Christopher Columbus High School

A Catholic School for Young Men in the Marist Tradition since 1958

Columbus Connects Alumni Clubs

Creating Community

The purpose of a Columbus Connects Alumni Club is to engage alumni with each other and back to  Columbus overall. Alumni clubs provide a network for alumni, students, parents, and friends through the planning of a variety of educational, cultural, and social programs. In addition, alumni clubs provide a community to stay connected, networking opportunities to build personal and professional contacts and a place for continuing education through events and speakers.

Steps to Establish a Columbus Connects Alumni Club

There are several ways required to start a club. The following steps are required by Columbus to ensure smooth initiations.

1. Identify volunteer leader(s).
The first step to establish a club is to find a volunteer or group of volunteers to help with the grassroots efforts. Alumni should connect directly with the Columbus staff to share interest and work on identifying additional alumni who may be interested in establishing a club.

2. Form a steering committee.
Once a volunteer leader is identified and agrees to develop a steering committee, he or she is responsible for organizing volunteers to serve as members of this committee. To assist with this process and to the extent possible, Columbus staff will provide access to the electronic database of alumni with the same affinity as well as any names of potential volunteers that have surfaced through Columbus and Columbus-sponsored events. The volunteer leader then solicits assistance from friends and fellow alumni in the development process.

Possible ways to identify potential steering committee volunteers include:
  • Soliciting the involvement of classmates and fellow Columbus friends
  • Sending an e-mail to alumni inviting them to join in establishing a club
  • Working with Columbus staff to target potential volunteers
The goal is to identify 10-15 volunteers for the steering committee. The greater the number of volunteers available, the greater the likelihood of success in establishing a club. In addition, building a large pool of volunteers early on in the process increases the club’s ability to recruit members once the club is active.

3. Host an organizational meeting.
Once potential steering committee members have been identified, the committee holds an organizational meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to:
  • Determine the purpose and goals of the club
  • Discuss programming and communication ideas, specifically the club interest event
  • Discuss items required for chartering a club
  • Foster enthusiasm and commitment to the club
  • At the conclusion of the organizational meeting, the steering committee will have:
  • Drafted the club’s mission statement
  • Identified action items to guide the club in fulfilling its mission
  • Identified volunteers committed to serving as steering committee members and to serving on the club board
  • Developed an action plan to execute the club’s interest event. This plan should also include a 6-9 month overall strategy.
The steering committee may then announce the club’s development by sending an electronic invitation to all alumni. The purpose of this communication is to invite alumni to the upcoming event, as well as solicit programming ideas and future volunteer leadership.

4. Organize a Club Interest Event
An event is organized to announce the development of a new Columbus Connects Alumni Club.

This event will provide an opportunity to present the steering committee, the club’s purpose, and a general strategy to proceed forward to become a club.

The event should include the following:
  • Networking: this is facilitated through offering food and drink
  • Information on the club: this is ideally made available through a takeaway item which includes a description of the club’s purpose, membership information, etc.
  • Anticipated programming calendar
  • Information on how to access club information (club website, social media accounts, etc.)
  • Information on how to get involved in the club
  • What communication to look forward to
  • Sign-in sheet for attendees to collect contact information (specifically e-mail addresses), solicit ideas for programming, and solicit interest in volunteering for club leadership
As a club treasurer will not be available, event costs must be covered in full by the amount charged per person to attend the event. Keep the cost for venue and food to a minimum.

5. Elect and Appoint Officers
A president-elect should be identified early in the steering committee process. Many clubs appoint future presidents to other positions, such as secretary, membership chair, or vice president, to give that person board experience and executive responsibility. This approach can be less intimidating to a volunteer and assures that he or she will be ready to serve as president when the time comes.

When you look for future board members in any position, look for volunteers who have similar experience from their work or personal lives to fit specific roles. Building bench strength from the beginning is an essential element to the health of the club. The election process should be held yearly and in accordance with the club’s stated by-laws.

