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Articles > Customer Showcases > The Judd School reaches 1,000 online members and raises £10,000 for new development plans

The Judd School reaches 1,000 online members and raises £10,000 for new development plans

The Judd School has shown that even with a team of one, an effective CRM system can help you connect with your alumni and drive your fundraising strategy to support development.
The Judd School
The Judd School

The Judd School is a voluntarily-funded grammar school in Kent, England. The Old Juddian Society, founded in 1890, enables former pupils to maintain contact with their alma mater. While the methods of communication have changed vastly over the past 130 years, the society still provides a valuable connection between past pupils and the School and now with their buzzing community site, a tangible space for them to stay in touch. 

The Judd School launched their community website in March 2019, with a small but mighty team of just one part-time alumni officer, who single-handedly achieved the dizzy heights of 1,000 members in just over one year. A great inspiration for what can be achieved with a small team and big aspirations!

Finding a communications strategy that incites action

One of the most important elements to reach this milestone was to find a communications strategy that worked well to increase sign-ups. Lucy Tipler, Alumni & Development Officer, explained that the key was to find ways to target the different generations of alumni and provide them with easy ways to engage with the site. 

"I tend to put a taster for new stories up on all platforms of social media to entice users to our site. The younger generations are only on Instagram from our experience - if they see the story on Instagram, they often register or login to see the full story about their friend. Facebook seems to be for the mid to elderly generations."

Finding appropriate communication channels for different demographics can be time-consuming, but finding the touchpoints that community members frequently access, such as social media or newsletters, makes it easier to redirect them to the community website to catch the full story. Another top tip Lucy shared is to make use of buttons on email newsletters. 

"I write a quarterly newsletter with a summary of the top news stories and buttons to get people to register and login all over it." 

These communications have clearly been effective, with the Judd School achieving excellent engagement rates during the past few months as more members log in to support one another and access news updates throughout COVID-19. 

Using behavioural insights to drive donations from new supporters

The Judd School has also been using behavioural insights to guide its fundraising strategy, raising an impressive £10,000 in their recent campaign. They launched their campaign by inviting new year 7 parents to a social evening with the Head, after which they easily segmented their data to filter an audience who were most likely to donate (year 7 parent + non-donor + attendee at social evening). They used a high impact email to showcase their development plans, using an email template from previous years to minimise effort from their small team but adding tailored messaging and easy ways to donate through standing order and Gift Aid forms. Achieving an excellent 85% open rate of their email, they tracked donations and raised over £10,000, all from an audience that had not previously donated before. 

Despite their very small team, the Judd School have utilised every insight and channel available to them to engage their alumni community and it has paid off. We’re delighted to see them reach this huge milestone in this exciting new age of their alumni community, and to see them continue to provide value in the shape of career support, events, networking and much more. 

Our customers are creating strong community connections all over the world. Discuss ways to make your community more engaged with an experienced ToucanTech engagement evangelist; organise a time to talk to the team here.

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