From Buttons to Blogs
“We capture their credit cards, or how they want to pay, when they check in at the very beginning of the night,” says Steve Vitalich, director of finance and operations, PONCHO. “At the end of the night, all they have to do is verify what they bought and take the stuff home.”
According to Vitalich, PONCHO now sends an e-mail to 3,200 art patrons and organization supporters to preview “some of the cooler items” before the night of the event. Says Vitalich: “We received 1,500 hits on our preview page as a result of that e-mail.”
REACH OUT AND CULTIVATE
Seattle University leverages e-mail to reconnect with alumni.
With only 10,000 e-mail addresses on file for its 45,000 alumni, Seattle University last year recognized the need to better engage its graduates in campus life. SU knew full well that cultivating stronger bonds with alumni would lay the foundation for fundraising in support of critical scholarship and endowment programs. Naturally, it looked to the Web.
The real problem, according to Linda Hulten, assistant vice president for advancement services and annual giving for the independent Catholic Jesuit university, was not necessarily the lack of a Web presence. SU had a Web site (albeit static), a quarterly newsletter and an ongoing offering of activities for alums.
“There are a lot of events on campus, but previously there was no way to get a hold of alumni at the last minute to let them know what was happening,” Hulten says.
Hulten cites a recent example of a speaker who came to SU’s downtown campus to discuss the passing of Pope John Paul II. Unfortunately, the alumni relations office lacked the lead time required to drop a mail piece and await a response. And with SU alumni chapters popping up in California, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii, as well as throughout the United States and Canada, the university acknowledged the importance of offering alums a quick and seamless way to register for events without the time-intensiveness (and costs) of telemarketing and direct mail.