Volunteer Orientation

Overview

What makes the Wharton Global Clubs Network so unique is its independent nature. While each club has a staff liaison to lean on for advice, the alumni volunteers have the autonomy to make their own important club management decisions. The Global Clubs team is here to enable you to meet your goals and have a meaningful experience giving back to Wharton.

This guide will focus on the resources and support available to help achieve your goals and feel part of an incredible community of leaders beyond your own club. It is organized into three sections that align with the goals of the Global Clubs team:

  • Scaling and centralizing resources
  • Connecting the community of club leaders
  • Celebrating and marketing the achievements of clubs

All information included in this guide is also available in webinar format, with a corresponding slide deck. If you are looking for even more information, check out our webinar on Managing a Volunteer Leadership Team - designed to help club presidents in particular manage effective boards and lead clubs with long-term success strategies.

Scaled & Centralized Resources

Wharton club volunteers are always innovating, discovering new best practices for engaging alumni and representing Wharton in their region or affinities. The Global Clubs team works to document and share these best practices globally so club leaders never have to reinvent the wheel when approaching a challenge.  

WhartonOfficers.com

With so many resources available to club leaders, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed about where to find what you need. WhartonOfficers.com is a portal that houses all offerings, with an easily searchable format.

Highlights include:

Brand Standards & Custom Logos

Also on WhartonOfficers.com, the Brand Standards page is your “start here” guide for using the custom Wharton alumni club logo and color scheme. You’ll see a few examples of how the logo can be used in different ways, from an email header to a social media icon. Every club has a Dropbox folder that contains a comprehensive package of logos in multiple file sizes, file types, colors, and orientations. Your president should have access to this link, but you can always contact us at [email protected] if you need access!

Succession Planning & Election Resources

Thinking about succession planning? Learn more about best practices for managing an election, including how your staff liaison can help you manage a third party voting platform. Likewise, we also offer a webinar recording on Best Practices for Managing a Volunteer Leadership Team. Whether you're a veteran leader or just getting started, this session will help you to get the most out of your volunteer team and prepare your club for long-term success.

Club Event Calendar & Weekly Digest Email

Across the top bar of WhartonOfficers.com, the last big menu item is the Global Clubs Calendar. This is a resource for aggregating all club events in one centralized location. When events are in person, you can use it to find opportunities while traveling or check out other club event ideas. For virtual programs, it is a great resource to see a full menu of worldwide programs you can attend. The calendar allows you to filter by region, affinity, and date, so you can find what interests you. For clubs that post events using the School website platform called NationBuilder, events automatically sync to this calendar. If your club does not use NationBuilder, you can send events to [email protected] to be manually added.

The Global Clubs team also compiles a list of virtual events in a weekly digest email for club presidents. Every Monday or Tuesday, staff send a list of club events worldwide that clubs would like promoted to a larger audience. It’s easy to copy, paste, and share with your members to expand audiences. If you’re not a club president, we also have WhatsApp and WeChat groups where we post the same information weekly.

Talking Points

To ensure club leaders are always "in the know" about the latest news and priorities from Wharton (regardless of graduation date!), we offer regularly updated Talking Points for Club Leaders. The resource includes information about how the campus is changing, what new research is coming from professors, class profiles for each degree program, curriculum updates, and much more. We truly want you to feel like an ambassador of the School, so you can think of this as your executive briefing from us to prepare you to talk to any audience about Wharton!

Benchmarking Reports & Surveys

All clubs are required to complete an annual registration survey to report benchmarking data on a yearly basis. The results of that survey track club progress toward goals and also assess the overall performance of each club over time.

Beyond keeping this information as a historical record, findings are published in a report called the State of the Clubs. We celebrate top-performers, best ideas, and very importantly, in true Wharton fashion, provide you with the raw data to compare how you stack up against other clubs.

