A Texas high school uses ThruText to dramatically increase first-time giving
Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas was founded in 1963, and the majority of its alumni have graduated in the past 20 years. In order to fundraise effectively, the school needed to find a better way to connect with young donors.
So in 2017, they decided to try peer-to-peer texting with ThruText. They were blown away by the results. Alumni donations doubled from the previous year, and more than half of the school’s new donors made their first ever contribution in response to a ThruText text.
We needed to meet our alums where they were. Most of them don’t answer their phones. They don’t open emails, and letters aren’t important to them. Relay was a total game changer.
-Brynn Bruno, Bishop Lynch Vice President for Advancement
Using ThruText didn’t just engage more alumni–it also made a lasting impact on the students who served as volunteer texters. In 2018 the school used ThruText for its Mission Rally, a student-led campaign to raise money for financial aid and scholarships. Students received a five-minute training on how to use the platform, and were given a goal of raising $300.
Each of the student volunteers exceeded their quota, and many asked to come back and volunteer again. Thanks to ThruText, the school increased volunteer engagement by 250 percent. “Our students love using ThruText. They can show their personalities and be real. They throw in emojis. They have meaningful conversations,” Bruno explains.
For some students, the text exchanges led to lasting personal connections with alumni who offered advice and encouragement. And because school staff could easily monitor the text conversations, they felt comfortable allowing students to engage with strangers–something that had been a concern with phonathons of the past.
Bishop Lynch found ThruText so effective, they decided to try it for other kinds of communications. The school has used it as a backup emergency notification system, and to help manage foot traffic for big events like Grandparents’ Day.
They’ve used it to gauge potential RSVPs for local alumni events and to plan and recruit for their Homecoming party—the biggest alumni event of the year. ThruText even helped Bishop Lynch gather new contact information for former students: When volunteers texted football team alumni in order to organize an event, the respondents helped them track down other players they’d lost touch with.
But the biggest impact ThruText made was in annual giving. Texting alumni dramatically increased gifts, especially among first-time donors—an important demographic. “Our results have been phenomenal,” Bruno says. “Using ThruText is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.”