Support from GAA

Support from the GAA

How the General Alumni Association Supports Clubs
GAA Services Provided by Activity Division (see here for Activity Division Definition)
Although the General Alumni Association does not provide direct financial support for clubs, the GAA does provide significant services and support for clubs. The table below describes which services the GAA will provide to Carolina Clubs based upon their Activity Division:


Old Well Clubs

Bell Tower Clubs

Tar Heel Clubs

Liability Insurance
*Applies only to current Carolina Alumni members only




GAA-provided web site




E-mail Listserv tool




Event Support (nametags, decor, stickers, etc.)

Y – By request

Y – By request

Y – By request

Carolina Clubs New Leadership Training Workshop
*limit of 2 years participation per individual




Member discounts on event registration



GAA Discretion

Event speakers

GAA Discretion

GAA Discretion

GAA Discretion

GAA E-mail Broadcasts

1 per month @ club request

1 per month @ club request

2 per year @ club request

Door Prizes

Annual supply provided
(addl by req)

By Request Only
@ GAA Discretion


Online Event Registration

4 per year

2 per year

1 per year

Hard-Copy Mailings
*clubs pay postage

2 per year

1 per year

GAA Discretion For special events only

Additional explanation of services:

  • Liability Insurance: (See Event Hosts and Liabilities Insurance section for details)
  • Staff support: Staff members at the GAA assist club leaders with almost all aspects of planning and promoting club events.  Staff members also work to organize new clubs and reactivate dormant clubs. 
    • Event and Promotion Suggestions: The GAA will provide club leaders with samples of newsletters and event notices from other Carolina Clubs. 
    • Event Paraphernalia: The GAA will provide name tags and GAA and University information for events.
  • Local Email List Maintenance: The GAA will provide access to the Harris email tool, which allows club leaders to send messages as desired to those who have chosen to subscribe to their local club list.  The tool allows alumni to opt-in to as many as 10 local club email lists. The GAA will maintain subscription, unsubscription and email addresses updates.
  • Website: The GAA will provide each club with a website that will include a home page, club leader contact information, a listing of upcoming events and how local alumni can opt-in to local club email lists. 
  • Online Registration/Member Discounting: As part of the GAA website ,we can offer event registration online at no cost to the club.  The registration tool can provide real-time credit card processing for event costs.
  • New Leadership Training Workshop: Any new volunteers involved with a club’s leadership or planning group are welcome to attend the annual workshop in Chapel Hill. Each participant is limited to two years of attending the workshop.
  • Event speakers: The GAA will help identify and make arrangements for speakers from the University to attend club events.  (See Carolina Club Events section for more information)
  • Monthly E-mail Broadcasts: The GAA will assist with email communications to all alumni within your club’s defined area as often as once each month.
  • Newsletter/Notice Production: The GAA will design and print club newsletters or event notices. (See Producing Club Notices and Newsletters section for more information.)
  • Mail Services: The GAA will label and provide mailing services for club newsletters and notices.  (These services do not include postage costs, for which clubs ARE responsible. See Producing Club Notices and Newsletters section for more information.)
  • Alumni Lists: The GAA will consider requests from club leaders for a list of local alumni. (See Alumni Records Information section for further clarification)
  • Mailing List Management: The GAA can help keep track of alumni who attend club events or make local contributions allowing clubs to target “most interested” alumni when desired.  (See Producing Club Notices and Newsletters section for more information)
  • Tar Heel Merchandise: The GAA will provide a limited amount of merchandise/door prizes to clubs in the Old Well and Bell Tower Activity Divisions.  Each Old Well Carolina club will receive a one-year supply of door prizes if the following criteria are met. Bell Tower Carolina Clubs may request door prize items as needed, request will be evaluated based on timing and availability of items.
    • Ordering Items from Johnny T-shirt: The GAA receives a 20% discount on non-sale items at Johnny T-shirt. If your club would like to order any items beyond those provided, please visit the Johnny T-shirt website and provide the name and item # of the item(s) you would like to purchase to the Coordinator of Alumni Clubs. Your club will be billed for the item charges only at a later date

Producing Club Notices & Newsletters
Although email and Web pages are important and efficient methods of communication, printed newsletters and event invitations are still necessary, and your club should do at least one per year.  The GAA recommends that one person on your club’s Board or Leadership Committee is in charge of communications.  (See Leadership Structure section for more information.) One of the most important services the GAA provides to clubs is the printing of event notices and newsletters at no cost to your club. 

What’s the difference between a notice and a newsletter? 
A notice could also be called an event invitation. It is generally a simple postcard or flyer promoting one specific event. A newsletter is lengthier and most often contains information about several upcoming events, reports on past events and other information of general interest to local alumni.

