The June 2012 issue of our “Sample of the Month” case study newsletter features our client Saint Peter’s College and their extremely successful fundraising campaign.
The goal for Saint Peter’s College was simple in concept, but complex and strategic in execution. They wanted to acquire 140 donors on June 1, 2012 in honor of the College’s 140th anniversary. To accomplish this goal, they took a multi-step and integrated approach to build buzz leading up to June 1st.
Ballantine handled the printing, mailing, email blasts, personalized URLs and creative for the email and PURL landing page. Managing this campaign from start to finish at Saint Peter’s College was Jamie Bredehoft, director of annual giving.
The strategy behind this fundraising effort was to build buzz and awareness leading up to the June 1st giving date. This was accomplished using three postcard mailings, four email blasts, social media and personalized URLs.
This was a 5” x 7” postcard sent to about 8,000 people on April 30th. The mailing list consisted of:
- All alumni couples regardless of giving history (counts as two donors and helps their alumni participation rate)
- Any alumnus who has made a gift of $5 or more since 2000
- All graduates of the last decade regardless of giving history (the urgency, immediacy and tech components of the campaign appeal to the younger generation of donors)
This was a 6” x 9” postcard sent to about 5,000 people on May 10th. The mailing list consisted of:
- All alumni couples
- Graduates of the last decade who have made a gift in the past
- Anyone who has made a gift of $5 or more since 2005 (giving trends show that if someone doesn’t give within a six year period, an organization is likely to lose their participation for good)
This was a 6.125” x 11.5” postcard sent to about 2,700 people on May 22nd. The mailing list consisted of:
- Donors from last year that haven’t yet given this fiscal year (it’s important to retain these folks year to year)
- Those with unfulfilled telemarketing pledges (making the pledge shows their commitment to the College and gives confidence that they will ultimately make a gift)
- All alumni couples
- Graduates of the last decade who have given in the past
The creative from the postcard to the PURL landing page to the email blasts was very consistent – visually attractive and clean. And on the postcard and landing page, the copy reinforced what specific donation amounts would provide.
A staggered approach allowed alumni to receive communication about the campaign through a different outlet each week. The email blasts would be sent one week, and a postcard would arrive in mailboxes the following week. Additionally, a final e-blast was distributed on May 31st.
The focus of the emails were to drive people to their personalized URL for more information and to request a reminder call to make a gift on June 1st. And on June 1st, four emails were sent throughout the day reminding them it was the big day.
The email blasts were sent to their entire list of about 10,000 people. That being said, for both the postcard mailings and the email blasts, the people that requested a June 1st reminder call were suppressed.
The PURL was used as a response vehicle for both the postcard and the email. On the landing page was a countdown clock that showed the number of days and hours left until June 1st. There was also a recap of what specific donation amounts would provide. And lastly, there was a pre-populated form to submit if you wanted to be reminded to give.
Social media was an important component in the promotion of the “Let’s Get it Done. June 1” campaign. In advance of June 1, the campaign logo was made the cover photo on the alumni Facebook page and a lead story on the Saint Peter’s College website and alumni website. Posts regarding the promotion of the SPC140.com website were distributed via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter a month in advance of the event.
Within a week of the event, posts were shared up to three times daily on the various social media pages, highlighting the different components of the campaign. Members of the advancement team were also provided with logos and imagery, which they could share on their personal social media pages.
On the day of the event, regular updates on the progress were posted. As donors gave they were encouraged to share the announcement of their gift on their personal social media pages. Donors who tweeted mentions of their gifts were retweeted on the Saint Peter’s College Twitter page to encourage additional participation.
The goal was 140 donors on June 1st. Saint Peter’s College surpassed this goal by 273 percent. The final number came in at 382 donors, who made gifts online, over the phone and through regular mail, resulting in more than $90,000 raised by Saint Peter’s.
According to Jamie Bredehoft, “The culture of giving is changing, and we need to be receptive to what will motivate our alumni to give back. With this campaign, it’s become clear that an integrated approach, which communicates a tangible goal and solicits collaborative participation for a greater impact, works. We’re extremely proud of our alumni community for stepping up to the challenge – and we’re thrilled that their excitement about the campaign was contagious, allowing us to surpass our goal.”