As the Client Success Partner Manager, Mike Kochczynski specializes in relationship building, helping his clients actually reach their constituents. Mike helps schools improve recruitment, retention, graduation rates and alumni engagement. Mike also has extensive higher ed experience, serving as an admissions counselor at Loyola Maryland and Marketing Manager at Towson University.
With seven years of experience in marketing for a diverse set of industries, including higher education, Jessica is a data and efficiency expert. She specializes in content strategy, SEO, website optimization, and demand generation for Mongoose.
The biggest day of annual fundraising is just around the corner, and the time to prepare your campaign is now.
Colleges and universities have a golden opportunity to raise critical funds in a turbulent time for higher ed, and a successful Giving Tuesday is crucial for schools facing tough financial situations.
Fortunately, we've got you covered for Giving Tuesday 2021 with seven fundraising strategies proven to drive results for your institution.
No matter what channel of communication, whether you're using email, phone, or texting, make sure your audience knows what to expect from you (e.g. sports updates, upcoming events, fundraisers, etc.). Warm-up your email database with a re-engagement campaign if you haven't communicated with them in a while. If texting, send a preliminary text asking what kind of information they'd like from your institution. Doing so will decrease the number of unsubscribed and opt-outs you receive and makes sure your database is up to date.
Update contact records based on their responses so you can personalize future communications and target effectively for your Giving Tuesday campaign.
We cannot stress this point enough! Now that you’ve primed your audience and you know what they’re interested in hearing about, use this feedback to segment your alums into groups. If using a texting platform, you can easily create segments based on data points you import into the platform from your CRM. Segmentation allows you to deploy different strategies, with more effective messaging, to different alumni groups based on interest or demographics.
A message has more impact when people recognize the voice. Invite prestigious alumni to text from your account and share why they choose to give back to their university. If using a texting platform, consider including an image or short video in the text message to show authenticity and create a genuine connection with the recipient. Other ideas include social media takeovers, a personally signed email to your alumni database, or a virtual event hosted by your distinguished alumni.
Nothing encourages giving like a competition! Challenge alumni groups to raise more than their peers. Think competition between graduation years or sports teams, or challenge alumni from certain states to raise more than their counterparts from other areas of the country. Send pictures of scoreboards over text and email so they can keep track of progress and help meet that next benchmark.
This is a proven method on Giving Day - creating urgency for matching or challenging gifts so that anyone with intent to give is more apt to do so.
Set deadlines based on a segment’s interests. For those passionate about athletics or an academic department, start a competition between different groups to see who can get more donations by a specific time. Or establish a matching program for any gifts that come in by a particular deadline - anything that will encourage someone to make a donation right then and there instead of putting it off (and potentially forgetting to do so) is key.
Donors want to know how their gift is making a positive impact; it not only makes them feel valued, but encourages them to give again in the future. Consider utilizing current students on campus to text donors and share how a gift has positively impacted their college experience. Or send a photo of the building or program that a donation supported.
It’s easier to ask for renewed support when you have proof of what this support can accomplish!
You can’t thank your donors too much - ALWAYS send a thank you. Schools that skip post Giving Tuesday thank yous risk seeming dismissive of their door gifts. Make sure you have a thank you email on deck and at least one text message planned, thanking everyone that gave and sharing the outcomes of the Giving Day campaign. Be sure to close with a call to action to keep them engaged in the future.
From cleaning up your data to segmentation, personalized messaging, and gamification, having a plan in place is key to a successful Giving Tuesday.
Texting has proven to be an essential strategy for schools looking to maximize their fundraising efforts, and it's not too late to get started.
Adopting a new texting platform can take as little as two weeks if you move quickly, and you may want to get going fast if you want to raise an additional 20% in funds this year.