How the University of New Orleans Foundation raised 75% more gifts by transforming their phonathon with AI 

Student phonathon

Key stats

  • 75% increase in total number of gifts raised1
  • 23% increase in donor touchpoints1
  • 55% increase in dollars raised for giving day2, with 32% raised by student ambassadors
  • 18% increase in average gift size for giving day

About UNO Foundation

The UNO Foundation was established in 1984 with the mission of serving the University of New Orleans by raising private sector funds for the advancement of the University. With a team of 50 employees, UNO focuses on advancing education and fostering alumni relationships. 

The challenge: Transform student outreach program to reach new donors & boost giving day results

Facing declining donor engagement and inefficient outreach strategies, the UNO Foundation sought to revitalize its fundraising campaigns, including their traditional phonathon strategy and annual day of giving. 

Previously, students cycled through prospect pools consisting of LYBUNT, SYBUNT, lapsed donors and non-donors. The list was randomly generated in the calling platform, and often a different student contacted alumni multiple times during the semester. This resulted in a high volume of dropped calls, voicemails, and low periods of contact for the students (especially when trying to re-engage with lapsed and non-donors). Previous cold-calling programs required monotonous data entry and limited abilities for data management, resulting in declining output.

In addition to the evolution of their phonathon strategy, UNO fundraisers also sought to leverage student ambassadors more efficiently during their annual day of giving outreach and connect with more giving day donors at scale.

The solution: Use omnichannel, AI-enabled student outreach to reach more donors personally & deliver measurable results

Leveraging Gravyty’s AI-powered fundraising solution, UNO fundraisers launched a comprehensive Outreach Center strategy, empowering student ambassadors to engage with donors more effectively and at scale. 

As a part of the new Outreach Center, student ambassadors used AI-powered donor portfolios to stay organized and efficient in their portfolio outreach and to easily track their actions in their CRM database. Students now manage their own portfolios of up to 2,000 constituents and donors, using donor data like birthdays, giving history, graduation year, and employment status to inform their outreach. The real-time updates allow students to easily and quickly identify these data points to use in conversations, having a positive impact on alumni engagement and data management.

Gravyty’s AI-powered solution revolutionized our donor engagement strategy, allowing us to foster deeper connections with our supporters and achieve unprecedented fundraising success.

Anna Osgood, Annual Fund Manager, UNO Foundation

For UNO’s giving day in 2023, students included a “Save the Date” announcement with options for early giving in the weeks leading up to it. They also promoted an on-campus event celebrating UNO’s 65th anniversary, which had options for giving in-person. 

Using Gravyty’s video messaging tool, each student recorded a video of themselves personally announcing GiveUNO Day, encouraging alumni to give through the Outreach Center. This extra personal touch helped to increase donor engagement. 

Then, on the day of giving, Outreach students conducted phonathon outreach with lists of constituents outside of their portfolios, allowing them to reach a larger pool of potential donors.

The outcome

UNO Foundation leveraged Gravyty solutions to revolutionize their traditional student outreach strategy. From a phonathon that was experiencing diminishing returns on dollars raised and donor engagement to a modern digital engagement center, UNO student ambassadors are now a more efficient and impactful part of annual fundraising campaigns like the phonathon and day of giving. 

With 32% of total dollars raised generated by the Outreach Center student ambassadors, GiveUNO Day 2023 was their most successful yet. Due to the transformation from traditional outreach to AI-powered engagement, student ambassadors raised 35% more from the previous year.

Solution spotlight

Gravyty’s AI-powered fundraising solution helps fundraisers 4x their donor outreach, significantly improving outcomes. Create a sustainable, scalable pipeline through AI-powered donor discovery, integrated digital giving data, portfolio saturation and omnichannel donor outreach. Reach the right people at the right time with smart prompts, video messaging, and donor communications that write themselves.

Want to learn more? Contact sales today to take a tour of the Gravyty fundraising platform.

1 First digital outreach semester vs. last phonathon semester

2 Year over year

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