Hustle has been incredibly effective in helping us fundraise and reach our participants. It really allows us be more hands on in our approach. We've had a lot of our members thank us for being so direct with them by way of how we communicate.

  • Zach McCune, Asssistant Director, Team Buckeye

The Problem

Pelotonia is a 3-day fundraising event with cycling, entertainment, and volunteerism. Since its creation in 2008, Pelotonia has raised more than $184 million for cancer research and is able to direct 100% of every rider-raised dollar to cancer research at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Team Buckeye is the official super peloton of The Ohio State University (OSU). It encompasses all riding groups created by OSU students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The OSU Development team typically uses their website, email, and phone calls to reach participants about event updates. However, they needed an additional means to reach Team Buckeye members.

The Solution

While email and phone calls were great for periodic updates or general news, the OSU Development team also needed a way to communicate with Team Buckeye members and ensure the message was seen almost immediately and also get a quick response back.

They decided to add text message to their existing communications strategy to send event updates, reminders, answer questions, and get even more people to participate.

The Outcome

With Hustle, the OSU Development Team was able to reach Team Buckeye members for a variety of goals leading up to Pelotonia.

P2P Fundraising

Approximately 800 Team Buckeye members that were contacted via text message were incentivized to inspire one or more friend or family member to join the ride. As a result, 100 new people signed up for the ride—each fundraising an estimated $1,250 at minimum.

Lapsed Rider Campaign

As with any fundraising event, in addition to driving new donors, the goal is always also to retain existing donors. In addition to email, OSU Development Team used Hustle to reach out to lapsed participants to inspire them to participate again. They texted about 750 previous participants and were able to drive 17% of them to ride again.

Event Updates

Leading up to Pelotonia weekend, the OSU Development team sent quick updates and reminders to Team Buckeye members about group photos, jersey pick up locations, and more. These quick text messages allowed for a smooth event and helped cyclists and volunteers stay informed of event updates and changes.

Quick Response Question & Answers

Before and during Pelotonia, Team Buckeye members had lots of questions--from where to park to cycling route concerns. Hustle allowed the OSU Development Team to be accessible to easily and quickly answer questions.

Amplify Email Communications

Leading up to the big event, Team Buckeye captains sent out email reminders to members and followed up with a text message to ensure they got the email and see if there were any questions. By adding a text message to their communications mix, they saw a significant uplift in conversion.

In all, the OSU Development Team reached 2,100 people leading up to Pelotonia and sent close to 10,000 messages. With the varying goals of their text messages, they saw a 49% engagement rate and 32% positive action rate. Text messages allowed them to immediately break through to Team Buckeye members with event information and see quick responses or action in return.