Find Missing Alumni - Grow Your Potential Donor Pool Why spend time finding missing alumni? Here’s a simple truth: you cannot fundraise from your alumni if you cannot contact them.  It may be that you are setting up or running a development office which has very few or poor records.  Even if you have well-established records, are you missing out on hundreds or thousands of others who might support you? How can I find missing alumni? There’s several ways you can go about it - some are virtually free, others might require more investment.  But remember - these are all potential future donors - treat them right and your investment will pay back. 1. Search Online for Distinctive names: Imagine that you are searching for a Mr John Smith who you believe is an alumnus of your school.  Search online all you like, you’ll struggle to find the right John Smith.  However if you can see someone with a more distinctive name, enter it into a website like:,, or - it may be easier than you think to find them. 2. Ask other alumni: whenever you see or write to other alumni of your institution, show them a list of missing former pupils from their era (any decent fundraising database will allow you to create this).  Ask them if they are still in touch with anyone on your list.  You could also post this list on your alumni website. 3. Hire a Research firm: Yes, there are consultants here, too.  You give them a list of your missing alumni, their names and any other information you may have, and they will try to identify them.  Organisations offering these kind of services include TraceIQ  and Heirtrace. Looking for books and resources on designing effective alumni relations programmes?    View our recommendations.   © Orier Digital Limited 2012