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5 engaging text openers for college and university fundraising campaigns

The past few years have changed everything for colleges & universities when it comes to alumni engagement, particularly when that engagement is linked to fundraising. While we all love to hear from our alma mater, depersonalized messages over email, direct mail, or by phone often get lost in the shuffle. Text message-based engagement, however, is on the rise, with up to 98% open rates.

Using a communication method that meets your audience where they are (usually with their phone!), can be a great first step in overhauling your fundraising efforts and creating a more genuine relationship with your alumni community. But not all messaging strategies are created equal. It’s important to create an opportunity for real dialogue as you engage your audience rather than jumping straight to the task at hand.

Most people are thrilled to engage with their alma mater, so taking the time to build a relationship can drive significant results in your fundraising efforts. As you’re crafting your next alumni engagement campaign, consider these starting points to take things to the next level:

Ask for alumni input
“Hi [NAME], this is [YOUR NAME] at [SCHOOL]. I’m looking for alumni to provide input on how we can improve student life on campus. Do you have five minutes to tell us what you think?”

Solicit advice for new students
“Hi [NAME], [YOUR NAME] here from [SCHOOL]! The Class of [YEAR] will be heading to campus in a few short weeks. We’re collecting advice to share with them as they adjust to their new environment. Can you share something you wish you knew or think they should know as they kick off their time at [SCHOOL]?”

Celebrate school traditions together
“Hi [NAME], Happy [SCHOOL TRADITION] from [SCHOOL]! Students and alumni all over the world are celebrating together today, and we hope you get to [ACTIVITY/TRADITION], too!”

TIP: Include a video clip of students participating in the tradition for maximum impact!

Share how close you are to your fundraising goal
“Hi [NAME], this is [YOUR NAME] at [SCHOOL]! We only need 10 more donations of $20 to meet our goals for this year’s alumni drive. Can you help us cross the finish line and ask 3 classmates to join us by making a donation?”

TIP: Sharing a photo or video clip of a giveaway the donor will receive can go a long way!

Invite them to the championship or rivalry game
“Hi [NAME]! This is [YOUR NAME] from [SCHOOL]. Did you catch the [MASCOT]’s semi-finals game this weekend? Here’s a clip from this weekend’s game! Do you have tickets to the next game?”

TIP: Include a video clip with highlights from the last game, or a shout-out from the coach

As more and more nonprofits, universities, and government offices turn to text-based engagement strategies, you can stand out by crafting an intentional message and taking the time to connect directly with your audience. Hustle is here to support these efforts with our suite of personalized messaging products, including Broadcast messaging, Video Clips, Personalized Clips, and even Video Stories. And if you’re looking for recommendations to engage other audiences for fundraising, check out the rest of our series.

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