Getting a notice or newsletter produced
To have a newsletter or notice designed at the GAA, a club will need to provide the following information:

  • Name/Type of Event(s)
  • Event Date(s)
  • Event Location(s) (with directions, if helpful)
  • Event Times(s)
  • Cost to Participants (and what costs include)
  • How and to Whom Participants Can RSVP
  • Deadline for RSVPs
  • Information about Guest Speaker (if applicable)
  • Whom to call for more information
  • Additional information relevant to the event(s)

If a newsletter, additional information might include:

  • A letter from the club president
  • Special articles/information which local alumni may find interesting
  • Sports schedules or dates of other special Carolina events 
  • List of club’s leadership committee
  • Info from the GAA

Preferred methods by which the GAA would like to receive information for event notices or newsletters:

  • Email
  • Fax: (919) 962-0010

When to send information for notices and newsletters

Information for any notice or newsletter must be received two to three weeks prior to the day you want the notice or newsletter mailed. If the information is received less than two weeks from the day you want the notice or newsletter mailed, we may discourage holding an event on the specified date. Late notice reflects poorly on both your club and the GAA.

Timeline example:

  1st class mail  standard class mail  
Date alumni to receive
event notice:
4 weeks before event   4 weeks before event
Time allowed for
mail delivery:  
3 days  2-3 weeks
Information needs to
be at GAA  
7 weeks before event 9-10 weeks before event

The GAA will produce notices at no cost to Carolina Clubs. (Exception: specialty invitations; contact the Coordinator of Alumni Clubs for further details.) The GAA also handles all mail services, such as labeling, stamping and sorting. It is important that you provide information to the GAA two to three weeks prior to the day you want the notice or newsletter mailed.

Note: Clubs must pay for the actual postage costs for each mailing
(See Club Finances section for more details)

  • Before production can begin, you will need to provide the following information: To whom will the notice or newsletter be mailed? All alumni in your area? Just members of the GAA in your area? Just “young alumni” in your area? Some other combination?
  • Should the notice or newsletter be mailed first class or standard class? There is a significant postage cost savings if you can mail your notice or newsletter by standard class mail.  However, there are several factors that must be considered when making this decision.  Study the following comparison:

As of May 2010:

  First Class   Standard Class  
Cost per piece mailed  44¢ each  .242-.27¢ each 
Time needed for delivery  2-4 days  2-3 weeks 
Confidence level that the piece
will be delivered
Excellent  Very good to good 


Remember: To send a standard class mailing, a club must provide information to the GAA 9-10 weeks in advance of the event date.

Getting Advertisers or Sponsors for Your Newsletter

Trying to find advertisers for a newsletter or notice is one way to try and recover some of your postage costs.  However, due to restrictions that are in place or being proposed by the U.S. Postal Service, the GAA recommends the following guidelines:
  • If a newsletter or notice is mailed first class, advertisements are acceptable. 
  • If a newsletter or notice is being mailed standard class, only “sponsors” are acceptable.

A “sponsor” is a business or organization that agrees to provide a sum of money or goods and services to a club in exchange for being mentioned as a sponsor of the club.  For example, in a newsletter or notice, your club could have a paragraph naming a business as a sponsor.  Although a small amount of information about the sponsor can be included in the paragraph, the information would need to be limited and not be displayed in a manner that would look too much like an advertisement.

How to Take Great Pictures!
We encourage all club leaders to share pictures from their events with us here at the GAA. There are just a few rules that, if followed, will GREATLY enhance your picture-making skill, increase the likelihood that your event picture will be published in the Carolina Alumni Review.


RULE #1: Do Not Put A Face in the Center of the Frame.
Move the frame down to include arms, hands, trophies and other relevant objects. Put the top of peoples’ heads at the top of the frame. It’s OK, it won’t hurt them. Leave just a little air space at the top (if it’s vertical) or at the sides (if it’s a horizontal shot) so the automatic print maker at the local photo store won’t crop off an arm or make someone into a “flat head”.

  • RULE #2: Get Up Close To the Action.
    Go ahead and get in peoples’ faces. (Most automatic cameras come with a wide-angle lens, so you need to stand only 3-6 feet away.) They will love you for it when they see the results. When shooting a group, frame them from the waist up-and don’t back up to include the feet.
  • RULE #3: Choose Your Background Carefully.
    If shooting indoors with a flash, do not put people in front of reflective surfaces like mirrors or windows. Move yourself or the subjects, or close the blinds to cover the window. Also, don’t shoot one person standing in front of another; the person in the foreground will throw a dark shadow on the person in back. If shooting outdoors during the day, try to avoid clutter in the background, such as cars or a crowd at a buffet table.
  • RULE #4: Notice Where the Sun Is
    To avoid harsh shadows over the eyes or patches of light and dark on faces, position people so their backs are to the sun, or have them stand in open shade (solid shade under a tree, or in the shade of a house). Back lighting works only when the sun is high enough not to cause glare in the lens, but you must set the exposure for the shade, not for the bright sun. Most automatic cameras have a setting for this.
  • RULE #5: Use Kodak Gold or Fuji Color and a Quality Lab.
    It really does make a difference where you get your film processed. Go to a retailer that offers in-house printing. That way you can ask them to redo prints that are too light or too dark.


Photos can be sent electronically to or mailed to the GAA (P.O. Box 660, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0660).

