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Alumni Relations Office

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012

Mission The University of Cambridge seeks to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest levels of excellence. The University seeks mutually supportive lifelong relationships with the global community of non-resident members who share its commitment to excellence and its core values of freedom of thought and expression and freedom from discrimination. In order to develop and sustain these relationships the University has established the Cambridge Alumni Relations Office (CARO) with the following goals:

1. T o encourage relationships and build links between members of the University (and friends of the University) both individually and institutionally. 2. T o ensure that alumni are well informed about the development of the University and to foster in them a continuing commitment to the advancement, welfare and interests of the University. 3. T o ensure that the wide range of alumni relations programmes are responsive to the evolving needs of alumni through each stage of their lives. 4. T o facilitate the coordination of alumni relations activities in conjunction with the collegiate University. CARO abides by the University’s core values of freedom of thought and expression and freedom from discrimination. A more detailed list of the University’s values can be found at



Message from the Vice-Chancellor

Your Handbook

The members of volunteer-led Alumni Groups are invaluable ambassadors and advocates for Cambridge. They are able to communicate, first hand, the University’s passion for excellence in research and education; a passion which continues to change the lives of people throughout the world.

Now in its third year, this Handbook provides key tools and resources to set up, maintain or rejuvenate an Alumni Group. Although the core of the Handbook remains the same, we aim to include updated information and resources each year. This year we have included information on Freshers’ Parties, the Hospitality Service and online engagement.



Cambridge Alumni Relations Office


There is also a growing list of resources available on our website.

Members share experiences, enthusiasm and talents among themselves and the wider community. In doing so they are constantly strengthening Cambridge’s reputation and standing as a world-leading University. As Vice-Chancellor I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all those Alumni Group leaders and committee members who donate many hours and immense talent to supporting the University of Cambridge. Without you, such a remarkable phenomenon could not take place. I am truly grateful for your work.

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz Vice-Chancellor

© University of Cambridge

With best wishes

We would be delighted to hear of any further ideas you would like to be included in next year’s Handbook. We also urge you to make the most of the network of over 400 Alumni Groups whose full details can be found on our website.

Networks & Volunteers Working Group 5 Alumni Worldwide Network


CARO Services


Running an Alumni Group




1. Alumni Advisory Board


2. Constitution


3. Data Protection


Useful Contacts


Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012


Cambridge Alumni Relations Office (CARO) The Alumni Relations team is based at 1 Quayside, Bridge Street, Cambridge, and we welcome visits any time from 9.00am to 5.00pm on weekdays. The Events team organises and assists with a range of events for alumni throughout the UK and further afield. The team is also responsible for delivering the annual Alumni Weekend: three days of tours, lectures and social occasions which take place in Cambridge during the last weekend of September. For further information please contact events(at) The Benefits and Communications team is responsible for managing alumni communication including CAM, the alumni website and CARO on Facebook and Twitter, alongside annual publications such as the Graduation Yearbook. They also oversee the provision and on going review of alumni benefits including the CAMCard, email for life with, the University credit card, the Alumni Travel Programme and a range of alumni merchandise. For further information please contact communications(at)

The Networks and Volunteers team is responsible for developing contact with and providing the support for around 400 volunteer Alumni Groups throughout the world. We produce this Handbook, host the annual Leadership Conference and are the first point of contact for any of the items mentioned within it. Molly Peoples Alumni Relations Manager, Networks and Volunteers

Martyn Clay Alumni Relations Assistant, Networks and Volunteers

Jan Pudney Alumni Relations Assistant, Networks and Volunteers

To email the team please contact networks(at)


Message from the Chair of the Alumni Advisory Board Networks and Volunteers Working Group

Heinz Fuchs

Members Dr Heinz Fuchs (Fellow, Sidney Sussex 1997) Chair h.fuchs.97(at)

We act as a voice for the network and a forum to discuss issues relating directly to the Groups. The Working Group provides practical support and advice to CARO through activities such as helping to run the annual Leadership Conference and advising on the development of strategies. We also actively contribute to the content of the Alumni Worldwide Directory and of this Handbook.

Mrs Emma Fletcher (Fitzwilliam 1996) Deputy Chair emmafletcher(at) Dr Alex Bremner (Gonville and Caius 2000) alex.bremner(at)

The Working Group was set up three years ago alongside the Alumni Advisory Board. It reports directly to the Board, which is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor. The Group consists of both members of the Alumni Advisory Board and additional members who are co-opted by the Group itself. These additional members serve to ensure that the Working Group represents an appropriately diverse crosssection of the network of volunteer-led Alumni Groups and their members. If you have any issues you would like us to raise or news you think we should hear about, please do contact me, or any of the Working Group members. We would be delighted to hear from you. I’d also like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to all of you who help run the Alumni Groups worldwide. It is a remarkable network, of which I am very proud to be a part. With best wishes

Heinz Fuchs Chair, Alumni Advisory Board Networks and Volunteers Working Group Secretary, German Cambridge Society.

