SFU wanted to engage alumni by creating a fun, relevant experience that would increase participation on social media sites (mainly Facebook and Twitter) and increase donations from alumni.
One of the keys to increase SFU’s alumni donations was engaging them through personal and relevant communications. The campaign targeted 10,000 alumni from the classes of 1950-2014 using various media channels. Pacesetter created a main fundraising campaign with multiple complementary campaigns, including:
- A “Giving Tuesday” campaign distributed by direct mail pieces, emails, and personalized landing pages to encourage alumni to make a donation.
- Personalized Christmas e-cards to reinforce the university’s values and strengthen alumni’s emotional connection to the institution.
- A fundraising campaign with personalised emails and landing pages to generate donations from SFU alumni. This campaign utilised marketing automation technology to add variables within emails that linked relevant information to each SFU alumni, such as the alumni’s name, major, and an update on their major’s department.
- A strategically designed microsite to resemble a smartphone with an app-like interface that was created using alumni data. Pacesetter was able to utilise marketing technology to design a microsite with a user-friendly layout that was personalized for each alumni leading them to feel comfortable and engaged.
- A personalised video update for each recipient based on their graduation year sent via email. The video promoted their engagement, informed them about SFU, and re-established a relationship with the alumni before asking for a donation.
- A social media contest to gain a larger following on Facebook and Twitter and gather valuable information on young alumni for future appeals. SFU launched their “Where are you now?” campaign by encouraging young alumni to upload a photo and tell SFU and peers what they had been up to after they graduated. If alumni participated by uploading a photo, liking SFU’s Twitter and Facebook pages, and using the #SFUYA hashtag, they were entered to win a free iPad.