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A top-ranked liberal arts college uses texting for giving campaigns and challenges, pledge fulfillment, stewardship, and more.
Located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California, Pitzer College is a top-ranked liberal arts college with about 1,000 enrolled students. Pitzer’s Office of Annual Giving has used ThruText since 2018 to renew donor support, reach out during key giving opportunities, such as #GivingTuesday, and for class reunion outreach.
Texting is very good for time-sensitive communications such as giving days and event reminders. I can’t imagine how people are planning to keep up with the times if they’re not incorporating texting into their overarching annual fund and engagement strategies.
Kamalei Lee, Assistant Director of Annual Giving
The College’s annual campaign, One Week. One Pitzer., aims to increase giving, encourage school spirit, and educate the campus and greater College community on the importance of philanthropy. Pitzer solicited nearly 2,000 alumni and parents via text during its One Week. One Pitzer. campaign in spring 2019. Pitzer also utilized GiveCampus’ unique giving link feature to track giving conversion rates in each of its texting segments.
Kamalei advises that schools who take on texting should integrate both engagement and solicitation touchpoints to ensure the channel isn’t associated only with fundraising.
To get alumni and donors used to texting, the One Week. One Pitzer. 2019 texting campaign launched with a “Save the Date” text. This text shared a link to the campaign’s main webpage, which included downloadable One Week. One Pitzer.-branded smartphone screensavers and information on events and giving challenges taking place throughout the campaign.
At Pitzer, texting has the added bonus of helping the Annual Giving team reach constituents they might not have reached through traditional phone calls. Pitzer’s phonathon program has struggled with contact rates due to the increase in Spam/scam likely calls, but texting has increased their number of two-way conversations and has helped the Pitzer team update contact information. As Kamalei said, “The biggest difference with texting is we’ve actually been able to get a hold of people to have conversations and update contact information, if necessary. The ease and speed of texting has been helpful as well.” Kamalei says, “When there’s a [giving] deadline and it's a quick, short message, people really appreciate the convenience of texting.”
Kamalei notes that texting has become an increasingly important part of Pitzer’s annual giving strategy, saying, “Texting is very good for time-sensitive communications such as giving days and event reminders. I can’t imagine how people are planning to keep up with the times if they’re not incorporating texting into their overarching annual fund and engagement strategies.”
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