Alumni Data & Infographics

The Global Clubs team provides each club a data list for their region or industry. To help you make sense of that data, we also offer infographics to illustrate trends in your data. We love helping club leaders make data-driven decisions, so always feel free to lean on us if you have a question that you think more data could help solve. Your staff liaison may have more information from other clubs or be able to work with our Data Analytics team at Wharton to find a good solution.

Premium Zoom Access

All Wharton clubs are eligible for shared access to a premium account Zoom to host meetings and webinars, free of charge. By using the Wharton account, you are able to host up to 500 attendees, with no time limit. If you’re interested in using this resource for your club’s leadership meetings or events, please fill out our online participation agreement or contact your staff liaison.

NationBuilder Website Platform

The NationBuilder website platform is a free benefit to help clubs manage nearly every aspect of club activities. About 85% of clubs that choose to have a web presence do so by using this platform. A few key features are highlighted below, but you can learn more by checking out the Club Website Guide or by contacting your staff liaison

  • Alumni Data - the administrative side of the club website platform syncs with the University alumni database. Clubs who use the website will always have the most up-to-date alumni lists and automatically receive updated contact information from the School.
  • Email Server - with an integrated email server, similar to MailChimp or Constant Contact, you can send email messages out to your alumni list using the alumni contact information which will always be automatically synced.
  • Payment Processing - whether you want to sell event tickets or offer a paid membership option, NationBuilder can enable you to direct payments seamlessly toward your club.

The Club Leadership Community

While clubs operate autonomously and make independent decisions, the community of club leaders helps make volunteer work more fulfilling by solving common problems faster and creating a rich network of close relationships. The most meaningful work, volunteer or otherwise, is done among friends. We hope that you find relationships that enrich your life not only within your own leadership team, but also within the broader Global Clubs Network.

Wharton Club Leadership Conference

Our signature program for club leaders, usually hosted in person at rotating locations, including on campus in Philadelphia, on campus in San Francisco, and in locations concurrent with Wharton Global Forums like London, New York, and Shanghai. The purpose of the conference is largely to learn and exchange club management best practices, but it’s also to make new friends and contacts for you to lean on when you have questions or want to collaborate.

Club Call Day

Club Call Day, also called Wharton Clubs: Dialed In, is a virtual event hosted twice per year to connect club leaders on a conference call to discuss best practices around one topic. Some past topics include Membership, International MBA Admissions, and Engaging Young Alumni. The calls often include a presentation from the Global Clubs team and then transition to a conversation among the club leaders on the call for them to share challenges and brainstorm solutions.

Virtual Coffee Chats

Virtual coffee chats for club leaders give club leaders an opportunity to connect in a meaningful way, facilitated by our team. Club leaders can sign up to be matched based on several critera. Our team then matches each club leader to either one or two people based on what they are looking to get out of their conversation. It’s a great, easy way to meet the community and exchange ideas. Matches are made 3-4 times per year – keep an eye out for our next round!

Wharton Summer Series

The Summer Series – formerly POP or Pub Outside Penn – is an opportunity to connect with incoming Wharton students, summer interns, and recent graduates in your region. Every summer, usually late June, the Global Clubs team sends a data list for each region and work with clubs to develop ideas for how to include this population in programs. It’s a great way to integrate alumni clubs into the early experiences of Wharton students and young alumni!

Wharton Club Directory

You can always reach out to your fellow club leaders independently through the online club directory which lists every officially recognized club, with their website link and a contact for the club president. The Global Clubs team keeps this up to date, so you can always check here if you don’t want to wait for staff to make an introduction!

Social Media & Communication Channels

The club leader Facebook group is a great place to start a conversation or hear updates from our team. WhatsApp and WeChat groups are also available for all club leaders to receive quick, text-message style updates.

There are also two email listservs – one for club presidents and one for club webmasters that we use to get official messages out to our primary points of contact. If you are a club president or webmaster, you will be automatically added to this email list.