Managing Your Mailing List
Here are ways the GAA can help you manage your mailing list and reduce the cost of mailing notices and newsletters:

  • We can tailor a request for labels by class year, Carolina Alumni membership, major, degree, etc.  Within your HRC code area we still have the option of reducing the list.  The most common option is to mail to specific class years.  Another common option is to mail only to members of the General Alumni Association (this is generally one-third of your total alumni base.)  You can even mail to a hybrid:  for example, include all alumni under age 50 and only Carolina Alumni members if they’re older than age 50.  Any combination is possible.  You simply need to think it through with each mailing.
  • We can maintain at the GAA a special list of your most interested local alumni.  This is done by creating a special code for your club.  The burden is on the club to tell the General Alumni Association who to code (and who to delete from the coded list), but once established, it should provide you with your most effective mailing list.  Many clubs have the General Alumni Association code alumni that send in local contributions; other clubs have the General Alumni Association code anyone who has ever attended an event or otherwise supported the club.  We strongly recommend that you let the General Alumni Association code your most interested alumni rather than try to maintain your own database locally.
  • We can review/revise the list of zip codes currently included in your HRC Code.  (Once a specific set of zip codes is designated to represent a specific geographic region, it is assigned an “HRC” code.  Requests for labels or lists are made by HRC code.)  The zip codes defining an HRC code are easily changed.  If you think that your HRC code contains zip codes from areas that are too far away for alumni to travel to your events, they can be deleted.  Or another HRC code can be created which represents a tightened, smaller geographic area, and you can choose with each mailing to mail to the large or small area. 

Other Ways to Communicate

  • Telephone Reminders: In testimonial after testimonial, club leaders say that reminder phone calls are the best way to increase attendance at any event.  If feasible, divide your list of alumni among your leadership committee members and encourage everyone to make at least one attempt to contact everyone on their list.   If the number of alumni in your area is too great to make this feasible, try to maintain a list of your “most active” alumni and make sure that at least this group is contacted prior to the event.
  • Email and the Internet: Many clubs have great success with email distribution lists. Someone on your Leadership Committee should be responsible for maintaining an email list. (If your club does not already have an email list, please make it a priority. Contact the GAA for assistance in getting started.) Club leader contact information and upcoming events are listed and updated by the GAA on club Web pages at
  • Media: Probably the only outlet you will have in your local media for advanced publicity will be in “community calendars.”  Look in your newspaper(s) and on local television and radio channels for these community calendars.  If you find that a community calendar is available, ask for directions on how to submit information for the calendar.  (Note:  the media are very particular about how information is submitted.  Follow their instructions exactly.) If you believe that your event may be of enough interest that a local news organization may want to cover the event, first contact the GAA for additional suggestions.  Consider that some aspect of your event would have to be of general interest to your entire community, however, before it will be considered “newsworthy.”
  • Community Displays: You may consider producing flyers for your event and posting them on community bulletin boards or at alumni workplaces. Look around your community for any opportunity to post information about your event.
  • Carolina Alumni Review: If the following deadlines are met and space allows, we will announce your club’s upcoming events in the “GAA Today” section of the Review. Note these deadlines:
    January/February End of November
    March/April End of January 
    May/June End of March 
    July/August End of May 
    September/October  End of July
    November/December End of September 

Alumni Lists and Label Policy

Can I get a list of alumni in my area?
The GAA will provide lists of local alumni to club leaders to assist with the recruitment for club leadership and the promotion of club events. The policy established by the GAA states that the information provided to club leaders can only be used for University and General Alumni Association purposes and for individual communication of a personal nature between members listed therein. Use of the information for any commercial, political or solicitation purpose is expressly prohibited. Reproducing and storing the information in a retrieval system by any means, electronic or mechanical is prohibited. Photocopying or use of the addresses or other information provided for any mailing other than notification of an official alumni club function is strictly prohibited.

How do I make a request for a local alumni list?
Simply contact the Coordinator of Alumni Clubs at the GAA to make your request.  Samples of the types of reports you can receive from the GAA are at the end of this chapter.

What if alumni in my area ask me to share the list of alumni with them?
As a club leader you may occasionally receive requests from local alumni for an alumni list.  However, as stated in the policy above, you should not share the alumni information you have been given for club purposes. Your response should be to ask the alumnus requesting the information to contact the GAA’s Records Department at (919) 962-3735.  It is rare that the GAA will provide lists of alumni. The Records Department may, however, be able to assist alumni in locating specific people. In addition, members of the GAA can logon to, click on the Online Directory button to send address changes, become a member, or search for other alumni by name, class year, geographic region and career code.

What if an alumnus in my area wants an alumni list to help with a job search or career change?
The GAA’s office of Alumni Career Services can be of great assistance to an alumnus who may be making a job or career change.  Ask the alumnus to call the Office of Alumni Career Services at (919) 962-3749.


How Your Club Can Help the GAA Keep in Touch with Alumni
The GAA’s Records Department makes an average of 150 address changes each day. Yet we still have “lost” alumni with incorrect addresses. Your club can help by always encouraging alumni to keep their addresses updated with the GAA and by passing along any address changes of which you become aware.

To make an address change at the GAA:

Phone: (919) 962-3735
Fax: (919) 962-0010