Since launching the new Donor Experience: Campus Creators program, we’ve been getting tons of questions from advancement shops across the country who are interested in learning more.
Just a reminder, here’s what a Campus Creators program brings to the table: Every month, every single donor receives a personal video directly from a student. EverTrue coordinates the ongoing outreach, aligning messages with annual giving strategy. And we analyze engagement and giving data to automatically steward donors when they give and elevate the most likely prospects for 1:1 outreach from a Donor Experience Officer or development officer.
We recently sat down with Aimee Furrie, Manager of Program Development at EverTrue, to get answers to all your burning questions!
Watch the video or scroll down to read everything you need to know about DX:CC by EverTrue – and when you’re ready to hear how you can get started with EverTrue, book a demo!
Of an entire pool within the DX:CC program, how are student portfolios segmented?
By unique first name. We split up the student portfolios so that they have consistent numbers of unique first names in each portfolio, creating a consistent amount of work across the board.
Do students just send videos, or are they still making calls, or sending regular emails?
As of right now, students are primarily sending out communications via the ThankView platform, which will deliver in an email format with a video attachment. However, we do have students that are making phone calls when donors are requesting those specifically, or the Campus Program Manager will reach out via email for any additional communications that require follow-up.
Are you worried about burnout with students creating so many personalized videos?
At this point we have a lot of variability for the students as they’re creating their communications, and they’re able to spread their work out over several weeks so they’re able to avoid that feeling of burnout.
How many touchpoints do the students have with the donors over the year?
As of right now, the students are consistently reaching out to their donor audiences every single month with different content. Of course, we are varying that content based on recent gifts that have come in, to send out stewardship communications, or adjusting the communication strategy to align with solicitations or other cultivation messages that we want to send out across the institution.
How do you manage student turnover?
Whenever there is student turnover, we transition those portfolios from the student that is leaving their role to a student that is going to be coming into that role, to ensure that we are experiencing no lapse for the donor in the time that they’re receiving communication from their Campus Creators.
Do students stay assigned to the same donors year over year?
Short answer is yes. We want to ensure that those students are maintaining that ongoing communication with the donors in their portfolio, and then of course bringing additional folks into their video to feature as they want to share different messages from other voices on campus.
How do students keep track of their donors?
That’s where EverTrue comes in. We come in to provide the support for every student Campus Creator to ensure that they know who to reach out to, when, and with what content.
Does someone review these videos or do the students send the videos directly?
The Campus Program Manager is responsible for sending out all of the communications within the DX:CC program. This gives them the opportunity to review all of the content, and ensure that they’re meeting the brand standards for their institution.
How many hours a week are students working?
Typically, students are working between 10 and 12 hours a week. Of course, we understand that fluctuates with midterms, finals, and breaks. That fluctuation is built into our strategy for communication to ensure that we are not disruptive to the academic schedule.
Are students creating the same content for every donor?
No. We ensure that we are adjusting the content to be most relevant to the donor audience, and that’s why we’re segmenting out these various audiences on a month-to-month basis.
How do you ensure relevant content every month?
Student outreach is coupled with the priorities of the institution to make sure that we’re pushing out timely information that the institution wants to share with alumni and donors at specific moments throughout the year. We’re also adjusting our strategies as new information becomes available, like when one of our institutions ends up in a basketball tournament and they want to solicit gifts for that specific campaign.
We also make sure that we are taking a look at the data that Evertrue is providing us to understand the interests and priorities for different donor segments, so that we can surface those priorities and bring those into the videos on a monthly basis.
How are different age groups responding?
We’ve found that the DX:CC program is an excellent way for us to reach younger alumni audiences, because it is reaching them in a way that we know is a more common channel of communication for them.
However, we are also finding that this is a really incredible way to reach those older alumni demographics, particularly since the pandemic took place. We’ve found that there’s a lot more comfort and understanding in utilizing Zoom, video, and video communications to stay connected with loved ones, and with larger communities that are not local. We have found that this channel is an excellent way to stay in touch with both our young alumni audiences, as well as our older demographics.
Do students get any type of official development training?
Yes, absolutely. EverTrue comes alongside the Campus Program Manager to ensure that the students are receiving a robust training opportunity at the beginning of the program, and then we also offer ongoing coaching to ensure that we are staying sharp and staying timely with the communications that we’re creating for alumni and donors.
How do you track the success of the program?
We track open rates, click rates, watch rates, and the response rates that we’re receiving through the ThankView platform. On top of that, we are tracking the gifts that are coming in through just the outreach from this program. We’re also looking more holistically at the success of the students themselves, recognizing that this is a great opportunity for institutions to grow their talent pipeline by bringing those students back into their development shops, continuing their work and serving their institution.
How do students record their videos?
In ThankView. The Campus Program Manager is responsible for assigning ThankView Tasks within the ThankView platform. This sends an automatic alert to the students so they know that those Tasks have been assigned to them specifically for their portfolio. When the students log into the ThankView platform, and open up those Tasks, they can see the scripts right there ready for them. They can then can go through and complete all of their videos at that time.
How does this information get logged into the institutional database?
We have integrations that are set up between ThankView and EverTrue and many CRMs.
Is the cost of a Campus Creators program based on the size of an alumni base?
No. The cost structure is based on the type of strategy that you’ll be implementing at your institution. We have a retention, a reactivation, and an acquisition strategy.
How do you keep track of Campus Creator’s hours?
Students are employed by the institution, so they will clock in as they would with their typical on-campus job.
Do you pay students more than other jobs on campus, or incentivize the job in any other way?
Many of our institutions have found that they are able to provide a higher salary for the Campus Creators job.
They also have found that there are other incentives that students are attracted to for a job like remote work, having a flexible work schedule, and then also being able to build out their own portfolio for future fundraising, marketing, or business type of work that they would want to have.
At EverTrue we also work very hard to provide additional professional development opportunities for these students, and to give them a network so that they can start building their professional network while they’re still in school.
How many touchpoints do you plan per-year?
Right now we have students reaching out to donors on a month-to-month basis. We work on a monthly cadence and during that time we include follow-up communications, stewardship communications, and then a variety of cultivation, solicitation, and introduction messages for the donor segments.
Is the supervisor reviewing every video?
The short answer is no. The supervisor is responsible for the ongoing coaching and support of these students to ensure that the students have what they need to be successful. We provide the students with scripts so that they know what to say in their videos, and then the Campus Program Manager is responsible for ensuring that brand standard is met for the institutional quality. The Campus Program Manager will also ensure that any add-on videos or additional on-campus videos do receive ample review.
What is the process for creating scripts, is it entirely up to the students?
Right now, our Campus Program Managers will work closely with an EverTrue Donor Experience Program Manager (DXPM) to ensure that they have all of the materials that they need on a month-to-month basis as it relates to content. This includes copy messaging for the thank you and the browser message as well as the scripts themselves.
Do the gifts come through ThankView?
The gifts can come through a couple of different channels. They can either come through the institutional online giving platform, and that can be replicated to ensure that we can track all gifts for DX:CC through a specific online giving form. Or if your institution is using Give Butter, we have an integration linking those two pieces, so we can ensure that all of that information is being tracked.
What are you waiting for?
Ready to hang up on your phonathon and achieve better results in reaching donors?
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