Category: Reports and Case Studies

Colby-Sawyer College Uses the GiveCampus Platform to Find and Engage High-Net-Worth Donors

Colby-Sawyer College Uses the GiveCampus Platform to Find and Engage High-Net-Worth Donors

Campaign reveals donors with a combined net worth of more than $60 million

The Challenge

When faculty and students at Colby-Sawyer College transformed an unused field on campus into a garden, their plan was to grow fresh produce to help address food insecurity in the surrounding community. What they didn’t realize is that they were also creating an opportunity for the College to connect with new and existing donors.

The Solution

Director of Annual Giving and Operations Luke Gorman created a crowdfunding campaign with the Social Fundraising Platform to support their efforts. Local alumni and friends rallied behind the campaign, donating the funds needed to purchase tools and plants. As a result, the students were able to grow more than 1,300 pounds of fresh produce for the local food pantry.

The success and impact of this small but mighty crowdfunding campaign was just the beginning. While the average gift size of the campaign was $100, GC Wealth from GiveCampus was able to reveal that twelve of the campaign’s donors had significant additional philanthropic potential—specifically, a combined net worth of more than $60 million and an estimated Total 5-Year Philanthropic Capacity of more than $3 million.

What’s more, seven of these twelve high-net-worth donors had never made a gift to the College before and were not on the College’s radar. Thanks to GiveCampus, the College was able to thoughtfully steward these new $50k+ prospects and design a strategy for continued engagement that aligns their passions with the College’s funding priorities.

“We would not have acquired these donors or known about their significant philanthropic potential without GiveCampus. The platform connected the dots for us in real-time, putting us in a position to engage and steward them at a deeper, more meaningful level.”

Luke Gorman
Director of Annual Giving and Operations, Colby-Sawyer College

Beyond the crowdfunding campaigns and giving days, Colby-Sawyer also uses GiveCampus Giving Forms. With Giving Forms, not only are they able to leverage Venmo and PayPal to enable donors to pay how they want, but they are also able to easily glean these same insights on high-net-worth individuals through GC Wealth for those who choose to give via these everyday forms. By using GiveCampus to power multiple initiatives, Colby-Sawyer has been able to witness tremendous impact across its entire fundraising strategy. According to Luke, “We would not have acquired these donors or known about their significant philanthropic potential without GiveCampus. The platform connected the dots for us in real-time, putting us in a position to engage and steward them at a deeper, more meaningful level.”  

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Northeast Ohio Medical University Case Study

Northeast Ohio Medical University Case Study

Advocacy is for everyone—especially when the stakes are high. Northeast Ohio Medical University doubled their fundraising numbers and gave their free clinic its biggest financial boost yet with GiveCampus.


of donors were newly acquired.


of dollars raised came from new donors.


increase in net dollars raised compared to annual in-person fundraiser


of gifts were generated by GiveCampus advocacy features.

The Challenge

Every year, Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) involves students in fundraising for their free clinic. In 2020, the free clinic played a more critical role than ever in the local community—this year, it served its 1000th patient and the clinic took on more visits than ever as COVID-19 increased local unemployment. Meanwhile, COVID-19 also meant students couldn’t host their annual Casino Night fundraiser.

The Solution

This  campaign complemented an incredible culture of giving back at NEOMED. Students founded the free clinic in 2017, and it has been student-run ever since. The clinic has received numerous accolades for providing quality care to underserved Ohioans, and students who volunteer in the clinic are also responsible for supporting fundraising efforts.

When it comes to fundraising, NEOMED has the savvy strategy of involving students heavily—and when it comes to fundraising for a free clinic they are passionate about, even busy medical students are ready and willing to engage with the right tools.

That’s why Sanjay Jinka and his peers were eager to find another solution when COVID-19 meant they couldn’t host their annual Casino Night fundraiser. They came up with a plan to leverage GiveCampus and build a team of 40 advocates who would spread the word and make the campaign social. “A lot of my peers use social media all the time, so engaging with the campaign didn’t feel like work or school. If anything, it felt fun and like something we all wanted to do.”

"Our original idea was to use our phonathon network and just build a landing page for the campaign. But using GiveCampus added a sense of professionalism with the video, matches, challenges, and other features. It helped motivate people that weren't already familiar with the clinic to donate."

Sanjay Jinka
President of OutReach at Northeast Ohio Medical University
When an in-person event like Casino Night becomes safe again, NEOMED will probably pursue both strategies—knowing that their event was a beloved tradition, and that they can complement it with an online fundraising campaign that can get even more donors involved. Fifty of the donors to this campaign (33%) were not even in their donor database before this campaign—proving that there are people in the broader NEOMED community ready to give, when the right chance comes along.

