University of Reading

Alumni Cash Appeal: Enabling students

Data analysis, segmentation and creative development for a cash appeal focusing on supporting students facing financial hardship at the University of Reading. Both the standard value and high value packs and email appeals featured stories of students who had needed to use the Hardship Fund at various points during their time at Reading.

The Story

Like every charity focused on engaging with their donors on a more personal level, the University of Reading wanted to understand more about their donors so appointed us to undertake some data analysis and make recommendations on who to talk to, when and how going forward.

The analysis revealed that the University had an opportunity to re-engage those donors who had made an initial gift but not gone on to make a second gift, by creating a strong responsive direct mail appeal that focused on student hardship.

Many students face extreme financial difficulty while they’re at university. This could be for any number of reasons but this adversity is often quick and unexpected and can have dire consequences including dropping out of university and missing out on achieving their dream of a degree. Our appeal focused on the University of Reading Hardship Fund that exists to offer students in dire financial need somewhere to turn so that they don’t have to drop out when the unexpected happens.

Both the standard value and high value packs and email appeals featured stories of students who had needed to use the Hardship Fund at various points during their time at Reading and shopping lists focused on the cost of various items of equipment, transport, books and essential items to remind readers of just how expensive it can be to be at university, let alone the course fees.

A Reminder pack followed and offered donors the chance to write a message of support and encouragement to students facing hardship – to remind them that they are part of the University of Reading family and will always be cared for.