AFS-USA 2018 Alumni Directory
AFS-USA Alumni Directory 2018UPDATE (11/9/18): The data collection period for the AFS Alumni Directory Project closed in July 2018. We are currently working with PCI to finalize the design, layout, and edits for the book, which should go to print in December. We anticipate a mailing date in late December/early January.
Every year, hundreds of AFSers get in touch with us wanting to reconnect with other AFSers and host families they met while on program - and the number of requests we receive continues to climb each year. It has been nearly 20 years since an alumni directory was produced (many of you may remember it as "The Blue Book") and we think a new book is long overdue! So, we're going back to the very beginning of AFS by reaching out to more than 100,000 of you who have studied abroad or hosted a student to provide you all with the opportunity to take part in this new directory in print and digital format.
Because we cannot automatically transfer our database records, beginning today and next week, you will receive yellow postcards and/or emails from us asking you to call in and update your information with our partner, Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI). When you call in, you will update and/or approve your contact information, be given the opportunity to purchase a print and/or digital version of the directory, and you will be given an opportunity to make a donation to the Fund for AFS. Please note that there is no charge to be included in the directory, and there is no purchase required.
We need your help to expedite this process by responding to your postcard or email promptly. The process of data collection and verification will take approximately six months, followed by compilation and publication of the book. We anticipate a delivery date of January 2019.
Be assured that no information will ever be published without your express consent. You have full discretion to select what, if any, information of yours is printed in the directory. We understand that many of you will have questions and concerns so we have compiled a Q&A section below to help address the most common questions.
To update your information or to order, call 1-877-852-3705.
You may also visit https://myupdate.publishingconcepts.com/AFS/ and use the unique ID number on your postcard or email to update your information.
For PCI customer service and all other inquiries, call 1-800-982-1590.
Commonly Asked Questions
Why is AFS-USA creating a print directory when everything is online these days?
Believe it or not, we regularly receive requests for a print directory. However, in addition to a print directory, PCI will also be creating a digital directory. You will have the opportunity to purchase either or both versions.
If you're looking for our online platform, The AFS World Cafe, which features the "Find An AFSer" search function on its homepage, click here.
What is the cost of this project to AFS-USA?
PCI is producing this directory free of charge to the organization. They put a lot of work into the research and production of the book, the cost of which covers expenses incurred by PCI.
PCI prepares and sends all communications for the project and their call center staff answer and make phone calls to collect the data updates. They do the necessary research, compiling, editing, and formatting of data, as well as production of the directories. The updated data they receive is provided back to AFS-USA to update our records and keep in better touch with our alumni. All at no charge to AFS-USA.
How much does it cost to purchase a directory?
You can purchase a hard-bound print directory for $99.95 plus S&H and any applicable tax or a digital directory for $99.95 (plus any applicable tax). You will also be given an option to purchase a variety of merchandise "bundles" along with the directory at different price points. You are not erquired to make a purchase in order to be included in the directory.
Why does the directory cost so much?
As PCI has agreed to prepare and send marketing, take calls and updates, compile, format the directory information and publish the directories for AFS-USA at no cost, it is necessary for the directory sales to cover said costs. This ensures that PCI's time and efforts result in data verification for AFS-USA and a directory product for AFS-USA's constituents.
What is a "blue book" directory, and what do they look like?
Over the years, AFS-USA has partnered with PCI to periodically produce a print directory of AFS-USA Alumni - specifically returnees and host families - for purchase to help stay in touch and reconnect. We last printed a directory in 2001, and this year's version will include a digital option. See below for examples of directories throughout the years.
Can I purchase an old directory instead of waiting for the new one?
Unfortunately, no. The stock of old directories has been depleted, and those old records no longer remain. Further, the newest version of the books will include updated information which will feature significant changes after 17 years. AFS-USA has only a single copy of each of the three blue books pictured above.
I received an email/postcard/phone call from a company asking for my personal information. They said they were working on a directory for AFS-USA. Is this a legitimate project, or is it a scam?