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How the Out-of-Door Academy Increased Annual Fund Giving by 45%


How did the Out-of-Door Academy Increase Annual Fund Giving by 45% in 2020?

Learn how their first ever Giving Day on GiveCampus raised $425,000+


In Fall 2020, The Out-of-Door Academy (ODA) was looking to make their fundraising campaigns more dynamic and test whether a Giving Day model and stronger online fundraising tools could make an impact. In the past, their main strategies were sending traditional solicitation letters and emails.


ODA partnered with GiveCampus to add texture to their campaigns and make it much easier for the whole community to get involved. Their goal was to bring in 250 donors in two days. ODA reached 141% of their goal with 354 donors giving $425,121 in 48 hours.

“Before GiveCampus, there wasn't nearly the same level of back-and-forth engagement with our constituents.”
Melanie Simmons
Director of Development, The Out-of-Door Academy

The main goal of the ODAStrong campaign was to drive participation for their Annual Fund. “The campaign was about showing how much heart our community has, and how strong we all have been despite so many challenges. We knew if we focused on a donor goal, the dollars would follow, so we decided to really drive participation,” said Simmons.  

To ensure strong results, ODA recruited about 20 alumni ambassadors and at least one to two parents from each grade level to be advocates. They also had three trustees who were actively posting, re-sharing, and driving participation, in addition to alumni who organically signed up to be advocates. One alum offered a $5,000 match for his class directly in response to seeing all of the campaign activity on social media. “When you’re part of getting us to unlock a match, you feel like you’re part of something,” Simmons said. “That really spoke to our alumni.”

When it came to execution of the campaign, Simmons highlighted how many onramps the GiveCampus platform provides for donors. “Donors have so many ways to engage with the campaign. Maybe the class competition doesn’t speak to you, but you wanted to light up a state on the map that wasn’t yet represented. All of the elements were designed for educational fundraising and designed to motivate different people to give.” 

ODA gained 120 new donors through this campaign and increased alumni participation by 108%—that increase comes from comparing participation from the entire 2019-2020 fiscal year to participation in the 48 hour ODAStrong campaign on GiveCampus. They also  reached 43% of parent participation with half of the fiscal year left to go, compared to the previous fiscal year’s total participation rate of 58%.

0 %
of donor goal was reached
50 %
increase in alumni participation
0 %
of donors were new donors
0 %
increase in Annual Fund giving compared to 2019

Finally, the ODA team really leveraged the GiveCampus Partner Success program and resources to hit the ground running and maximize this first campaign. Simmons specifically cited all of the GiveCampus University articles and the ability to meet with ODA’s dedicated Partner Success manager—a specialist in independent school fundraising in their region—twice a month to ensure a smooth and successful giving day. 

Ultimately, ODAStrong not only exceeded all fundraising expectations, but also built a culture of joyful giving among students, parents, faculty, alumni, and trustees to last long into the future.

“The GiveCampus platform made our big fundraising push fun. I've never heard non-Advancement people talking about fundraising being fun before, and our trustees were lighting up about the participation and results we were seeing.”
Melanie Simmons
Director of Development, The Out-of-Door Academy
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Leveraging Social Fundraising for an Unprecedented Boost


Want to exceed your goals?
Make it easy for donors and easy for your Advancement team.

Learn why Susquehanna University switched to GiveCampus to increase participation and give their Advancement team more support


Susquehanna University knew that alumni giving trends were generally stagnant, and needed to re-energize their community with a strong Giving Day campaign.

2020 was Susquhanna's third year doing a Giving Day, and they were prepared for numbers to trend downward. Moreover, as the pandemic hit full stride, they needed a way to build fundraising momentum across the entire year.


After trying a different vendor the year before, their Advancement team returned to GiveCampus ahead of their spring 2020 Giving Day.

They also continued to leverage the Social Fundraising Platform throughout the year—with an Athletics campaign, student emergency fund campaign, and two record-breaking campaigns focused on sending face masks to thank donors for their gift.

It was invaluable to have a real partnership with GiveCampus that gave our team extra support. To have someone in your corner who can not only share best practices, but also be a real partner to your team during a stressful fundraising period is so special.
Lauren Redfern
Director of the SU Annual Fund

Susquehanna University had great success on their Giving Day—One SU Day—in early March 2020. They met 101% of their donor goal and raised over $200,000. They also had 61 advocates helping spread the word about the campaign and leveraging challenges and matches to bring in more than 100 additional alumni donors compared to their previous Giving Day without GiveCampus. 

