As you know, Giving Day is much more than an opportunity to raise financial support for your institution. It’s also the perfect time to better engage your alumni community. And the time to craft your texting strategy is now. These simple steps will help you reach your goals.
1. Prime your audience
If this is the first Giving Day that you’re utilizing texting, make sure your audience knows that you're launching a new, more convenient way to keep in touch. A good way to assure your alums that they will not receive spam, only information relevant to their interests, is to simply ask what they want to hear. Send a text asking for their preferences, i.e. sports updates, event information, schedules of upcoming speakers, etc. Be sure to save and/or update alumni info.
Note: Cadence allows you to flag specific texts for export. This allows you to ensure major gift officers, alumni engagement staff or your stewardship folks are alerted for any special follow up after Giving Day has come and gone.
2. Segment, segment, segment
Sorry to repeat ourselves, but we can't stress segmenting enough. Your goal should be to text to inspire and engage, not just to announce. Start by texting alums who are most open to text messaging. Once you have a list of preferences, create segments that allow you to personalize your campaigns to specific interests.
3. Create a text-takeover
A message has more impact when people recognize the voice. Invite key alumni influencers to text on your behalf. Whether it’s a prestigious alum with expertise on a certain topic, or a fraternity or sorority member who can better connect with the intended audience, a text-takeover can boost numbers.
4. Show off results
People love to know that their contribution is helping to enact change. Text donors a photo or video that highlights the impact of past giving days. The more targeted, the better. It’s easier to ask for renewed support when you have proof of what this support can accomplish.
5. Create photo contests
I know it’s hard to believe, but people enjoy taking and posting pictures of themselves. This can be a great way to generate excitement and increase gifts. Here are some great examples of photo contest texts:
- Text us a picture of your gift confirmation and you'll be entered to win a prize
- Text us a picture of your favorite campus location or share a favorite campus memory and we may share it to social
- Acknowledge a favorite professor or staff member!
- Send a text to tell us who you made your gift in honor of and we may share it to social
6. Give deadlines to inspire Action
This is a proven method on giving day - create urgency for matching or challenge gifts. Any procrastinators reading this surely understand that people with intent to give will be more apt to respond to a specific deadline. Setting separate deadlines for different segments based on interest would be an ideal way to organize your strategy.
So, how do you use these insights to measure outcomes? One of our clients, a four-year private institution, found that 76% of students who confirmed their enrollment had engaged through texting by replying at least once. And 40% responded three times or more.
7. Thank, then thank again!
Always end the day with a wrap-up, and thank alumni for their participation. Include a text with results of your Giving Day totals for those who participated.