A nominating committee should be created to review nominations and make recommendations on potential new officers.

6. Review Club Finances
The club budget is the projected financial plan for a year for which funding is required. The budget is an important component of your club operation as it represents a financial picture of your club for the year.
Depending on your club needs, the budget may be a simple one-page statement of expenses, or an entire spreadsheet including projected sources of revenue, financial assistance and a detailed narrative, explaining various expense items and/or costs.

Club programming needs to be conducted on a cost-recovery basis. All costs should be estimated as accurately as possible. Many clubs will add a small amount to the actual cost of an event to cover unexpected expenses and to help build a treasury to support additional mailings or other activities. Things to take into consideration when planning club finances include mailings and postage, events.

Every club must be financially self-sufficient. Dues can be charged to club members in order to offset operating expenses. If it is decided that dues will not be charged, then extra costs need to be built into the price of the event.

7. Charter a Club
To gain recognition from Columbus, a club needs the following items:
  • Club mission statement
  • List of officers and position descriptions
  • Succession plan
  • Membership dues structure (or financial plan) and program
  • Budget outline covering club expenditures
  • Communication strategy
  • Developed programming calendar.

Code of Conduct

1. Columbus reserves the right to restrict, curtail or discontinue the Club in its sole and absolute discretion for any reason or no reason.

2. Merchandise
a. Any club merchandise is able to be designed and sold to generate income for the Club.
b. Any designs MUST be submitted and reviewed by Columbus prior to any production following the Brand Standards located on the School website:
c. To the extent possible, the merchandise is only available to Club members or the Columbus community and not to the general public.

3. The Club must provide or make accessible all contact info for all members to Columbus. This information includes the name of the member, the alumni year or information regarding the members affiliation to Columbus, such as Columbus parent and the email and phone number of the member.

4. The Club shall be responsible for its indebtedness or obligations and shall not have the authority or power to impose or incur financial liability on Columbus without express authorization of the President of Columbus, in writing and obtained in advance.

5. No Officer or Director will have a material personal interest in conflict with the interests of the Club or be engaged to provide professional or other services to the Club for remuneration.

6. The Club will not discriminate based upon race, creed, color, religion, gender, marital status, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, political opinions or affiliations, or veteran status.

7. The Club will conduct its practices with the utmost honesty, accuracy, and fairness.

8. The Club shall treat each Columbus community member fairly and with respect.

9. The Club shall obtain and use only information pertinent to the Club activity for which it was intended.

10. Prohibited conduct shall include:
a. Posting content that defames, abuses, or threatens others.
b. Posting harassing materials (such as racially or sexually charged material).
c. Posting statements that are bigoted, hateful, or racially offensive, or that promote bigoted, hateful, or racially offensive behavior.
d. Posting content that advocates illegal activity.
e. Posting content that infringes another's intellectual property, including, but not limited to, copyrights, trademarks, or trade secrets.
f. Posting material that contains obscene language or images, including on personal profiles and banner images.
g. Posting spam.
h. Posting any form of commercial solicitation that has not been explicitly approved by Columbus.
i. Posting material that promotes business, commercial or special interests, such as fundraising initiatives, and offering services or expertise other than those explicitly approved by Columbus.
j. Posting information one knows to be factually erroneous or misleading.
k. Posting political ads or solicitation of support for any political candidate.
Christopher Columbus High School | 3000 SW 87 Avenue | Miami, FL 33165 | (305) 223-5650
Brotherhood, Faith, and Scholarship define the Marist Brothers Catholic education at Christopher Columbus High School.  By making Jesus Christ known and loved and creating an inspiring academic and extracurricular environment, we prepare young men for higher learning and a life-long commitment to leadership and service through Gospel and Marist values.

Columbus is fully accredited by Cognia and is a member of the Marist Association of Secondary schools, the National Catholic Education Association and the Independent Schools of South Florida.