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University fundraising doesn't have to be as hard as it used to be. When you want to reach your graduates, you can now do so with the benefit of technology on your side. It's easy to use an SMS texting platform to send SMS text messages online to your database of alumni, letting them know about University news and fundraising efforts that are currently going on. Today's marketing world requires using every tool available to you. If you have seen alumni donations decrease over the past few years, it's time to do something about it.
Set Up an Opt-In Text Messaging Campaign
The first thing to do when you want to reach more of your alumni is to set up an opt-in texting campaign. You will need to find a text messaging software platform that allows you to sign up members who opt-in to receive text messages from you. While you are not a retail business offering deals to your customers, you have information to share with your alumni that can be timely news, or information about upcoming fundraisers. Start by finding a platform that you feel comfortable using, and one that offers you the ability to send out messages in an instant to your database of alumni.
Set Up a Keyword to Advertise Almost Anywhere
When an alumni association wants to bring awareness to a cause, a carefully crafted keyword for the fundraiser will help grow your list of contacts. Keywords can be advertised anywhere, such as print media, on the radio, on television and on social media. With a solid keyword that promotes a fundraiser, you can even share this keyword at live events to grow your database of followers.
Set Up an Autoresponder for the Keyword
When you set up a keyword for your fundraiser, you also set up an autoresponder when users text your keyword to you. This means that you have the ability to send a link to your subscribers automatically, directing them to your specific fundraising website for the cause you are supporting. Whether you are trying to build up the endowment of your university, or you are raising money for a specific project, it is easy to set up an autoresponder to get more donations.
Provide Updates on Your Progress to Your Followers
When you are running a fundraising campaign, it helps raise the amount of overall donations when you share with your donor base your current progress. Donors want to know that the money they have donated is making an impact, and frequent updates provide useful information to your donors. If you are really close to your goal, donors who have the resources will often make a second donation to your cause. You can also share news about your university, or students that stand out, showing your donor base why they want to donate to your cause in the first place.
Track User Activity with Your Software Platform
When you send out texts to donate to your cause, you can use clickthrough tracking to see who clicked your link and made a donation and who has not followed through with a donation. Once you gather your database of followers who have not yet made a contribution, you can send out a reminder text that you are still trying to raise funds for a worthy cause. This way, you won't be annoying those donors that have already successfully donated to your fundraising campaign. You can target a specific demographic and send messages only to this audience if you choose.
Universities Can Successfully Raise Funds
In a short, one day campaign to raise $5,000, an Ohio college was able to raise the funds by reaching out to alumni and students through a text marketing campaign. When users texted a keyword to the number set by the college, the college collected donations easily. When you make donating as simple as texting a word to a short phone number, people are going to donate to your cause.
To reach a wider demographic, it is important to use social media and all of the tools that come with a successful marketing campaign. When you are trying to raise funds for your university, you can reach many of your alumni with a simple texting platform. It's simple to use, and it can bring your fundraising efforts from drab to fabulous in just a few short weeks.
For more information on how you can better engage your students, download our Higher Education Brochure.