Alumni Consulting Opportunity for Universities: the VCS Program

The YaleGALE Volunteer Consulting Service (“VCS”) is an extension of YaleGALE to address the request from universities abroad for on-going exchange and engagement as follow-up to a YaleGALE visit or program participation. VCS is managed by a committee of four YaleGALE volunteers:  Lynn Gunnar Johnson ’61 (Chair) Kathy Edersheim ’87, Katy Wells ’91 JD, and John Scales ’54.

VCS utilizes the expertise of experienced YaleGALE participants in providing customized assistance to alumni volunteer leaders and alumni affairs professionals at client universities. VCS consultants offer coaching, consulting, and training services on a voluntary, no-fee basis during visits of 3 to 5 working days. Some of the ways VCS consultants assist host institutions include:

  • Benchmarking best practices at alumni associations around the globe
  • Conducting surveys, focus groups, and listening sessions to assess alumni views
  • Helping clients to discern their alumni society’s vision, mission, and strategic direction
  • Helping clients to generate goals, objectives, and action steps to support their strategy
  • Suggesting success metrics and evaluation measures related to strategic plans.

VCS officially began in May of 2015, when YaleGALE sent its first stand-alone team of Yale alumni volunteer consultants to Trent University in Canada for a four day visit. Trent University, based in Peterborough, Ontario, was the first university to apply for assistance from YaleGALE VCS as a “Host Institution.” Trent’s interest grew out of its participation in the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Forum in New Haven (YaleGALE@Yale) in November, 2014. There, Trent Director of Alumni Affairs Lee Hays was introduced to YaleGALE and its new service. Trent was about to begin a strategic planning initiative and felt that discussions with the YaleGALE consultants would sharpen its focus.

Universities that have either participated in a YaleGALE visit overseas or whose representatives have attended a YaleGALE-sponsored conference (either abroad or in New Haven), may wish to apply for this service. To receive more information and a “Host Institution” application form, please contact, Kathy Edersheim at, or Lynn Johnson at