Young Alumni Give Online

from The Involver Blog (Involver is a video marketing platform designed for social networks):

The View from Stanford: Why Video Marketing and Email Marketing Make a Perfect Match

It seems obvious that email is a more effective way to communicate with “Generation Y” for a much lower cost than paying to print letters and sending them via snail mail. Sending emails alone, however, isn’t enough. Development officers should not expect to simply take the text of a traditional fundraising letter, put it into an email, and have more effective results. Although it will certainly cost less than sending snail mail, I argue that this is not the best way to build a case for support and engage alumni…

How then, can we most effectively tell our story to thousands of people and inspire them to give? I believe that a combination of using email AND video to answer our three questions (why are we asking you for a gift, what is going to change if you give, and how will our organization make that change happen) is the so-called “secret sauce.”

Sharing these videos and sending them to alumni wasn’t going to be enough, however. If I was a public relations officer for the University, that probably would have been sufficient. But I’m a fundraiser. I wanted people to feel inspired after seeing what their gifts could do, and take action by giving. The challenge for me became how to share these videos in a way that enabled people to give after viewing the message.

We shared Involver-powered video players in four out of five emails during our fall campaign, and between 8-15% of alumni who viewed the video clicked on the “Donate/Give Now” button. During the seven weeks of our fall campaign, 51% of the gifts from Young Alumni came in from online – a significant increase over last year. On average, we had 23% more gifts from Young Alumni during the fall of 2008 than we did during the fall of 2007.