We have partnered with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (known as PCI) to produce our new AFS-USA Alumni Directory. We understand that security and privacy are of concern. PCI is a trusted partner of AFS-USA, having also produced our most recently completed directory in 2001. PCI is a company located in Dallas, TX, and Chesapeake, VA, that publishes directories for educational institutions, fraternities, sororities and military organizations across the nation. This project also allows AFS-USA to receive important updates to our database so we know more about our alumni and how we can better serve you and future alumni. Below is an example of the postcards that you will be receiving.
Why is AFS-USA using an outside contractor to complete this project?
With a small staff, AFS-USA needs to use a professional company to ensure the directory is comprehensive, accurate, and completed on time.
How do I know my information will only be used for directory purposes?
AFS-USA has a contractual agreement with PCI that states:
To ensure the confidentiality of AFS-USA's member data, PCI will (i.) honor requests from members to be excluded from the Project, provided such requests are received by PCI before the composition phase of the Project has commenced; (ii.) distribute a Book to only those members who have placed an order; (iii.) not make the database available to any third parties, except to PCI's third party providers for the Project (e.g. research services, printer, etc.) with which PCI has signed confidentiality agreements, or except as required under any law, governmental rule or regulation or court order.
Why do I need to update my information?
Your participation in the directory project helps keep you connected to AFS-USA and to your fellow AFS alumni.
Who will be included in the directory?
The directory will include all AFS-USA Returnees and Host Families who choose to participate. None of your information will be published without your permission. You are not required to purchase a directory in order to be listed.
How will I be contacted?
Mail and email communications from PCI will begin in January 2018. All communications will include a toll-free phone number for you to call to verify your personal information. Outbound calling to alumni who have not responded to the postcards and emails will start in April 2018. Once your information is updated, your name will be removed from future communications for the project.
I would like to verify and update my information. How may I do this?
If you have received a postcard or an email with a telephone number, you may call the number listed to speak with a dedicated representative for the AFS-USA Alumni Directory project. The representative will verify all the information we have on file for you and make any updates where needed. They may also ask you for some additional information about your time at AFS-USA and your family to make additions to your existing record. Call 1-877-852-3705 to update your information if you have misplaced your postcard or email.
You may also visit https://myupdate.publishingconcepts.com/AFS/ and enter the unique ID number on your postcard or email to update your information.
How can I unsubscribe from communications about this project?
If you prefer not to be contacted by PCI, you can opt out of communications about this project by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can anyone purchase a directory?
The 2018 AFS-USA Alumni Directory is available for sale only to AFS-USA Alumni. In this case, "alumni" refers to AFS Returnees and Host Families. To update your information and purchase a directory, call 1-877-852-3705.
If my name is listed in the directory, am I obligated to purchase a copy?
Everyone will be given the opportunity to purchase his or her own copy of the directory. If you provide your information, your name will be listed regardless of whether you decide to purchase a copy.
Can I choose some or all of my information not to be printed in the directory?
Yes. When you call to update your information, you can tell the representative what information you would prefer to have excluded.
When will I receive my directory? (For those who choose to purchase one)
The total duration of the AFS-USA Alumni Directory project is 13-15 months. The project began in January 2018, and the anticipated delivery date is January 2019.
Are there any alternatives to ordering a printed directory?
Yes, PCI also makes the directory information available in a digital format.
What happens if I don’t order a directory now, but change my mind later?
We have arranged to print as many directories as are ordered before we go to press. If you have changed your mind and would like to order a directory, please call 1-877-852-3705 as soon as possible.
What does AFS-USA use this information for?
The alumni office maintains a database on our alumni which is used for all, but not limited to, the following reasons:
- To keep you up-to-date on what is happening at AFS-USA. whether it’s an event invitation, important news, or organization updates.
- To contact you for ways to engage with your AFS-USA. We utilize our alumni for volunteers, guest speakers, mentors, and more for alumni engagement.
- To conduct surveys relevant to engagement as well as ones related to specific programs and offerings at AFS-USA. These surveys are oftentimes helpful in benchmarking and grantwriting.
- To help YOU! We utilize our alumni network to offer you support, whether you are looking for someone to show you around a new city, offer career advice, connect you to a certain company or to reconnect with old friends.
To update your information or to order, call 1-877-852-3705.
For PCI Customer Service and all other inquiries, call 1-800-982-1590.