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Since 2017, GetThru has worked with more than 300 colleges, universities, and independent schools to help them reach their goals by leveraging P2P texting.
Senior Sales Manager, Education and Nonprofits
While peer-to-peer (P2P) texting is a relatively new tool in annual giving, it's proven itself to be a powerful addition to any fundraising and development program. Since 2017, GetThru has worked with more than 300 colleges, universities, and independent schools to help them reach their goals by leveraging P2P texting. Schools like Vassar College and University of California, Berkeley have seen extraordinary success using texting to fundraise. If your school is ready to take the leap into the texting world, this post will cover the basics of getting started with P2P texting for annual giving.
For a deeper dive, take a look at our Education page, which includes case studies from some of our partner schools.
GetThru’s P2P texting platform, ThruText, is a fast, efficient, and affordable tool - and it’s also extremely flexible. Schools use ThruText for a wide variety of communications to alumni, students, donors, and parents. Here are a few annual giving-specific use cases:
The possibilities are endless, but we recommend a holistic texting strategy. Make sure to text about a variety of topics, not just solicitations, so that your alumni and donors know that texting is just an additional channel for connection. Pro tip: plan to do an engagement texting campaign a month prior to giving days to warm up your list!
As with any channel, strategy is key. We recommend planning your texting campaigns with the same level of care that you’d bring to to phonathon or direct mail. Here are a few best practices:
A key factor in a successful texting campaign is an engaging first message. One best practice for ensuring high response rates is to avoid including a giving link in the first message, and instead it with a question. Here’s an example:
“Hi First Name! This is Sender Name from School Name. Thanks so much for your last gift of Last Gift Amount in 2019. Can we count on you to renew your support today?”
Ending your first message with a question helps recipients understand they’re talking to a real human, and makes them more likely to reply to your initial message. Additionally, you can include as many Custom Fields as you’d like in your texting campaigns - the above message provides an example of how these can look in practice for a solicitation campaign.
A critical component of successful campaigns is building out a strong script ahead of time. You can set up as many Recommended Replies as you’d like so that your texters don’t have to type a brand new response every time. Check out this ThruText strategy guide on suggested scripts for education fundraising campaigns.
ThruText allows for complex, fully-customizable data collection through our Surveys feature. Surveys are internal, and are only seen by you and your texters. Your texters fill out the Surveys as they go through conversations, and the results are pushed to reports that you can pull from ThruText after your campaign is over.
In a fundraising campaign, you might want to include the following survey questions with potential answers:
You can also set up a freeform survey question to use for collecting updated contact information or key notes from the conversation.
GetThru has a dedicated team working with our education clients, and we are passionate about helping educational institutions leverage texting to meet fundraising and engagement goals. If you’d like to learn more, click here to book a demo - we’re excited to chat with you about potential texting at your school! And if you’re already a ThruText Education client, you can always schedule a strategy session with our team by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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