From the Nominator
"In 2021, with the pandemic continuing and in-person visits to the Texas Capitol restricted, the University of North Texas Alumni Association had to rethink legislative advocacy: How do we make an impact on our state representatives and ensure that they are aware of UNT’s funding needs without getting that valuable face time? The answer was a robust letter-writing campaign that engaged our alumni, administrators, and students and allowed them to share stories about UNT’s impact on their lives in a new way.
This campaign involved:
- Soliciting alumni and administrator volunteers to write letters
- Designing an online training module
- Shipping a specially branded box containing all the information they needed to write informed, impactful letters: details on what UNT was requesting, a UNT fact sheet, a sample letter, writing tips, specially branded stationery, and more
- Assigning specific legislators to each volunteer and giving them information about how many UNT alumni live in their districts
- Soliciting student leaders to write personal impact stories that were sent to each legislator
Every state legislator also received a box containing information about the impact UNT has on the state, including detailed data about how many alumni live in their districts. The result was not only an extremely successful legislative session for UNT--including a general revenue increase of $38 million, an additional $500,000 in funding for our additive manufacturing lab, and formula funding for enrollment growth--but also an overwhelmingly positive and rewarding experience for alumni and students."
From the Judges
The UNT Day at the Capitol 2021: Virtual Letter-Writing Campaign was an “old-school” initiative with high impact. We liked that this was a simple approach with a manageable pivot on an existing idea. UNT empowered their alumni by providing clear directions and actual data. The impact was clear from the numbers, and other universities could model this initiative.