Social Fundraising Case Study: Susquehanna University on GiveCampus

CASE STUDY

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

THE CHALLENGE

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.

THE SOLUTION

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
0
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.”