Scholarship communication with applicants via text
Many students do not check their emails or voicemails on a regular basis. Some do not even set up their voicemail boxes. Texting is their primary mode of communication. Having the capability of texting messages to the applicant might speed up their response to our requests.
I’m curious as we think about texting what volume do you think you would have?
Is it 1,000 messages a year? more/less let me know your thoughts.
Jodi Kateiva commented
This would be wonderful! I would like a much larger volume; it would also be a good way to communicate with students during the application process. We have 700- 800 applicants each year so 2500 would be better for us, but I'll take what I can get :)
I would think it would 1,000 or less per year for our foundation.
What is the possibility and maybe timeframe of adding this feature to Foundant?
Katie Stout commented
500-1,000 would work for us.
Lisa Williams commented
This is a great idea. I currently send texts from my Mac. We provide scholarships to children of employees and often the parents do not use computers but everyone has a smart phone.
I think 1000 would be great! Thanks
Mary Perrine commented
This would be extremely helpful!
Liz McClure commented
We would primarily like to use it for follow-up reminders, probably 200-300/year for those since most of our applicants are great about completing the follow-ups in a timely manner.
If it were easy though I could see us using it to remind students to submit their application and/or award decisions. That would get us to 1,000/year easily.
We typically have around 150 applicants per year, but only award 50 scholarships. I would want to text them 3-5 times per year so we would really only need about 250-300 messages per year, but it would also be great to text anyone who applies about various deadlines (usually 150 apply per year). If 1,000 is possible I would love that flexibility.
Laurie Abildso commented
Thank you, Foundant, for considering the addition of a text option. At this point, we would likely be sending less than 1,000 per year.
I believe the ability to text would be another tool to get students to reply - even if it just says - check your email. Of course, if it has the ability to be used in a more comprehensive communication tool that would be wonderful. Whilst initially I would like to text each student twice per year, I suspect, if we had that ability, it would be used much more often and to reach out to committees etc.
Loved to hear Foundant is listening.
Julia Da Silva commented
At a base level, I think we would do about 600-800 messages per year (3-4 messages for about 200 students). This would just be if we communicated with current recipients about checks being mailed, reports being due, and maybe an extra FYI about FAFSA or our emergency assistance fund.
Ideally we could also do the following:
- increase to maybe 6-8 messages per year to those 200ish students so it's not just due dates, but also about events or other scholarship opportunities
- text students with applications still in draft near the deadline (maybe +/- 300 messages)
- have options for 1-1 texting with some students rather than one mass text to 200+ students
Thanks for considering!!
Carla Batts commented
We recently sent out a mass communication email with a deadline to respond and some of our grant partners didn't receive it. Would like to use text as an alternative when needed as some of our partners prefer text vs. email and to ensure they actually receive the communication (particularly when we need a response by a certain date). We don't award scholarships so really hoping this functionality can be added to GLM as well. I think 1,000 texts or less per year would be plenty for us.
Andrea Clements commented
We would also use this functionality. We have around 200 applicants per year and would use text messages to remind of their application being in draft status, remind to fill out their follow up form (scholarship acceptance form), etc. We would easily use over 1,000 text messages per scholarship season.
Danielle Fleer commented
About 100-300 students abandon requests every year, so a reminder or two per year = 600 high end
400 renewals each year, so a reminder to fill out form = 400
It would also be nice to remind about the annual award event to new scholars, about a 100 new scholars per year = 100
Also would be nice to send a general check in text in December/mid-year = 400
I could also see us expanding programs and utilizing more texting in the future.
So, I'd say around 1,000 would be used, and 2,000 or more would be even better.
This would be a huge help to our staff! Thanks!
Carol Reynolds commented
Our feeling is that it is more than 500 and would be more if it were easier. The times you mentioned and also need some sort of information, such as a new address or a change of schools. We set up a Google account to get an "anonymous" phone number for sending and receiving texts. Then set up a rule to forward any incoming texts to our Education Officer's email.
I could see us sending in excess of 1,000 messages per year.
* 1-2 texts to students about opps they may be eligible for
* 1-2 texts to students reminding them of the deadline
* 1-2 texts to awarded students for follow-up information
* texts to reviewers
@ 400+ applicants annually, and 200 awardees, we would probably approach 2,000 texts
Hope this helps!
Sally Weldon commented
"I would say we probably send anywhere between 1000-2000 messages to students. 2000 seems high but because we represent such a large service area, a lot of my messages are reminders of deadlines and to let students know they need to check their emails. "- Lezette Parks, Scholarship Officer CFWNC - uses Smarter Select to process Scholarship apps - because of the texting capability.
Stephanie Herman commented
Our volume would be much lower than 1,000 messages per year. We mainly need to be able to communicate with students for reminders for follow ups. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to get students to respond to emails. I often find that they don't even open them. A text option would be so much easier!
We've texted our student for the past 3 years through a third-party integration our scholarship software developer found. It wasn't difficult or expensive to add it to our program. Even though we are switching to SLM this year, the absence of texting feels like we are going backwards and I am concerned about losing students.
We text students to: remind about deadlines, notify if we add a scholarship after they have submiited, reminders for follow-ups and to generally create interest.
Mary Kuykendall commented
Our website developer mentioned Twillio to me yesterday. He said it is free and very easy to use. Please look into whether it could be used for texting. Texting is often the only way I can get a response from some of the student applicants and award recipients. It is definitely their preferred method of communication. Emails go unanswered!