective students and parents.


Who volunteers? Volunteering - the act of freely offering to do something or offering help -is a fundamental part of society. In 2009/10, 41% of adults volunteered formally through a club, group or scheme and 62% volunteered informally by giving unpaid help to an unrelated individual1. Volunteers also contributed an estimated £22.7 billion to the UK economy. The alumni relations team welcome all alumni who are interested in volunteering, wherever you might be or however long it is since you graduated. What are the benefits? Voluntary work can offer an array of benefits, not just for the beneficiaries but for the volunteers themselves; it can enhance volunteers’ CVs with practical experience and a demonstrable example of their commitment and reliability, it can enable the development of a range of transferable skills and it can also give volunteers a sense of having contributed something worthwhile to their local community or further afield as part of the organisation they are involved with. Volunteering at Southampton allows you to do both—supporting students and the University community on a local level contributes towards the work being done by the University on a larger scale with the ethos of ‘Changing the world’. Volunteering at Southampton The alumni volunteering programme at the University of Southampton offers a multitude of ways for alumni to give the ‘gift of time’ to their University. From enhancing the student experience and the employability of graduates to supporting the Nuffield theatre and student societies to offering professional services and skills to the University to aid development or even advise future strategy. There are many different ways to get involved, which will be explained in further detail in this handbook, and volunteers needn’t commit to anything long term if they aren’t sure how much time they will have – we have schemes which run throughout the academic year in addition to a variety of one-off events and short term projects. If alumni would like to volunteer but can’t find the right role to suit their availability or interests then we are always happy to receive suggestions for new initiatives.

1 Institute

for volunteering research

In 2007/8, The UK Civil Society Almanac 2009 NCVOCivilSocietyAlmanac2009Summary.pdf 2


Full details of current opportunities can be found on our website

Volunteer roles generally fall into the following categories: 

Career destinations schemes—this includes mentoring, appearing on a career panel, giving a careers talk or representing your company at a career fair

Student recruitment—the University holds open days in July and September annually

Community based volunteering—at the Nuffield Theatre or through the Community Volunteering programme

International volunteering—this can include running international alumni branches, working with the Malaysia campus, being an alumni representative for your area and more

Outreach office schemes and events—such as events with school students and sixth formers looking at Higher Education

Student engagement events—often in conjunction with the Students’ Union, previous opportunities have included radio interviews with the student radio station and speaking at the student publications conference

Student recruitment—including open days and fairs both in the UK and internationally, as well as conversion and predeparture events with our international students


Becoming an alumni volunteer is easy, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:


Have a look at our website and the ‘Volunteer Roles’ page of this handbook to decide which role or type of volunteering is of interest to you.


Fill out our volunteer interest form here: alumni_volunteer_form.html Or contact to let us know you’d like to volunteer.


We will add you to our volunteering mailing list and direct you to the contact who manages the role you are interested in. Depending on the type of role you are looking for you may need to apply or wait for applications to open at the appropriate point in the academic year. If you are interested in a general area of volunteering then we will let you know whenever something comes up that you might want to get involved in via email and social media.


Get volunteering!


Tell us how it’s going and share your experiences to encourage other alumni to get involved.


A global community You can volunteer by getting involved with the running of one of our alumni branches. If you enjoyed being on a committee during your time at Southampton or would like to be part of one now and help to connect local alumni then this is a great opportunity for you. Our network of alumni branches support our aim of ‘developing lifelong mutually beneficial relationships with our alumni and supporters’ in a multitude of ways: 

Strengthening ties between the University and the alumni community and facilitating meaningful life long relationships

Enabling alumni to develop their own networks, benefiting them both socially and in their professional development

Keeping in touch with friends and the University

Enabling alumni around the UK and internationally to enjoy being an active member of the Southampton alumni community

Supporting the University in its aim to become a top 50 University internationally by being ambassadors for Southampton, supporting student recruitment and the student experience

Where are our current branches? We have alumni in 180 countries across the world and branches both in the UK and internationally. To see where our branches are located and to find contact information for the branch co-ordinators see our website:

International alumni representatives International alumni representatives perform similar duties to branch coordinators but on a smaller scale in areas or countries where there are fewer alumni, alumni are sparsely distributed across a large area or the main branch is based some distance away. Representatives act as a point of contact for alumni, students or prospective students and provide contact details to go on our website. They can organise informal events and help local alumni to connect with one another and they often support our international officers with student recruitment activities.

If there are no branches or representatives in your area and you would like to establish one then contact us at


Roles and responsibilities of the Alumni Relations team:

The Alumni Relations team supports alumni branches in a variety of ways, many of which are listed below. Please check with the Alumni Relations Officer—Volunteers and Student Engagement for the specific resources available for your branch. The Alumni Relations team shall:

Provide assistance and advice for planning events and recruiting local volunteers.

Plan, market, and execute any University-led events occurring in conjunction with branches.

Help promote events: pay for postage and printing of branch mailings where possible (email is preferable), broadcast e-mails to all alumni living in the region, and post branch events on the alumni website calendar.

Provide support with producing event supplies—templates for registration lists and name badges.

Provide local demographics to regional contacts or presidents for planning purposes.

Send regular communications to branch contacts updating them on University news (which can be disseminated to the branch)

Help with sourcing speakers for branch events and where possible visit the branches as part of planned international activity.


Roles and responsibilities of alumni branches

Branch co-ordinators shall:

Welcome all members of the University community to participate in programs and opportunities.

Hold all events in facilities that are accessible, and where all are welcome on an equal basis.

