It’s not enough to simply blast alumni periodically to solicit donations. To turn alumni into lifelong donors, you need to build meaningful relationships with them. Hustle lets us connect with more alumni and have personal conversations, paving the way to long-term success for KU Endowment.

  • Riley Hess, Assistant Director, Telephone Campaigns at KU Endowment Association

The Problem

As an independent, nonprofit organization and the official fundraising foundation for the University of Kansas, KU Endowment partners with donors in providing philanthropic support to build a greater KU. Key to these efforts is establishing lasting relationships with KU alumni, engaging with them not only during one-off giving days, but throughout the year through stewardship efforts. To improve outreach efforts and educate young alumni about the purpose and mission of KU Endowment, KU decided to try something a little different to build their pipeline of donors.

The Solution

Although phone calls can be a good way to start a conversation, KU had found that phone calls were often screened or ignored. With Hustle, KU Endowment paired texting with their current phone outreach efforts to boost contact rates by sending a pre-call text to 610 of their young alumni, defined as alumni ages 35 and younger, to let them know that they would be in contact to talk about their KU experience. By giving the young alumni a heads-up before their call, KU aimed to reach their young alumni through their preferred communication channel and provide them with the option to set aside time for the upcoming conversation.

The Outcome

A total of 1015 alumni were called via the telefund, allowing KU to perform a side-by-side comparison of contact rates for those who received a pre-call text and those who were contacted only via phone call; the results were astonishing. Alumni who were contacted only via phone call had a contact rate of 15.8%, while alumni who received a pre-call text saw a jump to a whopping 80.7%. With such amazing results, KU Endowment has opened the doors to increasing the success of their phone outreach efforts, enabling them to build meaningful relationships and drive long-term results.