Decline in phonathon revenue leaves gap in donations

Like many institutions, Wittenberg University found itself facing a decline in phonathon revenues and needed to fill it with increased performance from direct mail and complementary digital channels.  

Case Study Highlights
  • 32% increase in annual fund gifts greater than $1,000
  • 34% increase in donations from direct mail
  • 43% increase in donations from campaigns managed by Advancement Services


Wittenberg University

  • Small, private, non-profit university
  • Located in Springfield, OH


Our specialists implemented several strategies to increase annual fund gifts:

  • Channel diversification: Focusing on direct mail, email, and a social-media driven Day of Giving
  • More effective alumni segmentation: We used proprietary data analysis to segment the school’s alumni into several categories to pinpoint donors with the highest propensity to give. The team then enacted a campaign featuring a series of highly personalized email deployments in the last two months of the fiscal year. 
  • Increased frequency of donation requests
  • Boosting other channels to offset phone losses: First, our team kicked off an extended match campaign, which ran from March through June 2014. In addition, the school’s active society group received a dedicated mailing to enhance larger-dollar donations. In 2015, we further extended its reach by taking over ownership of Wittenberg’s day of giving.


Partnership highlights

  • Total gifts increased by 31%
  • Participation rate grew by nearly two percentage points
  • In the first year of the renewed partnership, quarterly gifts rose by 158%
  • Donations of $1,000 or more increased by 32%
  • Our campaigns yielded an average of 43% more donations each quarter than internally run campaigns

Increase in quarterly annual fund gifts

  We are extremely pleased to extend our partnership for another two years. They have been an innovative, flexible, and reliable partner that helps us grow our annual giving and donor retention. We would not have had such success without their support. 

 –Wendy Kobler, Vice President, Advancement

Ready to see these results at your school? Contact us.