As of June 30, because of the generosity of 11,326 donors, the Annual Fund crossed the $10.7M mark, setting a new dollar record at Amherst.

  • Biddy Martin, President

The Problem

In the fall of each year, the 15 youngest alumni classes from Amherst and Williams compete in the Biggest Little Challenge, a friendly philanthropic contest to see which school can secure the mot donors over a 10-day period. Williams College had maintained a streak of bragging rights and had won the competition two years in a row. In the past, the Amherst team had relied on phone banking, email blasts, and volunteer outreach to communicate with potential donors.

The Solution

The team started to contact alumni who otherwise didn’t pick up their phones by creating personalized, peer-to-peer text messages with Hustle. In under an hour, two student volunteers were able to send texts to over 700 alumni. Compared to a control group, participation double when student volunteers used Hustle for outreach. Text was also an effective way to follow up with people who had previously pledged to get them to fulfill their commitment: people who received text through Hustle were more than three times as likely to convert their pledges.

The Outcome

Hustle gave Amherst College a new channel of communication with young alumni and helped the Annual Fund exceed their fundraising goals. Thanks to an expanded fundraising strategy, Amherst increased their total number of donors in the challenge by 40% compared to the previous year. And for the first time ever, Amherst College won the Biggest Little Competition and beat Williams College by more than 200 gifts!