Planning a Giving Day this spring semester? Looking for new ways to engage with alumni, and connect with your current students during the event?
At Mongoose, we love helping our clients develop creative and unique ways to hit their fundraising goals on Giving Day. Having a strategic texting plan can not only get the word out, but generate excitement and allow your team to connect directly with your community.
Here are 7 of our best texting tips to make the most out of your Giving Day plans:
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. Ask them what kind of information they’d like to receive through text (e.g. sports updates, upcoming events, fundraisers, etc.) so they can be reassured you’re not going to spam them. Update contact records based on their responses so you can personalize future communications.
2. Segment, segment, segment
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. Cadence makes it easy to create segments based on data points you import into the platform, so alumni that want to hear about upcoming networking events are separated from those that want football team updates.
3. Invite distinguished alumni to do a texting takeover
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. Consider including an image or short video in the text message to show authenticity and create a genuine connection with the recipient.
4. Encourage participation through a contest
I know it’s hard to believe, but people love taking and posting pictures of themselves. This can be a great way to generate excitement and increase gifts. Invite donors to post a photo on social media sharing why they are proud to give. Or consider a “Throwback Thursday” kind of approach, where alumni share a photo of themselves back in their college days with a favorite memory. Tie any of these ideas to a specific hashtag so you can track participation and host a giveaway for game tickets, collegiate apparel, or other items.
5. Give deadlines to inspire action
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.
6. Be vocal about the impact of a gift
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.
7. Thank, then thank again!
You can’t thank your donors too much - make sure you have 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.
Whether your next Giving Day is a few months or a few days away, these texting strategies can quickly be put into place - and most importantly, they work.
No matter what approach you take, maximizing engagement and showing gratitude should be your top priorities. With these tips, you’ll not only get alumni to open your texts, you’ll get them to donate (and donate again).