Mr Siza Mtimbiri (St Edmund’s 2007) sm717(at) Dr Philip Selby (Jesus 1957) pselby(at) Mr Laurence Smy (Selwyn 1961) info(at) Mr Prem Sundaram (Clare 1998) alumni(at) Ms Catherine Twilley (St John’s 1989) cmt23(at)

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012


The Alumni Worldwide Network To help ensure that volunteer-led Alumni Groups continue to offer valuable support to the University of Cambridge, and that CARO provides the best possible services to Alumni Groups around the world, we ask that Alumni Groups maintain a minimum level of activities and services. 1. Adhere to the University’s core values of freedom of thought and expression as well as freedom from discrimination. 2. Act as advocates and ambassadors for the University. 3. Organise regular events and initiatives with the aim of providing opportunities for alumni which include: • continuing their education • offerring their skills, expertise and networks to other alumni or the wider community • socialising with one another. We would expect a Group to organise a minimum of two events a year. 4. Actively encourage alumni to join the Group (without discrimination or prejudice). 5. Follow the University branding guidelines. 6. Be legally independent and financially self-sustaining. 7. Create and maintain a database of alumni members. * 8. Appoint a Primary Contact to liaise with CARO. The Primary Contact is responsible for ensuring that CARO is updated about the Group’s activities and contact details. He or she does not need to be the leader of the Group and in many cases is not.

The role of the Primary Contact 1. Receive the monthly email from CARO and distribute news accordingly to the Group’s committee and/or members. 2. Update CARO with news of Group events and changes of contact details so that they can be publicised on the CARO website. 3. Respond to occasional surveys and requests for information for publications from CARO, including case studies. 4. Attend the annual Leadership Conference in Cambridge. (It is understood that this is not always possible.) 5. Update CARO if he or she is unable to continue as the Primary Contact and provide details of the new Primary Contact. We recognise that in some areas of the world, especially where there are very few alumni, not all of the above activities are possible. In some cases the Group may be more of a contact for alumni passing through the area. In such cases we will aim to reflect this accordingly on the website. The Malaysian Oxford and Cambridge Group

The role of a volunteer-led Alumni Group

*P  lease note that data protection laws currently prevent CARO from exchanging alumni contact details with Groups.

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012


Alumni Relations Office

To be recognised by CARO we ask that your Group adheres to the following Memorandum of Understanding: The University will provide services such as publicising Groups on its website and in the Alumni Worldwide Directory, provide advice and support to both new and existing Groups from the Alumni Relations Office at Quayside, and hold a regular event in Cambridge for Group representatives.


In consideration of the University providing services, the Group agrees to provide details of at least one key contact person (known as the Primary Contact), information to publicise the Group on the website and in the Alumni Worldwide Directory and, if possible, a representative to attend the Alumni Groups Global Leadership Conference.

If an Alumni Group is unable to provide these things, wilfully brings the University into disrepute through its actions, or is proved not to be upholding the University’s core values, then the University will cease to provide the services outlined.



Caroline Laske (Trinity 1985) Secretary Cambridge Society of Belgium How did you get involved? I was a member for a while and then volunteered to become Secretary. How much of your own time does it take? I have set myself the aim of answering any emails or taking actions following any requests from members/potential members within twenty four hours hours. It means that the Society appears quite interactive, but it increases the work load. Usual administration is approximately one hour a week, but when organising an event (in collaboration with others e.g. annual dinner) it takes approx two to four hours/event. What are the key tasks? I am trying to be the interface of the Society. People need to feel they can get in touch any time for anything and receive a rapid answer. I

do all admin tasks with the exception of the accounts, though I am the link between the treasurer and the members. Each committee member has a ‘portfolio’ and takes an active part in organising the event that he/she has proposed. What are the most popular Group events? The annual dinner (black-tie event), house concerts and the annual croquet match against Oxford. What advice would you give to another Group? It really depends where they are. In a place like Brussels where the majority of members are professional people working hard and living in a city that has a lot of activities to offer, you need to be very interactive to get members involved and coming to events. The Society must be more than just some abstract entity that sends emails every so often and you must be able to offer something very specific that reminds people of their time in Cambridge to attract them.

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012


CARO Services Alongside acting as a general source of advice, CARO can provide a number of specific services for recognised Alumni Groups. The list below is by no means exhaustive, and new additions are regularly added to our website. Please do contact us directly if you have a specific request.

1. Monthly email update All Group contacts (except for College Groups) for whom we have email addresses receive a short monthly email of news and resources from CARO and the University. Please contact us if you would like to be added to the list. If you represent a College Group please contact your College.

