Advancement teams across the country are challenged with developing ways to engage with alumni and major gift donors due to the new landscape of remote communication.
With reduced in-person contact, stewardship has proven to be difficult. But there are ways to reach out to alumni and donors that allow them to be empowered without handshakes and personal visitation.
Here are some examples of text messages your advancement team can send:
Improve alumni relations
Every relationship has a starting point, and alumni relations are best when built early. Get opt-in for alumni texting before students graduate, and make sure to find out what they're interested in to ensure that your Advancement staff is texting them relevant information.
Recognize major gifts
Stewarding major gift donors involves more personal communication. It’s not always possible to have your Major Gift Officers schedule donor meetings to personally thank people for their contribution, but that element of stewardship is still very important.
Take the time to virtually show major gift donors what they have made possible with their gifts. This sentiment could include personalized video messages from current students and scholarship recipients, or a quick tour of the new building or program that the donor contributed to.
Be agile with annual fundraising
Families have a lot on their plate, making this a difficult time for reaching out. But colleges and universities are realizing successful Giving Day results despite COVID restrictions.
A virtual platform isn’t likely to completely change how schools execute annual fundraising, but the messages used in communicating with alumni should change. It’s okay to address the hardships of COVID and appeal to what families are going through with remote learning.
Remember to offer assistance
Fundraising is more than asking for support. You can also let alumni know that your institution has resources available if they’ve been negatively affected by a crisis.
The relationships you create now can be stronger than ever. Your advancement team can still engage and empower alumni to help their community, and your outreach can also identify alumni who need assistance navigating their way through hard times.