Perhaps most importantly, it also kicked off a whole year of successful fundraising—at a time when educational philanthropy couldn’t be more critical. Building on the momentum of One SU Day, they were able to spin up a dedicated campaign for the Student Care Fund, which helped students transition to online learning, supported students with food insecurity at home, covered travel costs, and maintained a campus pantry. Lauren Redfern, Director of the SU Annual Fund, shared that they typically raise $1,000 per year for the Student Emergency Fund. In 2020, they raised over $30,000, including over $20,000 online through the GiveCampus Social Fundraising Platform.

The Social Fundraising Platform also positioned SU to run multiple campaigns that highlighted impact for the SU community against the backdrop of COVID-19. Two of their most successful campaigns to date have been the SU Athletics Mask Campaign, which raised money to support their Athletics program and used GiveCampus’s incentives feature to reward donors with an SU branded face mask. The campaign hit 500% of their donor goal, with 255 donors participating.

The Advancement team also ran a broader SU Mask Campaign, where making a $25 gift to any area of the university would grant the donor an SU branded mask. This campaign also dramatically exceeded its 100 donor goal by 422%. 


$ 1000 +
raised for the Student Care Fund
0 %
increase in alumni donors on their Giving Day
0 %
of donors to their mask campaigns were new or long-lapsed donors
LYBUNTs contributed to their mask campaigns

Ultimately, Redfern shared that GiveCampus was such a strong all-around fit for their Giving Day and subsequent campaigns because of the donor experience and the ease for her Advancement services colleagues.

Donors have highlighted how helpful it is to have mobile-friendly forms, and that Apple Pay and Google Pay make it even easier for them to give with just a few clicks. 

She also shared that the process of mass-importing gifts and easily tracking incentives has been invaluable for their data team. Knowing that the data is easy to report on and reconcile on the back-end has allowed the SU Advancement team to be more creative with incentives, tournaments, and other forms of friendly competition and motivation. They also appreciate that the process for sending official receipts to donors for their tax-deductible gifts is seamless.

Kristen Ritzman, Director of Advancement Data at SU, shared that the GiveCampus reports required very little training for the Finance team, and that that GiveCampus made it easy to send batch imports to Ellucian Colleague. 

Using the GiveCampus platform resulted in an over 50% reduction of manual gift entry hours in the days following our Day of Giving. This was a huge time savings that allowed us to provide accurate donor and dollar counts and analysis to our senior administration more quickly.
Kristen Ritzman
Director of Advancement Data

Lastly, we love how SU’s donors also reflect back the passion and care that the SU Advancement team puts into these campaigns, highlighting the GiveCampus-specific advocacy features that make such a difference.

“One thing we hear all the time, and love hearing, is that the matches and challenges features really appeal to our alumni,” Redfern explained.

“Sometimes it’s hard for people to feel like their single gift makes a difference—but when they feel like their gift is inspiring others to give back, that changes the game.”

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How Westminster College Increased Participation in 2020 With Athletics Fundraising

Sign up to download our educational webinar with Westminster College, who increased their participation numbers in 2020 with strategic Athletics fundraising challenges. Learn directly from Kara Montgomery, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement at Westminster College, and Dan Ettinger, Director of Business Development at GiveCampus, who share specific tips to boost your

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Pacific Lutheran University Builds Fundraising Momentum

Pacific Lutheran University Builds Fundraising Momentum

Need to build fundraising momentum—and maintain it?
Use peer-to-peer engagement to rally your community:


increase in donors from social media compared to FY19.


increase in donors from email channels compared to FY19

The Challenge

PLU runs a more concentrated Giving Day every fall with great results. In spring 2020, the Covid-19 crisis meant the school needed to rise to new challenges and provide emergency relief funding for students. PLU knew that their students’ needs would exceed what the CARES Act provided, and also understood that students’ needs weren’t going to disappear over the summer—they were going to increase, particularly for international students and undocumented students. As Assistant Director of Annual Giving Jayne Berglund put it, “These students who were facing major financial hardships are students who are a priority for us. At PLU, we put our students first, and it was a no-brainer to focus on fundraising for the student emergency fund.” Meanwhile, fundraising during a crisis meant it was more important than ever to focus the Advancement team’s time on the highest impact activities, and efficiently launch a campaign that could inspire the community to act.

The Solution

PLU launched a student emergency fund in March 2020, and spent the rest of the spring mobilizing their community to take action on one campaign on the Social Fundraising Platform—rebranding it along the way to create urgency around specific moments. These “mini campaigns” drew in new donors and donors who gave multiple times over a short period of time, while giving the PLU advancement team a chance to iterate and make data-driven decisions about their content.