2. Recruitment emailings (Regional Groups only) Email recruitment mailings are a particularly effective way of engaging alumni with Alumni Groups. Alumni are prompted to respond directly to the Group, making it easy for you to electronically collate email addresses. We find that the resulting response rates and online activity are high. The University takes individuals’ data protection very seriously and we are therefore unable to provide personal details of individual alumni to Groups. Please note, as there are around 400 Groups, CARO is not able to offer email mailings for individual Group events unless they are part of a recruitment drive that allows the Group to build a database to publicise future events.


We are able to offer email recruitment mailings to each Group once a year. We are not currently able to offer segmented mailings by other criteria such as shared interest or profession. If you are looking to recruit alumni to your Group from a particular College or department we advise you to approach the College or department in the first instance. If you are based in the USA please contact Cambridge in America (contact details on page 26). Procedure In order to schedule a mailing we need at least three weeks’ notice before the intended mailing date. Please consider this notice time when promoting an event, leaving enough time for RSVPs. We also need to consider the mailing date of other CARO emails such as the monthly e-bulletin, messages from the Vice-Chancellor and event notices. We know from experience that if we send too many emails in a short period of time alumni are inclined not to read them or may ask to be unsubscribed from our emailing list. To send an email recruitment mailing we require the following from your Group: • The text of your email. (Shorter, more concise emails are more successful in attracting responses. We are unable to include attachments, but these can easily be hosted on the CARO website along with further information about your Group.) • A  database and a willing volunteer to record the replies locally. • A  planned programme of local activity for alumni to join. • A short report one month after the mailing informing CARO how many alumni responded, and of these how many joined the Group or attended the advertised events. • Your comments on the process. Please contact us if you would like to see an example of a recruitment email.

3. Alumni Groups Global Leadership Conference The Leadership Conference is an annual, free, one-day conference in early July for all Cambridge volunteer Alumni Group contacts. The day consists of breakout seminars, a guest lecture and a garden party hosted by the Vice-Chancellor. The objectives for the day are: • for Groups to share best practice and build long-term links directly with each other in order to provide mutual support and networking opportunities • for Groups to update CARO on their activities, plans, hopes and concerns • to update Groups about the University and CARO • to thank Alumni Group contacts for their work. As a recognised Alumni Group your allocated Group contact(s) will automatically receive an invitation to this event. For more information please visit This day is built around the needs and requirements of Alumni Groups. If there is an issue you wish to be discussed at the next Leadership Conference please do not hesitate to let us know.

I found the day truly inspiring and useful as well, and I came back to the States with lots of great ideas to revitalize and engage our alumni volunteers.” Cambridge in America

4. S  peakers for Events Many Group events rely on finding an informative and enjoyable speaker to give a lecture or after-dinner speech. A large number of senior members of the University are more than happy to come and speak at such events. We can assist in finding a speaker for your Group through our quarterly speaker request process. This involves individual Groups submitting a request for a speaker which is added to requests from other Groups. Once compiled, these requests are distributed to a growing list of Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Heads of Houses, Pilkington Prize winners and senior members who have previously shown interest in supporting Group events. Once a speaker has chosen a Group to visit, we will put both parties in contact with one another. We must stress that CARO does not offer travel or accommodation expenses for speakers, so before requesting a speaker, please ensure that you are either prepared to cover these costs (in cash or in kind) or to ask the speaker to make their own arrangements. As many Groups ask CARO for help in finding a speaker we recommend that you use your own contacts and networks first, as a personal approach can often be more effective. For a Speaker Request form please visit our website or for more information please contact the Networks and Volunteers team.

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012


6. O  nline publicity The alumni website is continually being updated and includes details of Groups and their events, as well as resources and information for Groups. Every month we advertise the Group pages to alumni through the e-bulletin (sent to 100,000 alumni) and three times a year in CAM (sent to 192,000 alumni) so please ensure we have details of your latest events and activities for alumni to read. Each Group has its own page on the CARO website. We strongly encourage Groups to use this as much as possible to achieve maximum exposure of Group details and events. 2000 alumni visit our website every month.

Treats at the reception for Cambridge Blues from the Oxford and Cambridge Alumni Society, Czech Republic

In addition to our speaker request process, each month, CARO receives an update about some of the academics who are travelling abroad. You may be contacted by one of these academics.

5. Alumni Worldwide Directory The Alumni Worldwide Directory is a list of all Alumni Groups throughout the world including their Primary Contact details. Hard copies are available from CARO and there is a search engine with further details of Alumni Groups on the CARO website.


