How Christ’s Hospital independent school got over 500 virtual event attendees with their alumni engagement platform 

Key stats

  • 700 new members on virtual alumni network over two years
  • 70 pupils actively seeking mentorship in the Gravyty alumni platform
  • 500+ attendees of two virtual events
  • 50% of alumni identify as willing to help with career development within the Gravyty platform

About Christ’s Hospital

Christ’s Hospital is an independent boarding and day school for pupils aged 11-18 located in the United Kingdom. The school was established in 1556 and provides free or substantially reduced cost placement to over 630 of the 900 students it takes in each year—more than any other educational institution of its kind in the UK.

The challenge: Engage alumni authentically and measurably in a fully virtual environment

Christ’s Hospital alums are affectionately dubbed “Old Blues.” Upon graduation, alums enter the Christ’s Hospital Old Blues Association (CHOBA), an exclusive, Gravyty-powered virtual alumni network made up of their “Old Blues” peers. CHOBA members get access to a searchable alumni database, mentorship programs, an active and up-to-date job board, and geographic and business affinity groups. Alums in the CHOBA network can also register for upcoming alumni events. 

But in 2020, the pandemic created unprecedented challenges for Christ’s Hospital’s engagement team. COVID put a halt on in-person events, making it challenging to reach and engage CHOBA members in meaningful and measurable ways.

The solution: Tap into the power of a virtual network to drive virtual event participation and overall engagement

The CH engagement team didn’t let the restriction of in-person gatherings stop them from personally engaging their large international alumni community. They leveraged their virtual network’s communication tools like digest and newsletters to regularly share updates and send virtual event invitations to CHOBA members, using an interesting hook in the subject lines to catch alums’ attention. The CH engagement team sent quarterly newsletters to keep alums in the loop and remind them to stay involved and keep their profiles up to date. 

To drive active engagement, the CH team had to pivot away from in-person events to virtual ones. They leaned into creative ideas to generate excitement and drive registrations:

  • Career seminars led by the most engaged alumni in the network
  • Virtual tour of a distillery owned by a CH alum 
  • A talk from the CEO of Bletchley Park Trust (and a CH alumni) on the fascinating historical significance of Bletchley Park

Well beyond the initial 2020 lockdown, the CH engagement team leans on virtual events like these to keep alums around the world engaged and active on the network. 

“Our online talks did really well. Many got 90-100 people signing up, which is huge.”

– Gina Skillings, CHOBA Manager, Christ’s Hospital

The outcome

Gravyty’s alumni and community engagement platform allowed Christ’s Hospital to keep their alumni actively engaged throughout the pandemic and beyond with virtual events, consistent communication, and valuable career and mentorship tools.

“Gravyty opens up so many new options for us to get alumni involved in mentorship and career advice. Because we can so readily tap into the worldwide community and organize online events, we don’t have to worry so much about where people are located.”

– Gina Skillings, CHOBA Manager, Christ’s Hospital

By connecting alumni around the world and bringing them together for virtual events and ongoing mentorship through the Gravyty platform, the CH team saw impressive growth in engagement during and beyond the peak of the pandemic: 700 new members over the course of two years, and over 500 attendees of their virtual events.

Solution spotlight

Gravyty’s alumni and community engagement platform enables schools to create a thriving community of alumni with a tailored network platform, mentoring tools, exclusive groups, job and internship boards and personalized multi-channel messaging at scale. Automated mentor matching, job and internship boards, milestones and badges, video messaging and custom survey tools help alums build lasting connections and find career success. Learn more.  

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