The pandemic is unfortunately not over. For alumni associations and advanced departments across the nation, right now is a smart time to recalibrate your peer-to-peer texting outreach around the sensitivities your alumni may be facing. The implications of COVID-19 on day-to-day still stand, and your communication strategy should reflect that in addition to its annual fundraising calendar. A building block to maintaining a long-term connection with alumni is your ability to relate on a personal level while simultaneously tapping back into the joys of their undergraduate experience.
Conversational peer-based texting is a remarkably versatile and dynamic tool. While a viable channel for fundraising, your peer-to-peer channel should offer diversity in the types of messages you send, not just serve solely as a channel for financial support. Driving authentic engagement (and donations) begins with a personal connection that can only be achieved through building and strengthening relationships. Our team highlights simple types of text messages that help yield long-term connections with alumni in this article.
“It’s not enough to simply blast alumni periodically to solicit donations. To turn alumni into lifelong donors, you need to build meaningful relationships with them. Hustle lets us connect with more alumni and have personal conversations, paving the way to long-term success for KU Endowment.” — Riley Hess, Assistant Director, Telephone Campaigns, KU Endowment Association
Building Relationships: Diversifying Alumni Outreach
- Each one teach one. Enhance your academic ecosystem with alumni insights as a mentor for current students. Who better to help seniors take that giant stride from college life to a professional career than alumni? Your institution provided an amazing undergrad experience, including equipping alumni with the skills and intelligence to turn professional aspirations into realities. Offer the opportunity for alumni to get involved with different school departments via peer-to-peer text.
- Have an upcoming virtual event? Invite your Alumni! Alumni add dimension for current and prospective students through an inside view of the unique academic experiences your institution has to offer. Whether you plan to hold a reception, campus tour, enrollment event, or speaking panel, invite your alumni to special events.
- Share current events. What’s changing on campus right now? Is a new athletic program launching? Is campus expanding? Have a career fair coming up? Keep your audience informed on current happenings in between fundraisers. Think about when you personally donate to a cause or organization. Don’t you want to know what your money’s allocated towards? Of course, you do, and so do your alumni!
- Continued career services and guidance for the future. During the economic crash in 2020, millions of Americans were laid off. Are your alumni among them? Peer-to-peer text allows you to directly and privately remind alumni of the resource abundance they have to help them navigate these unforeseen economic obstacles resulting from the pandemic.
“Hustle allows our team to have meaningful conversations with thousands of alumni in a single afternoon. We’ve seen increased alumni engagement which has resulted in increased donations for our institution. Our team has a blast using the product–it’s a great team-building experience for us. — Catherine Marhenke, Sr. Associate Director, Annual Giving, Colgate College
Stay In Touch with Alumni Through Text Message
“Hustle allowed us to connect with alumni in a way that we couldn’t previously. In particular, we know young alumni do not want to answer the phone, but a text is something they will automatically reply to.” — Luke Gorman, Director of Annual Giving and Operations, Office of Advancement, Colby Sawyer College
Hustle’s web and mobile platforms for text and video empower alumni associations to drive engagement rates and action rates while decreasing opt-out rates, so alumni continue their experience with your academic institution, no matter where life after the classroom takes them. Hustle puts analytics and reporting at your fingertips, offering real-time insights into campaign performance, target audience engagement, conversations, and more.
If you have any questions regarding Hustle for alumni engagement, contact Hustle today, and let’s get texting!