Due to Montana’s shelter-in-place orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Labre’s development department, including the donor relations and fulfillment teams, were unable to get to their offices. Because of this, a backlog of donor mail began accumulating on campus. Mail donations were not getting processed, and phone calls from donors looking to make gifts could not be answered. St. Labre needed a way to spread the word among all donors that digital donations were ideal during this time.
St. Labre developed an SMS text message that informed their donors of the situation and ensured the school could receive funds as quickly and seamlessly as possible. The message was sent to 200,000 of St. Labre’s best offline donors explaining the situation on campus and encouraging them to give digitally during this time.
The text explained to donors how COVID-19 was directly impacting the school and led to a donation form that provided details on the work St. Labre is doing, including delivering meals and schoolwork to students and offering counselors to support students who needed it.
The SMS text message successfully helped St. Labre pivot offline donors to digital giving, increasing donation revenue by 321.8% year over year and raising average gift size by 50.6%. The text message was also able to route offline donors online, increasing website traffic by 531.8%.
St. Labre’s mission is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Catholic Tradition by providing quality education that celebrates the Catholic faith and embraces Native American cultures.