The former students of an institution have deep feelings for their school or college forever. That’s why the alumni of an institution never step back when it comes to helping their alma mater for whatever cause. Although the alumni are intrigued to show support, they might be unable to help their former institute because of lost connections.
Agreed, the affection in them for their alma mater never dies. However, because of the inferior connection between the alumni and alma mater, fundraising becomes difficult for alumni associations at the time of need. But, thanks to the alumni well-wishers who came up with five amazing tips for alumni fundraising. We have summoned all of them in this piece just for you.
So don’t waste another second and start unboxing the treasure right away!
1. Always Stay Connected With Your Alumni; Even After They Leave
Most alumni don’t contribute to fundraising because of two reasons:
- They feel left out and undervalued, or
- They are not connected with you much
To overcome this, institutes should always stay connected with their alumni. They should formulate an excellent alumni engagement strategy and implement it rigorously. Moreover, institutes should survey their alumni members and ask for their;
- Communication channel preferences – Do they P2P texts, direct SMS, or emails?
- Frequency to receive messages – How many times do they wish to receive messages in a week, month, or year?
If institutions do this, they succeed in making their alumni feel valuable, respectful, and treated well. As a result of this, alumni would be obliged to give back to their alma mater by contributing to fundraising campaigns.
2. Create Content That Engages Them Well
Clubbing different words and putting it as a simple text won’t work to engage alumni. Institutes must ensure that all their communications have an inspiring tone, nurturing flow, and call to action included. Segment your alumni audience into three genres:
- Positive response givers
- Negative response givers
- No response givers
After defining them, keep on highly engaging the positive respondents. For the ones who responded negatively, show the good side of your through content.
Lastly, take follow-ups from those who never answer. Ask them about their reasons to do so and create content for them accordingly. If needed, blend content of different forms to attract them anyhow.
3. Care Enough to Give Them a Cause to Donate
It goes without saying – your alumni would donate only when there is a cause. So, if you need funds, care enough to give them a cause first. For starters, you can add a detailed description of the fundraiser campaign that you are targeting.
It is the best way to gain the trust of your alumni for fundraising. Moreover, you must share the motif behind your fundraising initiative with your Alumni Relations Software. For instance, while sending the text to ask for funds, you can simply add a statement like:
“These funds are for mentoring those students who have no career counsellors yet deserve to be successful just like you. Please donate for their future.”
There is no harm in revealing the truth. So go for it even if your alumni don’t ask you for one. Being transparent with your alumni about your fundraisers and their cause will instil a sense of genuineness in your alumni. Based on it, they will get motivated to be a part of alumni fundraising campaigns for sure.
4. Provide Different Avenues to Give
You can’t be rigid when it comes to raising funds from your Alumni Relations Software. The fourth and the most valuable tip for any institute is to make alumni comfortable when it comes to donating funds. Give them different avenues to become a part of the fundraising campaign. To understand this, let’s continue with the previous example. For career counselling of students, if your alumni can’t donate funds (for any reason), ask them to step in as voluntary mentors.
It could be really embarrassing for a person to fail to donate funds when s/he is struggling with financial stability himself/herself. That’s why to be humble in your ask. Similarly, give them multiple options for donating funds. Please do not add a postscript to your text saying, “We only accept cheques for the donation amount.” Allow your alumni to transfer funds directly via NetBanking, pay you through online apps, or make an in-person donation, whatever is feasible to them.
5. Promise Incentives
For some alumni, only giving a cause is not enough motivation to donate funds. You might have to give them something in order to get them involved in fundraising. Promising to give incentives could be the best alumni fundraising tip here. Institutes should decide to give incentives if alumni donate a specific amount.
- Donate $100 and get featured on Instagram
- Donate $200 and receive a special recognition on LinkedIn
- Donate $500 and get college merchandise for free
- Donate $1,000 and enjoy exclusive member services
This strategy works wonders to retain the first-time donors. Luring them away the very first time could leave an impression of benefit-receiving from the college forever on their minds. Also, you can classify small, medium, and big donors from your current fundraiser and use the data later. Plus, you can create online groups of these three segments and keep on engaging regularly.
Undoubtedly, alumni fundraising is a tiring task. However, if institutes make slight modifications to their existing strategy, they can ace in no time. We’re giving away these tips for free with the hope that by implementing them, you surpass your Alumni Relations Software & engagement goals this year!