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8 Giving Day Strategies that Drive Results

5 min read

Alumni engagement is more important than ever, and if your school has a giving day coming up, it's time to get strategic.

Here are eight giving day tips proven to drive results for your institution:

1. Follow Opt-In Best Practices

With increased carrier sensitivity to high opt-out rates and spam complaints, the last thing you want is to turn your giving day into a negative experience.  By following industry-wide best practices you will safeguard your ability to deliver text messages and ensure you have an engaged, attentive audience. 

Always be sure to:
  1. Obtain Consent- Ensure your contacts have agreed to receive text messages.
  2. Establish a Collection Process- Use a checkbox within application submissions, contact forms, and website portals to easily obtain consent. 
  3. Store Texting Preferences- Cadence allows you to keep a record of the opt-in by team/department. 

A detailed Compliance Checklist can be found here.

 

2. Prime your audience 

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 day campaign.

 

3. Segment your audience for personalized messages

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.

 

4. Invite distinguished alumni to do a 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. 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.

 

5. Invite distinguished alumni to do a 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. 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.

 

6. 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. 

advancement day of giving text

 

7. 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!

 

8. Thank, then thank again!

You can’t thank your donors too much - ALWAYS send a thank you. Schools that skip post giving day 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.

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From cleaning up your data to segmentation, personalized messaging, and gamification, having a plan in place is key to a successful giving day.

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.

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Mongoose is dedicated to educating and empowering the higher ed community with the knowledge you need to help more students succeed. All of our articles, podcasts, and videos come from real engagement experts with a deep understanding of higher education.

Subscribe for regulatory updates, along with the best guides and how-tos for the higher ed community. If you're sick of email, we totally get it. That's why there's the For Your Institution podcast or video series on YouTube. For quick takes and bite-sized industry updates, follow Mongoose on LinkedIn.

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