The end of the fiscal year is approaching and many higher education institutions are looking to push their gifts over the finish line. Some might be concentrating on non-donors while others are targeting LYBNTs and SYBNTs. No matter to which audience an advancement department is directing its communication, here are three ideas to take to the end of the fiscal year and beyond.

Plan Communication Around Commencement

In addition to standard social media, live-stream, and direct mail marketing surrounding commencement, create class- and/or era-specific communications. Use pictures, content, and news events from the past to coincide with the particular graduation years of the audience to which you are communicating. Create a social media experience for alumni and donors to participate in the current commencement, then deepen that connection to foster goodwill and giving by tying the present back to the past.

Incorporate a Phonecast

One way to differentiate your institution and personalize interactions with potential donors, while tracking important data, is to have a Phonecast. A Phonecast enables institutions to reach hundreds or thousands of potential donors all at the same time with a simple phone call. Unlike an automated message or a traditional phonathon, a Phonecast allows the institution to present a live conversation with a distinguished speaker and give the listeners opportunities to participate by asking questions live or answering poll questions right from their phone. Try an end-of-the year call with the president of the university, the commencement speaker, or the valedictorian.

Honor Your Parents on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

Create communication that focuses on the theme of parents that coincide with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Use pictures of legacy families on social media to showcase the roles of family in a successful college experience. Collect testimonials about how alumni felt supported by their families as they went off to college or lived their passion by selecting their major and add those to a direct mail campaign. Reminding the audience of poignant memories and displaying stories of parental roles and family legacy during holidays that have their own sense of nostalgia can be catalysts for giving messages: suggest giving gifts in honor of a mom or a dad, son or daughter, family legacy, or just the chance for others to have the same experience.

Embracing non-traditional methods of engagement with alumni and donors near the end of the fiscal year has paid off for many institutions: in 2013 Gustavus Adolphus College leveraged a 45-minute Phonecast with 13,000 people to exceed its fundraising goal for the year.

See how your college or university can leverage a Phonecast with a free demo. Get started now.