Featured Idea: Student Engagement Specialists at University of Utah

Posted on 01/31/2020

With a goal of creating more authentic content for their social media channels, the University of Utah recently hired students to serve as Digital Engagement Specialists. These students have the autonomy to post messages to social channels about their experiences, helping to increase daily Facebook posts and double their Instagram followers. Read below to learn more about their efforts to increase engagement and foster the culture of philanthropy in the AGN Research Library. 

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Title Student Digital Engagement Series
Institution University of Utah
Submitted By Rachel Robertson
Assistant Director of Annual Giving
Category Misc/Other
Institution Type College / University
What fiscal year did this effort occur? 2020
Description In fiscal year 2020, the U of U expanded our Student Philanthropy Center and hired students to fill the role of Social Media & Digital Engagement Specialists. These students help provide a steady stream of authentic content for the Annual Giving channels and help drive a culture of philanthropy.
What makes this unique Our Student Social Media & Digital Engagement Specialists are here to provide our donors and non-donors authentic content throughout the year. This is unique because it is student-driven, the Annual Giving staff has a little bit of editorship but not when it comes to social media, the students have the power and autonomy to go live and post at anytime. This position is expanding upon the just student call center and creating a robust Student Philanthropy Center that is focused on social and digital.
Outcome The outcome is still pending as we’ve only been doing this for a few months, but we have seen our Annual Giving specific Instagram page increase by double the followers, Facebook page getting multiple engagements a day, and campus areas at the U requesting for our students to help cover and broadcast philanthropy events. The emails from student employees have had an increased open-rate, our Kevin email to donors and lapsed donors received a 50 % open-rate and the introduction of Ariana to non-donors alum received nearly 20 %. We have seen an overwhelming positive response in email responses too when the email is driven by a student representative.

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