Author: Michael Kong

First Giving Days: Spotlight on George Washington University

Have you ever wondered if your school should add a yearly Giving Day to your annual fundraising strategy? Giving Days are proven to help get constituents excited to give back to their institutions and create a sense of urgency to donate within a specific timeframe. They are also helpful in encouraging donors to make a second (or third) gift during the fiscal year.

Some might wonder, “Is it too late for my school to add a Giving Day?” The answer to this question is a resounding NO! Over and over, we’ve seen schools add Giving Days to their list of strategies with strong results. Take George Washington University (GW), for example. 

Founded in 1821, GW celebrated their bicentennial year by launching their first ever Giving Day in April of 2021. They invited alumni, students, parents, faculty, and friends to “Change a Student’s Life and Change the World.” 

As GW fundraisers prepared to host their inaugural Giving Day festivities, they turned to the GiveCampus Partner Success Team for help planning the big day and implementing best practices. The GW team met regularly with their Partner Success Lead to review strategy. They also leaned on GiveCampus University (GCU), a partner-exclusive content hub containing hundreds of how-to guides, tips, and templates—all written and carefully curated by experienced educational fundraisers.

So how did GW’s first-ever Giving Day go? They crushed it:

  • Their goal was to raise $300k in a 24-hour period. In the end they raised $969,993—that’s 323% of their goal! 
  • Of that, $104k can be directly attributed to peer-to-peer sharing. That’s right, GW was able to raise over $100,000 from friends telling their friends about giving back to their alma mater. 
  • GW also made it easy for donors to give to a cause they cared about. Donors were able to give to 14 different funds during the Day of Giving, allowing people to give to areas they cared about most. 

Check out GW’s campaign page. You’ll see their wonderful branding, video content, and how they used the GiveCampus Social Fundraising Platform to drive peer-to-peer engagement and expand their reach.

If you’d like to learn more about how GiveCampus can help your institution launch a wildly successful Giving Day, schedule a short intro call or demo with a fundraising expert today.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 8, 2021. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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2021 Digital Wallet Report

Digital wallets like Venmo, PayPal, and Apple Pay have eclipsed Visa to become the most popular payment method among donors to educational institutions. At some schools, more donors now give with digital wallets than with Visa, American Express, and Mastercard combined.

 

Download this report to get the insights you need for choosing payment methods for your fundraising campaign. 

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Giving Day Tips: Advice from 3 Expert Fundraisers

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Giving Days are a great way to increase the visibility and excitement around philanthropy at your institution. In an increasingly digital world, having a day to encourage your school’s donors to give back and then celebrate that collective impact can be incredibly powerful. 

GiveCampus has powered over 1500 Giving Days, and by working closely with our partner community of nearly 1,000 schools, we’ve been lucky enough to learn from a lot of experts—17 of which participated in our first ever Giving Day Boot Camp in January 2021. Here are three of them, speaking to three important dimensions of Giving Day planning.

First: Giving Days should be meaningful, aspirational, and fun — and so much of this starts with a goal. Listen below to Amy Gallo, Director of Advancement Communications at Princeton Day School, as she talks about setting goals and using four key segmentation tracks to make them achievable. She also describes some of the specific messaging angles that encourage participation and build an entire culture around giving. 

Your planning and goal-setting leads up to the part where you gather up your alumni and constituent volunteers. You know that your Giving Day is going to give donors an incredible opportunity, but Giving Days take a village. You are going to need to get buy-in from others to take your Giving Day to the next level (and stay sane while doing it). Your key to recruiting and communicating with volunteers is demonstrating impact — tell them why they should get involved with your Giving Day, and arm them with the tools to make doing so easy and fun. 

Christene Riendeau, Director of Annual Giving and Volunteer Engagement at College of the Holy Cross, talks about how to best engage and empower your volunteers in the weeks leading up to the big event. Plus, she talks through ways to steward volunteers and creative ways to help them feel that they made a difference.

In addition to your external volunteers, it is also important to get buy-in from your internal stakeholders. Your key stakeholder net should be campus-wide, and can and should include: athletics, deans, faculty, facilities departments, campus dining, beloved staff, and student organizations. Send a recruitment email well in advance of any planned trainings or resources that you share, and make sure your core group feels confident about their roles and responsibilities. Erin Pollard, Director of Annual Giving at the University of Hartford, shares how she gets buy-in from key internal stakeholders and the “team captain” model that has worked so well for them.

The bottom line? A lot goes into planning a Giving Day and you don’t have to do it alone. The GiveCampus partner community comes with a 365-day forum for sharing ideas and best practices (which means ongoing access to experts like Amy, Erin, and Christene on this page), a dedicated Partner Success lead to talk strategy with, and a support team that answers questions in 13 minutes on average. 

Want to learn more? Click the button below to schedule an introduction call with our team. 

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What have the first 250 schools learned from Venmo and PayPal?

Fill out the form below to download our report with data from the first 250 schools leveraging our Venmo and PayPal integration for their fundraising.

 

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Upcoming Webinar: Level Up Your Volunteer Management

Our next webinar is coming right up on June 10th!

Join GiveCampus Partner Success Manager Rosa Conrad for an educational webinar on growing and sustaining your volunteer program, including how the GiveCampus Volunteer Management System can make it easier to reach your goals. Open to all educational fundraisers.

Register today!

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10 Tips for Fiscal Year End Fundraising

Every year, we’re focused on supporting schools in this final stretch before the fiscal year ends. We take this role seriously, making sure that our busy partner schools have the resources, support, and inspiration they need to reach their fiscal year goals. Everyone in the educational fundraising community understands the importance

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5 Things that Set the GiveCampus Volunteer Management System Apart

It is no secret that peer-to-peer outreach is the most effective way to increase constituent engagement and raise more money. However, facilitating a volunteer program can be cumbersome—from exporting data from your database into a spreadsheet, to removing sensitive information and splitting up the list for volunteers. Not to

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Who is in the Support Inbox @ GiveCampus?

Do you ever reach out to support teams and wonder, who is actually answering my questions? Or is support outsourced to a different company or answered by a bot? At GiveCampus, you have no need to wonder or worry, because our expert fundraisers are the ones in the GiveCampus

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