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Virginia Tech Foundation

Founded

1896

How we helped

Text-to-Donate

Reporting & Analytics

Mobile Messaging 

Digital Fundraising Services

Segment

Higher Education

Size

Large

800+

gifts

200

gifts made via text

60%

of gifts made on a mobile device

“Text messaging proved to be just as important as our other marketing channels like direct mail and email marketing.”

– Heather Kopec, Director of Annual Giving Virginia Tech

Challenge

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) has a passionate alumni base, but like many universities had trouble connecting with younger graduates, specifically millennials and generation X. When the Virginia Tech team received a mandate from their president to accomplish a 22% alumni participation rate by 2022, they knew they’d need to try new marketing channels. With this goal in mind, the team made a plan to connect with their largest alumni base where they are, on their mobile phones.

Solution

Virginia Tech’s Director of Annual Giving, Heather Keopec decided to incorporate MobileCause’s text-to-donate and mobile messaging into their #GivingTuesday campaign. Initially her team was hesitant to devote more resources to their #GivingTuesday campaign, but Virginia Tech needed a way to stand out on their alumni’s crowded social media feed. Heather worked with her MobileCause Digital Fundraising Strategist to create paid social campaigns specifically for Facebook and Instagram. These ads featured a “Hokie Challenge,” where viewers were promoted to donate and sign up for text message alerts. After capturing sign ups from the ads, Heather sent three text message asks within a 4 day window before #GivingTuesday. She also segmented the campaign based on the time zone of participants, so alumni outside of the Eastern Time Zone did not receive the messages too early in the day. 

Alt Text: 60% of Virginia Tech’s #GivingTuesday gifts were made via a mobile device.

Impact

The text-to-donate addition to Virginia Tech’s #GivingTuesday campaign proved to be a success, as it received over 800 gifts. Additionally, 60% of the #GivingTuesday donations were made from a mobile device. With mobile giving proving to be a viable marketing channel, the team decided to add text-to-donate to other marketing campaigns. They added a text-to-donate component to their Annual Giving Day and drove 295 clicks and 163 gifts, raising $15,665 dollars. These text messages, with an embedded video, were sent to the baby boomer and the silent generation alumni as well. By reaching both younger and older alumni through mobile messaging, the Virginia Tech team increased alumni participation from 10% to 13%, closer to the university’s goal of 22% by 2022.

What is DFS?

Our team of Digital Fundraising Strategists have experience in nonprofit management and are power users of MobileCause. Using best practices and extensive fundraising, marketing and communications experience, the team provides fully-integrated development and setup of your campaigns. Enabling you to spend your time executing programs and connecting with your constituents. We create and implement campaigns for you so you can focus on running your organization.

Virginia Tech Foundation

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a public land grant institute, with its main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. The school offers 280 undergraduate and graduate programs and a total student enrollment of over 34,000 students.

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