Examples of updates for your web page can include: a Group description, forthcoming and past event details, newsletters, booking forms, reports, links to other Group pages and a photo gallery. Please contact the team if you would like to submit content to your Group page or visit

7. A  lumni Groups’ High Tea and Talk Each year on the Sunday afternoon of Alumni Weekend, CARO hosts an Alumni Groups’ High Tea and Talk at the University Centre. This is a chance for all Group members to meet friends and hear what CARO has been doing during the past year. There is a small charge, but if you book just for this event the Alumni Weekend registration fee is waived. In 2011 it will be at 4pm on Sunday 25 September. Please see the website for full details at

8. Event Banners CARO has a number of large banners that can be lent to Alumni Groups for events. They carry the University Identifier, are 1500 x 750mm and can be hung by the eyelets in the corners. To borrow a banner please contact the Networks and Volunteers team.

9.Freshers’ Parties During September some of our Alumni Groups hold parties for local freshers, allowing them to get to know other students before they arrive in Cambridge. The number of events has grown each year with parties now held in the UK and overseas. Over the years we have received some great emails from students saying how helpful they have found these parties and how much they appreciated the opportunity to meet others who were coming up to Cambridge. We also know that the many Alumni Groups find their parties very satisfying and felt they are a practical way in which they can support the University. To see examples of freshers’ Parties please visit our website. If your Group would be interested in running a Freshers’ Party please contact us and we will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

It’s one of the best things we do.”

10. H  ospitality Service Starting in 2011, we are aiming to produce a directory of Alumni Groups who are willing to provide a hospitality service aimed at travelling alumni, current students abroad and visiting academics. Participating Groups may offer to meet with alumni or academics, take them for a drink, offer some local knowledge or provide useful contacts. If your Alumni Group would like to be part of this service, or for more information, please contact us at networks(at)

11. O  nline Engagement In summer 2011, you will be able to log on to the brand new part of our website and start to benefit from our improved online services. You will be able to find out and update the contact details we have for you, as well as manage your e-communication preferences. In due course there will be additional functionality for our Alumni Groups, allowing you to run your own online Group page, upload and edit Group events and photos, message boards and much more. Details of the enhanced online services will be available in Easter CAM 2011 and on our website, but please contact us if you have any enquiries.

Felicity Rutland, Cambridge Society of Oxfordshire

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012




David Billett (Trinity Hall 1968) Cambridge Society of North & West Yorkshire

attending the Group Leadership Conference in Cambridge and networking with our neighbouring Cambridge Societies.

How did you get involved? I joined the Cambridge Society of North Yorkshire shortly after the inaugural meeting in 2000. I served as Vice-Chairman and have just completed two years as Chairman. The Society is now one of the largest geographically in the UK, which presents particular challenges and opportunities.

What does an Alumni Group mean for you? The Group provides an opportunity to share in a range of sociable and informative events with a diverse group of individuals, nevertheless linked by a Cambridge background and their commitment to this Northern region.

How much of your own time does it take? It probably averages one hour each week, supporting administration and maintaining contact with members. What are the key tasks? Supporting the secretary/treasurer, being a major link with CARO,


What advice would you give to another Group? Try to involve younger alumni and families (a major challenge!), seeking opinions about what they might participate in. Establish a good database of members, maximising email links, and keep in contact with a regular newsletter and other mailings as necessary. It can be helpful to set up sub-database of members known to have particular interests, for example a walkers list.

Running an Alumni Group 1. Setting up a new Alumni Group If you are considering setting up Group please do contact us directly so that we can explain the process and agree how we can support you. Some key first steps are: • E nsure you have read and agree to the Memorandum of Understanding on page 8. • Check with CARO that there isn’t already a Group in existence. We can only publicise one Group in each area unless you are able to reach an agreement with the existing Group that it is worthwhile having two Groups, e.g. a Dining Club and a recent graduate Group. • Ask CARO to inform you how many alumni are living in your area so that you can scale your plans accordingly. • Recruit a group of core members and decide if you should appoint a formal committee to assist with the day-to-day running of the Group. • Decide the aims of your Group and write a short constitution. • Set up a membership/emailing database. • Ask CARO to publicise the launch of your Group on its website, in CAM and in the Alumni Worldwide Directory. • Consider asking CARO to send an initial recruitment mailing to local alumni (see page 10).

2. Maintaining a database Even the smallest of Groups will need to keep a record of members and it is much easier to do this electronically. If you are a large Group, then try to appoint a specific person, whose role is to maintain and update your records. Some larger Groups have recruited a paid secretary to ensure that their records are kept up to date.

In all cases it is important to maintain control over who has access to the data and to ensure that data transfers are secure. Please do not share personal data with third parties (e.g. entering into a data processing agreement) without following the correct procedures. Finally, make sure you have a secure way of storing data, i.e. use a password on your computer or a secure filing cabinet. If you are in the UK you must also be aware of the principles of the UK Data Protection Act. Paid employees of the group and volunteers who have access to group databases should be informed that there are confidentiality issues surrounding the personal data contained in them and that they should not disclose personal data (in particular any sensitive personal data) to any third party, unless directed to by the University and/or the University’s representative. We have created some draft wording for membership and event application forms that will help to ensure that you are adhering to the principles of the Act. This can be found in Appendix 3.

