Successful alumni fundraising initiatives start with engaging your donors in a conversation. Colleges and text messaging go hand in hand to engage alumni via SMS messages.
Since the majority of your alumni use text messaging every day, it’s a natural way to begin and continue a conversation with them about your institution, your plans for the future, and what matters most to them.
When using text messaging to have donor conversations, here are three key strategies to increase your success, and have fun along the way.
Asking a recent graduate, with thousands of dollars of student loan debt, for a large contribution isn’t going to work. It’s surely not going to help you impress them with how much you care about their world.
The same can be said for asking a patron of the arts to fund your new basketball stadium, or asking a sports fan to contribute to the purchase of that new library.
Engaging alumni via text messaging gives you the power to quickly learn more and more about your alumni, so that you can tune your requests to match their financial situation and areas of interest.
You already know their graduation year, which helps you better segment your alumni based on their projected financial giving ability. Use text messaging to survey your alumni to learn more about their passions and interests. For example:
When your alumni respond, you’ll know exactly which type of funding opportunity will interest them.
Now that you know what interests them at a high level, you can tune your requests. You can continue to ask them questions to learn even more about them, giving you the key insights to build a relationship.
Just remember, you won’t build a relationship by only asking them for donations. It’s just as important to give back to them with programs or opportunities that match their interests. You want to be a partner for life, not that pesky organization that always asks for money.
Use text messaging to invite alumni to networking events, special programs at your campus, or continuing education opportunities. Texting makes it so easy to keep your alumni in the loop concerning key news and updates, fun announcements, and more. For example, colleges and text messaging can invite your alumni to a special networking function, then remind them of the date and time.
If you want to get donations from your alumni, always continue to give. That’s the foundation of long-term relationships.
Alumni can help you with more than money. When you make it fun for them to help, it’s even better.
Every activity can become fun and engaging when you turn it into a game. Text messaging helps you create that fun environment for fundraising. You can incite alumni to get involved in your fundraising goal, based on different actions that contribute to your success.
For example, you can award prizes for alumni who capture different levels of investment, create campaigns within their local networks, contribute new fundraising ideas, and more.
Engaging alumni via text messaging makes it easy to gamify fundraising. You can announce the program, send promotional texts to keep the game top of mind, feature winners and their ideas, offer special prizes, and share each alumnus’s personal status with them.
Text messaging gives you the chance to have important conversations with your alumni, for fundraising and continuing to build long-term relationships.
You’ll communicate the way they like, learn about what matters to them, as you show you care about them as individuals, and build relationships that fuel ongoing fundraising success.