Western Illinois University – Phonathon Thank You Video Campaign

Click the image to the right to download the complete sample
TitlePhonathon Thank You Video Campaign
InstitutionWestern Illinois University
Submitted ByTim Hallinan
Director of Annual Giving
CategoryPhonathon Materials
Institution TypeCollege / University
What fiscal year did this effort occur?2021

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.


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.