3. G  roup finances Each Group is entirely self-financing. Members do not pay any central fee to the University. It is therefore entirely up to you how you finance your Group, but we recommend that you work on a break-even basis with a small reserve fund in case of emergencies. It is advisable to keep basic written records of income and expenses together with a balance sheet. If you can, we suggest that you recruit a volunteer with previous experience of handling basic accounts and ask them to present them to the Group on an annual basis.

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012


To fund their activity, some Groups charge an annual membership fee or a one-off joining fee. This can ensure that the Group has a steady stream of income, but involves a certain level of financial administration to ensure that subscription records are kept up to date.

Boat Race events are perhaps the most popular events our Groups hold. Many Groups celebrate this annual competition by holding a dinner, social event or even their own boat race against an Oxford alumni Group! We have compiled reports from a number of these events on our website.

Alternatively some Groups simply hold a database of alumni who have expressed an interest in the Group and define these as their ‘members’ and any alumni can join by submitting their contact details. The cost of the administration of the Group is covered by adding a small amount to the cost of every event ticket price.

Expenses You should aim to work on a break-even basis allowing for a small reserve to be built up over a number of events in case of emergencies. Costs you are likely to need to consider are: • venue • refreshments • entertainment • VAT (or other local sales taxes) • speaker travel expenses (speakers’ travel expenses are not covered by CARO).

4. Annual General Meeting We recommend that once a year your Group holds an Annual General Meeting to update all members on the Group’s activities and its plans for the upcoming year. This needn’t be an onerous task and most Groups combine it with a social event, but celebrating the Group’s achievements and agreeing its future are a key part of ensuring that a Group continues to thrive. There is no legal obligation to do so, but if you are willing to send your Annual Report to CARO we would be very happy to receive it. We will not share it directly with other Groups, but it is helpful to be able to advise other Groups about the challenges and achievements of others.

5. Holding events Type of event The array of events organised by Groups is limitless. We’ve collated some of them opposite to help inspire you in creating your own. You can find detailed reports of actual Group events on our website.


A Group can run on quite modest financial resources. We make most events self-funding, but charge a modest annual subscription to support the administration of the Group (including the cost of public liability insurance) and to subvent events such as the AGM”. David Billett, North & West Yorkshire

day trips

guest speakers

garden parties

freshers’ parties gliding

ice skating

orchestra visits

fine dining

black tie dinners

walks theatre trips


wine and beer tasting

croquet matches

varsity matches group exchange trips

cricket matches

networking events heritage visits

family picnics christmas dinners



winter feasts

pub nights



speed dating


carol services

boat race

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012


Venue Your members will know where they are most interested in going and may also have the best access to exclusive venues. Some may have corporate or institutional facilities that can be used at no cost. Alternatively your Group may prefer to meet in very informal surroundings that do not need to be booked or paid for in advance. Do also consider the importance of public transport, parking and general access. Speakers There are a number of places you can find inspiration: • Find an Expert website • University Department websites • College websites • Staff Newsletter • What’s On website • Lectures from Alumni Weekend • Science Festival website • Festival of Ideas website You can also complete and return the Speaker Request form on the CARO website.


Refreshments Food and drink can be the most expensive element of an event. Many venues insist on their own caterers being used and this can make the ticket price prohibitive. It is worth carrying out some research among your members before proposing a menu. The most expensive option can sometimes deter alumni from attending. It may be worth considering a buffet rather than a sit-down meal, or in some cases members may prefer just to pay for their own food on the day. Promotion It is always wise to allow plenty of time to plan and promote an event. We recommend sending out invitations (ideally by email) four to six weeks ahead, including an RSVP date and reply mechanism. Group news and event invitations can be added to the CARO website, which is highlighted through the monthly e-bulletin (sent to 100,000 alumni). We can also provide a recruitment email to coincide with forthcoming events you may have. Please see page 10 for further details.

6. Using social media An increasing number of Groups are using social media such as Facebook in order to publicise their Group and its activities. CARO has its own Facebook Page If you are new to Facebook, to view these Groups you need to sign up to Facebook, by filling in some basic personal details at Please do contact us for information or assistance in setting up a social media page.

7. Engaging younger alumni Many Groups are keen to engage recent graduates. The following ideas have worked well for existing Groups: • recruiting them to help run sub-Groups with a separate brand identity to the more established Groups • organising and funding drinks events at a pub by ‘putting money behind the bar’ • ensuring events have an emphasis on networking and education • opening events to non-alumni in order to expand networking possibilities • publicising your Group through Twitter and Facebook • Freshers’ Parties can also make current students more aware of the activities of Alumni Groups and once they have graduated can be more likely to join.

