Western Illinois University – Phonathon Thank You Video Campaign

Posted on 03/15/2021

The following idea was submitted to Annual Giving Network as an example of the ongoing innovation and best practices taking place throughout the industry. Find hundreds of other great ideas in AGN’s Sample Library, which is available as an exclusive benefit to AGN member institutions. Click here to learn more about the many other benefits of membership or to become an AGN Member today!​​​​

Click the image to the right to download the complete sample
Title Phonathon Thank You Video Campaign
Institution Western Illinois University
Submitted By Tim Hallinan
Director of Annual Giving
Category Stewardship Communications
Institution Type College / University
What fiscal year did this effort occur? 2021
Description We planned three phases to replace our traditional Phonathon: 1) Pre-Solitication: Personalized videos thanking donors for previous gifts and offering online renewals. 2) Active Solicitation: a hybrid of targeted text and limited phone call appeals, and 3) Post solicitation: personalized thank yous.
What makes this unique When the pandemic took hold in spring, 2020, our focus immediately shifted to just three tasks: 1) keep our Phonathon students safe, 2) keep our students employed, and 3) continue the mission of the annual giving program to support all students during these times. Based on feedback from our alumni as well as our students, we have achieved all three and have begun the shift from a “phonathon” to an Alumni Engagement Center from this point forward.
Outcome By shifting our focus and method of delivery, we have experienced higher and more meaningful levels of donor engagement. Personalized video and text have replaced lagging contact rates in our Phonathon. it is still too early in the fiscal year to report on revenue, but the engagement alone has made the effort worthwhile. The events of this year have served as the tipping point for our shop to shift to more donor engagement efforts to compliment the annual fund mission.


AGN Members receive unlimited access to our resources, discounts, and other benefits. Click here to learn more.

Want to stay up-to-date on best practices in annual giving? Click here to follow AGN's Page on Linkedin!