Frequently Asked Questions about Shared Interest Groups (SIGs)

1. (Q) What are USNA Alumni Association (USNA AA) Shared Interest Groups (SIGs)?
(A) Shared Interest Groups are communities of alumni that actively communicate or gather around a central unifying purpose and a common shared affinity or bond based on shared experience, background, academic affiliation, profession or other USNA-related interest beyond class year or chapter affiliation.

2. (Q) Can you give an example of a potential USNA AA SIG?
(A) Shared interests could relate to a myriad of factors that tie alumni together such as, but not limited to, Academy team sports or clubs, academic affiliation, careers in the Fleet, or second careers such as business executives or lawyers.

3. (Q) Why is our Alumni Association Board of Trustees interested in SIGs?
(A) Feedback from a comprehensive membership survey conducted by Fleishman-Hillard, Inc., in 2010 showed that a significant number of our alumni are interested in “Alumni Interest Groups” as a “future alumni member service.” Of those surveyed, 68% of women and 34% of men indicted they are extremely/very/somewhat interested in alumni interest groups.  When the data is reviewed by decade (’70s, ’80s, ’90s, etc.), those who are extremely/very/somewhat interested in Alumni Interest Groups break out as follows: 1970s – 32%; 1980s – 39%; 1990s – 47%; 2000s – 50%. Further, USNA AA Shared Interest Groups will provide additional opportunities for our Alumni Association to engage our alumni outside of class and chapter organizations.

4. (Q) How is a Shared Interest Group different from a Chapter?
(A)  SIGs should remain volunteer-driven, independent organizations, and should be aligned with the overall missions of the United States Naval Academy (USNA), the Alumni Association and United States Naval Academy Foundation  and strive to strengthen relationships between alumni and the Academy. SIG members are expected to be actively involved with other Alumni Association activities such as Class and Chapter activities, and are envisioned as complements to Alumni Association activities and not as isolated entities. 

5. (Q) When will I be able to start or join a Shared Interest Group?
(A) At their December 2016 meeting, the USNA AA Board of Trustees approved a SIG Pilot Project that will include 3-5 pilot SIGs. The 18-month Pilot Project will commence on 1 January 2017.

6. (Q) How do I start a new USNA AA Shared Interest Group?
(A) An individual USNA graduate or group of alumni seeking recognition as a SIG must submit an application to SIG@usna.com and include a proposed charter and a petition with a minimum of 25 alumni names who are alumni association members and who support the charter and pledge to join the group. These signatures may be collected electronically. Please see the draft USNA AA Shared Interest Group Handbook for more details.

7. (Q) What is a SIG charter?
(A) A SIG charter describes the basic principles of the group including a mission statement stating its purpose for existence and how it is connected to the mission of the USNA AA. Sample charters and more detailed requirements are outlined in the draft Handbook for Shared Interest Groups.  Please contact SIG@usna.com for further information and a copy of the draft handbook.

8. (Q) Where can I find a copy of the USNA AA draft Shared Interest Handbook?
(A) Contact the Alumni Association at SIG@usna.com or click here.

9. (Q) Who can join a USNA AA Shared Interest Group?
(A)  SIG membership should be open to, and limit membership to, any member of the USNA community defined as alumni, their spouses/partners, faculty, staff, visiting faculty and friends of the Naval Academy and/or alumni group. At a minimum, seventy-five percent (75%) of SIG members shall be USNA Alumni Association members.

10. (Q) What support will the Alumni Association provide to Shared Interest Groups?
(A) The Alumni Association will provide mutually agreed upon support for approved SIGs by assisting with initial and ongoing communications efforts, event support and marketing SIGs in the ways described below. The Alumni Association staff will use its judgment to balance the support requests of SIGs with other Alumni Association priorities. 

a. Promotion of the SIG on the Alumni Association’s website via a link to the SIG website.
b. Limited promotion via the Association’s communications vehicles (Wavetops, Shipmate, etc.) to include launch announcements, call for members, etc.  Promotion via social media when appropriate.
c. Guidance and recommendations for effective use of social media.  The SIGs will work with the Alumni Association Communications and Information Services Divisions to ensure we maintain secure and safe information infrastructure.  There are a preferred set of templates available for SIG communication tools.
d. The Alumni Association may consider a fee structure to offset the cost of administering SIGs.

 

11. (Q) How many alumni responded to the survey (the 2010 USNA Alumni Association Member Survey)?

(A) The total sample size was 45,027 with 11,324 completed surveys.
 

12. (Q) How many alumni requested SIGs?

(A) Alumni Interest groups were only one potential future service explored in the survey. The following data was provided by Fleishman Hillard in their analysis.

 

13. (Q) Which SIGs were identified as being desirable and how many alumni supported each particular SIG?

(A) This was not a question in the survey.


14. (Q) Please provide a copy of the plan that has been used to implement the 2010 survey result regarding SIGs.

(A) The Membership and Services Committee of the Board of Trustees has proposed a pilot plan to explore alumni interest in Shared Interest Groups. Additional information may be found at http://www.usna.com/SIG.

 

 

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