The Ramaz School
Alumni Campaign 2013-2014
Services Used: Strategy and Analytics, Web, Design, E-mail, Direct Mail
Although Ramaz was founded over 75 years ago, their alumni relations department is relatively young. In 2011, the school brought on a director to head the department and focus on increasing the level of outreach to former students, not fundraising. Though there was a disconnect between alumni cultivation and the school’s overall fundraising initiatives, the department’s new relationships presented an opportunity to approach a new audience. Ramaz was in need of a strong solicitation plan for their alumni.
After a few strategy sessions, we decided that a highly personalized and integrated approach was necessary to help The Ramaz School achieve their goals. We wanted to address how the school would use alumni donations and forge a connection between generations of students, all while evoking a sense of nostalgia and fondness for their time spent at Ramaz.
The campaign utilized e-mail, direct mail, and a personalized microsite (pURL). The program launched with video e-mail. Upon clicking to watch the video, a pURL opened simultaneously so that when the video finished the recipient saw a personalized message versioned for their graduation year. As a way of illustrating the concept of generations of Ramaz, we used the main page of the microsite to show the senior class picture of the recipient positioned between photos of the first graduating class and that of the current year. Captions below prompted alumni to help the next generations of Ramaz students, reinforcing the concept once more. The microsite detailed how contributions would be used and linked to a donation page. Subsequent direct mail and e-mail touches were personalized based on giving history, graduation year, and overall engagement in the campaign. One direct mail piece was versioned to include the senior photo of the recipient as way of evoking emotion and nostalgia. Once someone donated, they were no longer solicited that year.
Total alumni participation increased by 72% compared to the previous year, with a 62% increase from young alums specifically. Not only was engagement higher both in participation in the number of donors, but the total dollars raised by alumni grew by 65%. By creating a personalized approach, we were able to help Ramaz and its alumni realize their importance and the significance of their donation. By utilizing a personalized microsite and email analytics, Ramaz was able to glean important details about what mattered to their alumni which was used in the planning of the following year’s alumni campaign.