8. R  isk assessment The law does not expect you to eliminate all risks but to manage them, and protect people ‘as far as reasonably practicable’. In practical terms this means completing a risk assessment. The process should be seen as an enabling process and ideally should be carried out by people who have been trained, but if this is not possible, the following guidance should be referred to as required: • Charity and Voluntary Workers – A Guide to Health and Safety at Work HSG192: • HSE’s Guidance on Risk Management: • Volunteering England:

9. U  nsuccessful Groups Through successful planning and rotating committee members, we hope that Groups will continue to exist for many years, but occasionally Groups feel they are unable to continue. If you are in this situation please make sure you contact us so that we can investigate ways that we may be able to help.

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012




Hanadi Jabado (Sidney Sussex 1995) Cambridge Judge Business School Alumni Network – London

with our members. For the events, tasks include finding speakers. We are now thinking of getting sponsorships for our events.

How did you get involved? I organised events throughout my time at Cambridge. When we left Cambridge, I carried on organising events for my class and the ones before and after. Everyone invited people they knew and soon we had a large group and regular events.

What is the most popular Group event? Sporting events are popular to some and seminars to others. Many of our members like the social drinks!

How much time does it take to administer and support the Group? A lot of time! It is sneaky and you could be doing it all week. What are the key tasks? Responding to queries from Group members and new members, bringing people together and producing a calendar of events. I also keep our Facebook page and other social media to maintain links


What advice would you give to another Group? Keep things simple! Set a routine and make sure communications are clear. Collaboration with other Groups is one of the many strengths of the Cambridge network. Above all, have fun! What does an Alumni Group mean for you? For me it is bringing people together who have Cambridge in common and keeping their Cambridge connection alive or bring it back to life.

Appendices Appendix 1

Alumni Advisory Board The 22 member Alumni Advisory Board chaired by the Vice-Chancellor meets twice a year. The Board is actively involved in the ongoing development and review of the University’s alumni relations strategy. Meetings have covered topics such as alumni recognition, international strategy, engaging recent graduates, coordinating alumni relations in conjunction with collegiate Cambridge and alumni surveys. Between meetings Board members are in regular contact with CARO either individually or as members of specific Working Groups. The Board adheres to the University’s core values of freedom of thought and expression as well as freedom from discrimination. The Board’s terms of reference and current members are displayed on the website.

Members in 2011 Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz (Honorary Fellow, Wolfson), Chair Mr Stuart Laing (Corpus Christi 1967), Deputy Chair Sir Paul Judge (Trinity 1968) Dr Heinz Fuchs (Fellow, Sidney Sussex 1997) Mr David Clouter (Emmanuel 1978) Mrs Emma Fletcher (Fitzwilliam 1996) Mr Mike Gregson (Trinity Hall 1955) Dr Jill Hockey Mr Edward Knowles (Gonville & Caius 1958) Mr Alan Mak (Peterhouse 2002) HHJ Katharine Marshall (Sidney Sussex 1977) Ms Dina Medland (Trinity 1979) Mr John Pritchard (Robinson 1983) Mr John Simpson (Magdalene 1963) Dr Simon Singh MBE (Emmanuel 1987) Ms Penny Smith (King’s 1974) Mr Laurence Smy (Selwyn 1961) Mrs Sarah Squire (Newnham 1968) Mr Jason Wall (Pembroke 1997) Dr Henri Winand (Girton 1995)

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012


Appendix 2

Suggested guidelines for unincorporated organisations Scope Set out below are guidelines which can be used as reference for a constitution for an existing or new Group. Examples of existing constitutions are available on request. K  ey: ESSENTIAL These are essential matters in that (a) if they are omitted there could be significant problems/disputes, or (b) they clarify an issue which is not clearly defined by law and thus remove potential uncertainties. RECOMMENDED These are matters of good practice. Guidelines There is considerable flexibility as to the issues which should or could be covered in a constitution, but what follows is regarded as appropriate for a Volunteer Alumni Group. Name ESSENTIAL The official Group name should be clearly stated and relate to its objects. Object/purposes of the new Group ESSENTIAL The Group’s objects clause should be stated in a suitably wide form to cover all the objectives it may wish to achieve. Membership ESSENTIAL In this section there should be a clear definition of those to whom the membership of the Group is open. For example, membership


of the Suffolk Cambridge Society is open to ‘any resident in or near the County of Suffolk who was or is a member of the University, or has associations with its welfare’. T here should be flexibility to decide on the breadth of criteria for membership. It should be a local decision as to whether, for example, to allow spouses or non-Cambridge graduates to become members or if individuals need to be nominated by an existing member or members or require committee approval to gain membership. Subscriptions ESSENTIAL Local Groups have autonomy over subscriptions. The Group could include a clause in its constitution relating to subscriptions in terms of who has the power to decide the amount, due date for payment and joining fee. It should be noted that, in contract law, there is no term implied in the contract of membership that if a member fails to pay his subscription by the specified date his membership will lapse. To clarify the point therefore, the constitution should have an express rule that if a subscription is not received by a specified period after it has become due, then that member’s membership will automatically lapse. Groups are not required to have a subscription for their members at all and so this clause is only essential if a subscription is to be charged (or if the Group believes it may want to charge subscriptions in the future). Resignation of Members ESSENTIAL There needs to be a clause setting out a procedure for

resignation of members. The requirements for resignation (for example formal written notice to the Chairman) may vary between Groups but the process should be clearly set out in each constitution.

