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How To Build The Perfect Giving Tuesday P2P Texting Campaign

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Giving Tuesday is almost here!

Rachel Cleary

Director of Education Sales

ThruText is a powerful addition to your Giving Tuesday and calendar year end outreach strategy. Peer-to-peer texting allows you to build a multi-channel outreach plan, layering on an extra level of communication to meet your audience where they are — on their cell phones.

If you're looking to start peer-to-peer texting for your Giving Tuesday or year-end texting campaign, then read-on for a step-by-step guide that will take you from novice to pro in no-time.

Make a Plan
Just like with any annual giving channel, a strong plan will set you up for success. Here are a few items to consider:

  • What’s your goal?: Whether this is your first texting campaign or your tenth, having a goal in mind will help you decide on your list size, segmentation, and messaging frequency.
  • Decide on texting date(s): Texting works best when part of a multi-channel outreach strategy where you can build on previous messaging. Think through how texting will best complement your other channels such as email or phone and build from there.
  • Create your segments and sketch out messaging: We’ve found that LYBUNT donors are most likely to give as a result of being texted, but we always encourage creativity. Consider building special segments and specific messages for young alumni, folks in reunion year, or giving society members.
  • Train your texters: Before you begin texting, make sure everyone is comfortable using ThruText and understand their texting shift expectations. Pro tip: share out our Message Sender support resources with new texters.

Be Strategic 

  • Plant the seed with engagement messaging: If you can, warm up your list a few weeks ahead of time by texting out an engagement message. This can be focused on stewardship, an exciting update from campus, or an invitation to take part in a digital event or alumni/donor resource.
  • Build momentum: We suggest weaving in texting throughout your Giving Tuesday plan. For example, following up on emails or calls made before, leading up to and during Giving Tuesday to build momentum.
  • Craft a successful initial message: The best thing you can do to ensure a high response rate and successful campaign is to craft an initial message that is engaging and response worthy. Work to keep your message specific to each recipient, so include information such as the last gift amount they made or thanking them for giving in the past. We always advise against including a link in the first message, and suggest that you end your first message with a question.

    Here’s a sample message template:
    “Hi First Name! This is Sender Name from School Name. Today is Giving Tuesday, and your support is more important than ever. Last year you gave Last Gift Amount - can we count on you to renew or increase that today?”

For more details on how to write successful initial messages, check out our “Suggested Scripts for Texting Alumni” strategy guide. 

  • Recommended replies — a strong script will ensure your texter’s abilities to have engaged and efficient conversations. You may want to create replies for the following scenarios:
  • Yes, will give: Great! Thanks so much for your support, %First Name%! You can make your gift here: {link}
  • No, won’t give: I understand! Thanks for your previous support, %First Name%. 
  • Already gave: Thank you so much, %First Name%! It looks like your gift is still in process - sorry about that. Thanks again and have a great day!
  • Why should I give: Thanks for asking, %First Name%! Your generosity supports the areas of greatest need at {school name}. You can learn more at {link}.

Take Advantage of Key ThruText Features

  • Don’t forget to follow up: While more than 90% of texts get read, a quick follow-up can help bring in last minute gifts. ThruText makes it easy to follow up with people who didn’t reply to your initial message. 
  • Campaign cloning: If you’re creating multiple campaigns with different segments, lean on ThruText’s cloning feature to save some time. 

Be data-driven

One of ThruText’s most powerful features is its survey questions, which allow you to track conversation results as you go along. Here are a few you may want to include for year-end campaigns:

  • Will the donor give? (Yes, No, Maybe)
  • Opt out reason (Wrong Number, Do Not Text, Unknown)
  • Refusal reason (Financial, Ill Feelings, Already Gave, Unknown)
  • Notes (Freeform survey question)

Giving Tuesday and Year-End Giving are two of the biggest opportunities of the year to reconnect with alumni and meet your giving goals. Bringing peer-to-peer texting into your Annual Giving strategy gives you another opportunity to reach alums, but you’ll need a solid texting strategy to get the most out of it. If you still need help after reading this guide, know that current GetThru Education partners can book a strategy and best practices session with our Education team here.

If you’ve never used ThruText before, you can click here to book a demo or send our team a note at


Rachel Cleary

Before GetThru, Rachel spent years in higher education and non-profit fundraising. She now brings that experience to our education clients, where she provides strategic support and sales expertise. Outside of work, you can find her listening to Broadway musicals, making pasta from scratch, or hanging out with her dog, Sadie (sometimes all at the same time!).

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