After an initial focus on more somber messaging, they pivoted to more positive content for #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5, the first of these mini-campaigns. PLU then used insights from #GivingTuesdayNow—namely the impact of that positive messaging—to launch an “8 Days of Care” Beatles-themed push at the end of May, choosing to go with an even more upbeat campaign theme to bring in a fresh wave of support.

“It pulls in different types of people, and also encourages people to give multiple times over the course of the campaign,” said Berglund.

After the 8 Days campaign ended, PLU decided to keep their campaign alive with a clear, positive message about the impact gifts have made so far, and the continued need to show #LutesCare by making gifts over the summer.

The Social Fundraising Platform made it easy to keep that campaign running—and keep building one narrative about all the ways that Lutes have supported each other over this challenging spring. Meanwhile, visitors to the campaign page can easily see their cumulative impact, both in a dollar and donor amount.

PLU successfully ran a longer-term digital fundraising campaign by taking advantage of key GiveCampus product features and drawing on resources from the GiveCampus Partner Success program.

"These campaigns attracted people who hadn’t given before and people who hadn’t given in a long time because they could see that our campaign represented a major community effort."

Jayne Berglund
Assistant Director of Annual Giving, Pacific Lutheran University

The Outcomes

PLU successfully ran a longer-term digital fundraising campaign by taking advantage of key GiveCampus product features and drawing on resources from the GiveCampus Partner Success program:

Replacing their end-of-the-year letter appeal with a digital campaign on the Social Fundraising Platform and a student emergency fund-specific Giving Form that matched the moment.
Publicizing matching gifts to create urgency on #GivingTuesdayNow and 8 Days of Care campaigns.
Sharing important resources that helped Lutes understand additional ways to support each other beyond gifts, made visible and easily accessible right on the campaign page.
Leaning on content suggestions and communications assets from the GiveCampus Partner Success team to quickly turnaround social posts, email content, and more for the 8 Days of Care campaign.
Focusing on campaign strategy and goals, knowing that the platform made implementation easy and that they wouldn’t have to create a communications plan from scratch.
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Grinnell College & The Volunteer Management System


Need to pivot in a crisis? Lean on volunteer messengers.

In an unpredictable and unprecedented environment, Grinnell College used the Volunteer Management System to efficiently shift their spring outreach strategy.

The Challenge
When Covid-19 hit, Grinnell’s advancement team faced two challenges: supporting the community with emergency funding and pivoting their spring solicitation strategy to match the moment. Grinnell was a leader in sending students off-campus for their safety and diving into remote learning—and the College covered costs for plane tickets, rental cars, computers, internet access, and other critical resources students required for that transition. Grinnell’s advancement team needed to share the right messaging, provide immediate financial relief, and move quickly.
The Solution
Grinnell’s volunteers have long been a bright spot for Grinnell’s fundraising —so much so that as soon as the pandemic arrived, volunteers were already asking for ways to step up and support the Grinnell community. Within 48 hours of deciding to go remote, Grinnell rolled out the Support our Students (SOS) fund. Meanwhile, Grinnell’s advancement team decided to double down on their volunteer strategy for the spring, taking advantage of the GiveCampus Volunteer Management System to get personalized, meaningful messaging out to alumni. They replaced their spring solicitation letter with email templates that volunteers could quickly send out and personalize through the VMS—both to provide a compassionate check-in with alumni and also communicate about the SOS fund.
We decided that our messaging would come across as so much more personal coming from volunteers using the Volunteer Management System than through our bulk email system.
Mary Zug
Assistant Director of Annual Giving, Grinnell College
Building engaged volunteers

Like many schools, Grinnell relied on Google Docs before they transitioned to the Volunteer Management System. Volunteers had to look up information about their assignments in shared Docs and then use their personal email systems for outreach—and as Zug pointed out, there wasn’t much visibility or accountability between volunteers and the advancement office. 

Grinnell has been using the Volunteer Management System since 2017—and it’s become the go-to communications strategy for volunteers. “Before we could even load messages into the Volunteer Management System, our volunteers were using it to send personal messages out about the emergency fund—very soon after we rolled it out, we had gifts totaling more than $100,000. “

Today, 102 seasoned Grinnell volunteers are using the VMS, and 84% of the constituents who made gifts to Grinnell in spring 2020 were assigned in the system. When moments of great need come up, their volunteers are ready to go.


More volunteer emails in Spring 2020 compared to Spring 2019


Emails by volunteers through the VMS from March 1 - June 8

Why Grinnell’s volunteers love the VMS:
Why Grinnell’s advancement team loves the VMS:

Want to learn more about the GiveCampus Volunteer Management System? 
Schedule a demo with our team.

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