This requirement, however, will depend on the size of the Group and it may not be appropriate for small Groups to have to go to this time and expense.

Officers ESSENTIAL It is necessary to include provision as to how the individuals who are going to have principal responsibility for running the Group are appointed, elected or selected, whether by nomination or voting, and, if the latter, who is eligible to vote. This will include the Executive Committee and any officers of the Group such as Chairman, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and/or Secretary.

Meetings RECOMMENDED It is best practice for the Group’s constitution to make provision either for a regular Annual General Meeting (AGM) or power for the Executive Committee to call an AGM. If the date of the meeting is fixed in the constitution there is an advantage that no formal notice is required. Provision for having such a meeting is strongly recommended as it gives the members an opportunity to meet formally, review the performance of the Group, and review its financial position as well as to discuss the way forward on all issues, such as financial and social, for the coming year. Matters for inclusion at any AGM agenda may be stated in the constitution. This could include consideration of the year’s accounts and reports of sub-committees. This works as a useful checklist for the AGM agenda.

T he constitution should specify how these positions are appointed, how long the positions are to be held and how often the Executive Committee should meet. Management ESSENTIAL There should be a clear definition of who is ultimately responsible for the management of the Group’s affairs. This will usually be the Executive Committee. For the avoidance of doubt, the members of and the powers of the Executive Committee should be defined. This could include the power to appoint new officers to its own number, to appoint sub-committees, to invest the Group’s funds, to sign cheques and a power for the Executive Committee or its Chairman to call meetings.  ECOMMENDED It is recommended that the Executive Committee R should be required to produce an annual report, income and expenditure account and balance sheet at the end of each financial year.

Provision for the calling of Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs) should also be included. It is usual to allow that an EGM may only be called by the Committee or by a minimum number of members. The constitution should include the length of notice a member will receive in respect of any type of meeting. Quorum ESSENTIAL There should also be definition (in terms of a number) for a quorum at meetings of the Executive Committee and general meetings. This will naturally vary considerably for each Group depending on the size of its membership.

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012


 ECOMMENDED More detailed information could be included setting R out, for example, qualification to attend meetings, casting vote of the Chairman and type of majority required to carry a motion. Notices RECOMMENDED The constitution should include a reference as to how notices may be sent. Best practice would be to draft this as widely as possible so as to include post and electronic means so as to give as much flexibility as possible. Members should be placed under a duty to inform the Secretary of their current contact details. Amendment of Rules ESSENTIAL It is important that the rules contain an express provision whereby the members are empowered to alter the Group’s rules by way of amendment, addition or revocation. There should also be a procedure laid out within the rules for the Group Committee to initiate alterations to the rules. A Group changes and evolves over time and new generations of members may not want to be inhibited by pre-existing rules which may become defunct or superfluous. Sometimes a higher percentage vote is required – for instance 50% or 75% of members present and voting. Dissolution ESSENTIAL There must be provision as to how a resolution to dissolve the Group is passed. This will assist in avoiding a potentially acrimonious end to the Group’s life and leave no doubt as to how the future of the Group’s assets will be determined. Disputes and expulsion of members ESSENTIAL It is important that the constitution includes provision for internal dispute resolution, particularly disputes between members


or between a member and the Group. There should be an internal complaints procedure or at least a clear statement that the Committee is empowered to make a binding decision on all such disputes. It is important for a Group to include a clause in its constitution relating to the suspension or expulsion of members. The rules should expressly set out an expulsion procedure because, if they are silent on expulsion of members, then this power will not be implied. Insurance RECOMMENDED It is recommended that the Groups include an enabling provision in their constitution relating to the taking out of insurance. In particular two types of insurance are at issue: insurance of the Society’s assets and activities; insurance of the members of the Executive Committee against personal liability relating to tortious issues such as negligence claims.

Appendix 3

Data  Protection Statement The University takes its responsibility for data protection very seriously. It is important that you deal with data protection requirements whenever data is collected from an individual, for example when sending out membership and event application forms for your Group.

