UW Engages Older Donors With Video Messages

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Open rate with recipients over 60 years old.

Features Used

  • Branded Assets
  • Metrics
  • Merge Fields
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The Challenge: Can You Reach Older Alumni with ThankView?

UW launched its first ThankView campaign following the class of 1968 Reunion Cruise. Rather than thank only those who attended the event, Josh Glantz, UW’s Leadership Annual Philanthropy Officer made the decision to send thank you videos to the entire class of 1968.

The UW advancement office had decided the class gift was going to be optional so their outreach had to be the right mixture of thanking recipients for attendance and encouraging them to give toward their class gift. On top of that, Josh worried that older alumni might not react positively to a thank you video as opposed to a more traditional thank you note.

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ThankView Solution: Send Content that Creates a Sense of Nostalgia

Paul Rucker, Executive Director or Alumni Association at the famous UW Boathouse

Paul Rucker, the Executive Director of the Alumni Association, recorded the thank you video at Lake Washington right before the reunion cruise, near the old boathouse where the famous “Boys in the Boat” trained for the 1936 Olympics.

UW’s most successful campaigns across all age groups had included a Call to Action button that links to relevant and engaging information to the recipients. Because of this, UW decided to take advantage of ThankView’s Call to Action feature, linking not to a donation form but to an album of photos from the event.

Their Results: High Open and Click Through Rates, More Donor Engagement

UW sent 1,093 ThankViews to members of the class of 1968. Their ThankView send achieved a 46.6% open rate and 124 clicks to see the events photo album. Even more exciting for Josh and his team was how UW’s older alumni took to their ThanKViews. “I was thrown off when I saw how “traditional” these 72 year old individuals are with their smartphones. They open all of their emails and watched the videos unlike their millennial counterparts. I was born in 1989, and I don’t check my email everyday, but these graduates of ‘68 were lightning fast when responding!”

“…these graduates of ‘68 were lightning fast when responding to emails!”

Josh went on to explain how ThankView works well for schools of different sizes. “At a large university, there’s a lot of people who fall through the cracks. ThankView is a great way to engage them. For smaller schools, you can get that personal touch that you need and want from a smaller campus; make it feel like your alumni never really left.”

For UW, ThankView was a tool to connect donors and alumni to the programs and people they cared most about. No matter their age or graduation year, recipient interaction with ThankView has consistently exceeded UW’s expectations.

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