We just concluded an alumni awareness effort last week for Furman University called http://www.DoNotCallMeAtDinner.com that leveraged database marketing and social media to create a new approach to alumni relations. Although all of the results are not yet tallied, we had some insights that we wanted to go ahead and share.
The campaign was designed to create alumni awareness and increase participation with Furman University alumni while raising funds through online donations. Like most universities, Furman has a Spring Call-a-Thon that yields predictable results but is perceived as an annoyance to many donors. This year the approach was to attack that philosophy head-on and promise not to call alumni at dinner if they made an online gift by May 15, 2009. A parody of the famous Apple/PC television spots was used to help drive home this point.
The success of the campaign was measured on the increased participation from the 90s and 2000s classes of alumni that have historically had lower participation rates in traditional campaigns.