Volunteer Working Groups

Volunteer Working Groups connect Wharton club officers in similar functional positions with one another to network and exchange best practices. Groups are established and coordinated by the Wharton Global Clubs team, with flexible participation from volunteers. It’s a great way to connect with Wharton alumni doing similar club volunteer work as you, but maybe in a different region or with a different approach. Learn more about the ten groups offered and sign up to be a part of one.

 

Celebrating & Marketing Achievements of Clubs

So much of what we do is providing club leaders with the tools they need to be successful volunteers and enable your ideas to become a reality. We also want to make sure as many people know about your incredible work as possible. With 75+ alumni clubs acting independently, it can be easy to overlook something outstanding that is happening outside of campus – our job is to spotlight these wins and create opportunities for staff, faculty, students, and other alumni to get connected to the Global Clubs Network.

Quarterly Newsletters

In the quarterly Network Newsletter, we share updates from the School, reflections on the past season, welcome new club leaders, and highlight best practices. These emails are a special way for us to provide a snapshot of great ideas on a regular basis. If you are interested in seeing some of our previous newsletters for ideas, we keep an archive of them on WhartonOfficers.com.

Wharton Magazine

Each Wharton Magazine issue features club stories, so be on the lookout for them! Even within the full context of everything happening at Wharton and within the 100k+ person alumni community, the accomplishments of alumni clubs are some of the most impressive we can highlight.

Wharton Promotional Items

One of our most popular resource for clubs is our Wharton gift closet. We know how exciting it is to receive Wharton swag and keep stock of some special items that you cannot get anywhere else – even the Bookstore. We can deliver one box of Wharton gifts per calendar year, per club. We generally work with the club president to send what makes the most sense for an event or initiative. Your staff liaison can provide more information on this resource.

Philanthropy

While clubs are not required to make a monetary donation to the School, several clubs have found it meaningful to give back in the form of scholarships to support local students or donations to the Wharton Fund. If you’re curious about the process or want to learn more, we can always connect you to our colleagues on the Development team.

Admissions

One of the most popular ways for clubs to collaborate with Wharton is through the Admissions process. There are opportunities at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

  • Undergraduate - Penn encourages clubs to participate in the Penn Alumni Interview Program. By marketing the program, clubs can help more alumni connect with applicants and provide a broader perspective of Penn within their regions or affinities. This program is open to all Penn alumni, including MBA grads. 
  • Graduate - Wharton has the greatest need for alumni to help convince admitted students to choose Wharton over other offers they may have received. This is done through the Wharton Admissions Yield or WAY program, which matches each admitted student with an alumnus/a. Clubs are also encourage to host yield events after Round 1 and Round 2 decisions are released.

Career Management

Career support is a top priority for the School and for many clubs. Both undergraduate and graduate career management departments offer several ways for alumni to be involved, from posting jobs to mentoring students. Some clubs have also found unique ways to collaborate with each office by designing custom programs for their members like a resume review session or a panel on board leadership. Every Wharton alumnus is entitled to two, complimentary career coaching sessions per year, regardless of program – which is a valuable tool that so many alumni don’t take advantage of!

Wharton Global Youth Programs

Wharton Global Youth Programs, formerly known as [email protected] High School, is an emerging initiative for the School that clubs have been tremendously helpful to promote and support. The department provides learning content for high school age students, summer camp enrollment on campus, and, their signature program, the high school investment competition. This is a fun way for young students around the world to learn how to invest money, while also giving back to their communities and engaging in some friendly competition! Clubs have supported the program by connecting local high school teams with alumni mentors and even hosting practice competitions for the students to test their pitches.

Wharton School Press

Wharton School Press publishes content from Wharton faculty, alumni, and friends. The Global Clubs team works with their publishing staff to learn about which faculty are publishing books each semester, and whether the clubs can be of help to publicize them. It’s a great way to stay in the know about Wharton research and also provide lifelong learning content to club members.