Founded in 1934, Jacksonville University is a premier private institution in northeast Florida. For more than 10 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report named it among “America’s Best Colleges” in the South. The university boasts a bustling athletics department with 21 Division I teams and offers more than 100 majors, minors, and programs that have a strong liberal arts foundation.
During the pandemic’s climax, the university noticed a sharp decline in email open rates. Despite email serving as an effective and primary channel for outreach, COVID-19 and its many implications on professional and personal lives served as a wrecking ball through its utility for JU.
"We knew we wanted to have people hear from us and ask how they were doing. We segmented our list of alums and donors in 'hard-hit areas' and texted our supporters in New York, New Jersey, Washington, etc., just to see how they were holding up and let them know we were thinking about them. We also reached out to our nursing and health care alumni to check-in. And the response blew us away. People couldn't believe how thoughtful we were to reach out by texting, and it was a great touchpoint before we started soliciting for unrestricted or emergency support in Spring 2020."
Non-intrusive personal connection through peer-to-peer text is an effective solution. Using Hustle, JU developed a cadence of check-in texts for the Annual Giving Campaign and their micro-campaigns, helping them build relationships and ultimately score significant philanthropic gifts.