fundraising

5 Great Text Conversations That Show How Omnichannel Engagement Provides a Better Donor Experience

Brian GaworVice President of ResearchMarch 31, 2022

Texting has become the dominant way we communicate today. And while it took a little bit for higher education fundraisers to get onboard with this incredibly effective communication tool, it’s transformed donor engagement over the past few years. I went through some of the millions of message sent by RNL student engagement ambassadors, partner institution leaders, and our team to find some great examples of how incredibly useful texting is when engaging donors.

These messages are sent through an integrated, RNL P2P texting platform which allows you to send and respond easily. The giving links all go to mobile-optimized giving pages that make it easy for the donors to give no matter where they are at the moment. It’s a complete package to make giving easy, maximize ROI, and create a better donor experience.

5 real-life examples of how donors responded to this high quality text outreach

Texting makes it easy for donors to give, and to fulfill pledges

Blog: Texting and Donor Engagement
Texting helps giving not be a “pain in the butt.”

Sometimes, it’s just about making it easy, as this example shows.

I chuckled when I read the “pain in the butt” comment. We often make it hard to give, and a text with an easy, mobile-optimize giving page (that accepts Apple Pay, Venmo, and Paypal) really makes it easy for donors.

If you haven’t already started using digital wallets with your giving, be sure to see this blog from Chad Warren about the benefits.

Sometimes it’s not just about a transaction: donors offer advice, encouragement

This great exchange with a donor and student ambassador at Northern Kentucky University became an extension of the conversation after a phone call.

Blog: Texting and Donor Engagement
Text exchanges can be about more than just giving.
Texting and Donor Conversation

This text was sent following a successful call, using integrated texting in RNL Engage. I love how “Chris” didn’t entirely believe that the text was from the real student, but when he received a response, the conversation continued. “Your gift” isn’t a typo—Chris really tied the gift to a relationship with Olivia, the student, after just one conversation.

Texting for a lifetime of giving

Texting and Donor Engagement: Boosting Giving Days
Your alumni giving texts might even lead to enrollment in graduate programs.

It goes well beyond giving, boosting the lifetime relationship with donors. Here’s a response from a donor to a Giving Day reminder and promotion of a live event.

The donor offers, unprompted, to boost the event on social media and also attend. They then send a second text asking for help to enroll in a graduate program. These texts are crucial to the long-term relationship with donors.

Texting boosts donor loyalty, and it’s about more than a transaction

Texting and Donor Engagement: Donor Response
Texting isn’t just about reminders, it can be part of a loyal donor relationship

Should you text your multi-year loyal donors to make their gifts? Why not? This private university did just that, and made it easy for donors to renew.

In fact, they received 254 gifts right from the texting, totaling $50,284. Response increased by 135 percent from 2020, and 8 percent of the LYBUNTs texted responded immediately. You’re definitely going to want to additional outreach to your loyal donors, but why not just make it easy for them to give, especially as you approach key deadlines like end of calendar and fiscal year?

When you can’t talk, send donors a text to make giving happen

Texting and Donor Engagement: Donor Conversation
Actual RNL student ambassador text, spring 2021.

Let’s face it, many of us don’t pick up unexpected calls. What do you do when you’ve made attempts to reach a donor and the giving deadline is coming up? Send them a text, either to connect and talk, or just prompt giving.

To make giving interactions work, you need integrated, and easy to use P2P technology. That’s what we offer with RNL Engage, and our coordinated omnichannel programs, combined with optimized RNL ScaleFunder giving pages.

How can you create a wealth of donor engagement from texting?

It’s hard to put all of this together alone, so contact us today and we’ll set up a time to talk with our experienced advancement experts. We’ll show you how you can maximize engagement and decrease friction for donors, immediately.

Talk with our fundraising experts

Let’s talk about how you can level up donor engagement and connect with donors in a smartphone world. Ask for a free consultation with our experts.

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About the Author

Brian Gawor

Brian Gawor’s focus is research and strategy to help propel both alumni engagement and fundraising results of RNL clients. Brian has 20 years of higher education experience in student affairs, enrollment management, alumni engagement and...

Read more about Brian's experience and expertise

Reach Brian by e-mail at Brian.Gawor@RuffaloNL.com.


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