Alumni Group application form The following sections of wording are set out for guidance when creating an Alumni Group membership form. 1  . Consent By completing and returning this form you consent to the Group • recording your personal data in both hard and electronic form • u  sing it for the purposes of the Group, such as organising events, and sharing it with the University Development Office.  2. Contact details Please indicate how we may contact you by providing your current contact details: • by post • by email • by mobile text and calls • b  y telephone (even if registered with the UK Telephone Preference Service)  3. Preferences Data protection legislation requires us to check your preferences about

marketing by electronic means (email and text). Please indicate here if you do not wish to receive such communications about • Events • Fundraising  If you don’t express a preference, until informed otherwise, we will assume that you are happy to receive such material electronically. Note that if you request not to receive marketing by electronic means, it may be you will not receive any notification at all. 4. Changes If you have any queries, wish to restrict data processing or sharing or do not want to be contacted, please inform us [insert URL]. (Minimal information is always retained to make sure you are not contacted again inadvertently.) U  K Information Commissioner As a Group you will be handling a significant amount of personal data about members. This has led some UK Groups to ask about the need to register with or notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – the UK data protection regulator. There is very helpful advice about this on the ICO’s own website at So far no Group has needed to notify, and unless you are planning something particularly unusual we imagine it is highly unlikely you will need to. However, we recommend that you consult the ICO’s guidance to make sure. It is important to remember that even if your Group does not need to notify with the ICO, it must still comply in full with the other obligations in the Data Protection Act 1998.

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012


Useful Contacts Cambridge in America 292 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor New York NY 10017 USA Tel: +1 212 984 0960 Fax: +1 212 984 0970 Email: mail(at) Web: Facebook: cambridgeinamerica College Alumni Offices Please see addresses.html to find your College Alumni Office. Official University Map Web:

Front cover image Oxford University Alumni Relations Office Alumni Office University of Oxford Wellington Square Oxford OX1 2JD Tel: +44 (0)1865 611610 Email: enquiries(at) Web: Staff Newsletter Web: newsletter Student Records and Statistics 10 Peas Hill Cambridge CB2 3PN Tel: +44 (0)1223 332309 Email: student.records(at) Web: students/index.shtml Visit Cambridge Tel: 0871 226 8006 (UK) Tel: +44 01223 464732 (Overseas) Web:


‘Clare College and King’s College’ by Rosalind Ridley Dr Rosalind Ridley read Natural Sciences at Newnham College and then pursued a career in medical research aimed at understanding and treating neurological diseases. After more than 20 years in London she returned to Cambridge as Fellow of Newnham College and Head of the Comparative Cognition Team, funded by the Medical Research Council but embedded within the Department of Experimental Psychology. After retiring from active research she resumed her interest in painting with a particular emphasis on representing people and architecture. Her research interests can be seen on rmr21 and her paintings can be viewed on

Did you know… by booking with the Alumni Travel Programme or using the University Credit Card you are helping to support the University? The Alumni Travel Programme offers a programme of stimulating and varied tours that reach all corners of the globe, accompanied by lecturers who offer an expert insight into the destinations visited. Parties consist of Cambridge alumni, or are joint with Oxford alumni. With each trip booked the University benefits from a donation made by the travel operators with whom we work. Where would you like to go? Visit to see the exciting range of trips on offer. The University Credit Card is our only official credit card, and has been carefully designed to help promote the University and provide a range of attractive rates and benefits. Cambridge benefits from both new accounts taken out and each transaction made with the card. See for more information.

Don’t forget… to bring your CAMCard with you when you

come back to Cambridge, for access to the Colleges, discounts on local hotels, restaurants and shops and a whole lot more. Information on all of the benefits available to you are on Contact CARO or visit the website if you need to get or renew your CAMCard. Alumni Weekend This annual three-day event is held in September, and attracts in excess of 1200 alumni and their guests back to Cambridge from all over the world for a stimulating programme of lectures, tours and events. Visit

Alumni Weekend 2011 Friday 23 – Sunday 25 September

Alumni Relations Office

Booking opens Monday 6 June Booking closes Friday 5 August Book online at i Tel: +44 (0)1223 332288

Alumni Volunteer Handbook 2011 – 2012


Imagine Cambridge in the 19th century … ... Professor Henslow is reading extracts to the Philosophical Society from the Beagle letters of his student Charles Darwin. The intrepid Smith sisters are heading for Sinai to search for any manuscripts that the German scholar Tischendorf may have missed. Sir Richard Jebb’s edition of Sophocles is setting new standards for the editing of classical texts, and Lord Kelvin and Peter Guthrie Tait are revolutionising the world of physics. Meanwhile the government of the day has appointed a commission to look into the finances and running of the ancient universities …

Be transported back into this world, familiar and yet extraordinary

CamBRIDGe LIBRaRy CoLLeCTIon Books of enduring scholarly value, reissued in print and online

Alumni Volunteer Handbook  

Alumni Volunteer Handbook from the Cambridge Alumni Relations Office (CARO)

Alumni Volunteer Handbook  

Alumni Volunteer Handbook from the Cambridge Alumni Relations Office (CARO)