Elect or appoint a president and officers on a regular, transparent basis, and ensure that all officers act as positive ambassadors of the University and act in the interests of it; require that the club president is an alumnus or alumna.

Keep the Alumni Relations team updated with branch activity so that we can talk about the branch to alumni, colleagues and in recruitment activity.

Promote events by informing the office of development and alumni relations of any alumni-led events which can be added to the website calendar, social media and other channels.

Adhere to the branding guidelines and approved usage of the University of Southampton’s name, logo, and other trademarks.

Seek approval from the Office of Alumni Relations liaison prior to contacting faculty members. Copy the Alumni Relations team in on all correspondence with the faculty.

Encourage officers and members to be good University citizens and maintain good standing by helping to advance the aims of the University, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and the alumni branch.

Maintain open channels of communication with the Alumni Relations team and to respond promptly to inquiries from alumni.

They must also be aware of the following: 

The University will only formally recognise and publish the details of one association per area.

Associations are not entitled to fundraise without the University’s approval—we’re very happy to support this but please check with us first.

The University of Southampton will not fund alumni branches – branches may wish to consider how they will fund activities and whether to charge alumni a subscription fee.


For full guidelines, correspondence templates and event ideas please see the alumni led events pack on our website—contact for a copy. Suggested Events for Your Branch Here are some suggestions for events you could run with your branch: 

A lunch or dinner (this could be formal with a speaker, black tie dress code or perhaps followed by dancing, or an informal meal in a local restaurant)

Meeting for drinks (you could reserve an area of a bar if you’re expecting lots of attendees)

A quiz or games night

Country walks, picnics and BBQs

Karaoke, talent contest, musical group

Adventurous pursuits - a day out or even a weekend trip

Support you local community - help with local regeneration projects or volunteer

Support student recruitment - contact the alumni relations office for more information about how you can help with this

Keeping costs down If you’re looking to keep event costs low then here are some ideas you could consider: 

Someone’s garden— have a barbeque or drinks party in the garden. Guests could even bring along food or drinks to avoid catering costs.

A bar or pub—if your group is not too large and you would like an informal gathering, why not get together in your favourite pub? You could hire a function room or use their bar, but we would recommend that you let them know you’re coming.

Your workplace—if you work for a large firm that has a meeting or function rooms, you might consider asking if you could use them. If the event is for alumni in the same profession as yourself, your firm might be keen to assist with such a networking opportunity!

A restaurant—depending on the size of your party you could book a large table and let your guests pay their own bills, or you could enquire about a set menu or special offers for larger bookings. If you have a large group it might be possible to negotiate a discount or special deal.


You can contact us at: Email: Telephone: +442380 592747 For specific volunteering or branch enquiries please contact ChloĂŤ Eastburn at To speak to the events teams please contact

You can also view our website for more information:


The University of Southampton will not pass details of alumni to branch volunteers without express permission from the individual. However, alumni are able to contact branch volunteers with their information for the branch volunteers to hold.

Branch co-ordinators to sign and return to alumni relations office

The Branch volunteers will update the University of Southampton every six months with the contact details of those alumni connecting with the Branch. The Branch volunteers should look to make contact with alumni registered with them at least once every year. Every three years the branch volunteer will ask their contacts to update their details with them to confirm alumni are happy for the branch to continue to hold their information. The branch volunteers hold the information in order to keep interested alumni updated with news, events and activities within the country or area. It should not be used for any purpose un-related to the University of Southampton business. At the time of sharing information with the Branch Volunteer, alumni should be asked consent for sharing their information with other members of the branch. Only by agreeing to this should their contact information be visible to other branch members. Branch volunteers should sign the declaration below confirming that the data received from alumni will only be used for University of Southampton business and for three years before refreshing.

Data protection statement The University will not share alumni data with branch contacts unless explicit consent is given. All data held at the University is in accordance to the University’s notification with the Information Commissioner: 1998 Data Protection Act All data is securely held in the University Alumni and Development Office and will be treated confidentially and with sensitivity for the benefit of the University of Southampton and its members. The data is available to our international offices, colleges, faculties, academic and administrative departments, recognised alumni societies, sports and other clubs associated with the University, and to agents contracted by the University for particular alumni-related projects. Data is used for a full range of alumni activities, including the sending of University publications, the promotion of benefits and services available to alumni, notification of alumni events and of programmes involving academic and administrative departments. Data may also be used in fundraising programmes, which might include an element of direct marketing. Under the terms of the 1998 Data Protect Act you have the right to object to the use of your data for any of the above purposes. If you would prefer us not to use your information in this way, please contact the Alumni Office on 02380 592747 or email us at Name…………………………………………………………………… Branch…………………………………………………………………. Date……………………………………………………………………… I have read and understood the data agreement and will adhere to the guidelines laid out above when handling data relating to the branch. Signed …………………………………………………………………..



You can use this template to design your own branch membership forms, or contact the alumni relations office to receive an amendable copy of this form. We require as much of this personal information as possible in order to identify records on our database so please try to encourage members to complete the form as fully as possible. The data protection information and confirmation of understanding must be included in any membership forms you produce. If your branch charges a membership fee please include details of this and a brief description of the services included in this fee.









I have read and understood the data protection and sharing policies on page 13 and am aware that the branch co-ordinator will hold any data I give them for 3 years, updating the University with this information every 6 months and will contact me at least once per year (please tick to confirm)

(If applicable) I enclose the annual membership fee of £……… and I understand that this entitles me to the following: (insert relevant details)

Signed Date


Alumni Volunteer Handbook  

The guide to alumni volunteering at Southampton, including ways to get involved, establishing branches and templates for branch co-ordinator...

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