Baruch had recently completed its first scholarship campaign. It began in 2016 with a goal of raising $15 million and ran for roughly 18 months, ultimately raising $21 million. For this campaign, Baruch’s Director of Donor Relations, Angela Camacho, wanted to drive home to donors the impact of their contribution. As a student, she worked in the development office and fell in love with working with donors and hearing their stories. “I think with scholarship recipients, the stewardship is tangible,” said Camacho. “We have our students, so why not use them to thank our donors and let them know the impact of the scholarship fund.”
Previously, Baruch had used hand-written notes from students to thank donors. They had also set up one-on-one meetings for donors who wanted to meet scholarship recipients, as well as distribute videos hosted on Vimeo. For this scholarship campaign, Camacho wanted to introduce donors to scholarship recipients through personalized videos.
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Baruch created personalized videos for every donor who made an endowed gift. While the task of creating personalized videos for each donor initially intimidated Camacho, it only took two hours to set up the 30 videos. Eight scholarship recipients participated in creating the videos, which featured students giving a personalized thanks as well as a bit of background on themselves.
Camacho also took advantage of the merge fields within ThankView to add an increased amount of customization to the campaign. “I think that was like a lifesaver because I actually thought I was going to have to go in and do a message for every donor,” she said.
Between the personalized videos and the customization offered by merge fields, Camacho felt that Baruch accomplished its goal of putting a face to donors those that directly benefited from their donations. “We just wanted our donors to know how much the impact they're making,” she said. The metrics were outstanding, with 69.1% of donors opening their emails and 60.3% clicking through to the video. Additionally, with a 96.6% completion rate, donors watched nearly every second of their personalized videos.
Some donors even took the time to respond. “Donors really made a connection with the students in the videos,” Camacho said. In particular, one donor replied with a video telling the scholarship recipient that he too came from a low-income background and wished him the best of luck going forward. Camacho hopes to use ThankView again soon to build meaningful relationships with donors and scholarship recipients at Baruch.
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