By hosting in-person events tied with a plethora of ways for alumni to virtually participate and donate, Giving Days on GiveGab are helping colleges and universities around the world connect with more donors than ever before.
Giving Days are 24-hour (or longer) events that maximize online fundraising and cater to a variety of institutions, including higher education. Schools that hosted a Giving Day in the past year-and-a-half saw little-to-no decline in gifts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, with restrictions lifting, schools are able to tie in-person events to virtual components of their Giving Days to reach more donors.
“We see that virtual and in-person events feed off each other, so it’s really important to utilize both for success,” said Charlie Mulligan, the managing director and co-founder of GiveGab. “All of the engagement components together create excitement and get people to share their enthusiasm in giving back, encouraging donations from a larger network.”
Your fundraising, your way
With Giving Days, schools are able to reach more donors and raise unrestricted funds that benefit the entire campus community.
Longwood University (Farmville, Virginia), which is currently in the second year of its “Love to the Max” ambassadors program, held its annual “Love Your Longwood” Giving Day in March 2021. The event not only engaged a record number of donors for Longwood (1,863), but it also doubled the size of its average online donation to more than $200.
Dustyn Hall, who is Longwood’s director of Affinity Giving and Communications, said the school’s holistic approach to fundraising, enabled by GiveGab, has been critical to its success.
“If we look at donors, or we look at supporters or alums or friends, and we just say that we want you to give, there’s a bit of disengagement and some disingenuous attitudes there,” Hall said. “There’s a feeling that you just want the money, that you don’t want to build the relationship or tell a story.”
To tell that story and create a more personal connection with its donors, Longwood requires its more than 150 ambassadors to not only give a meaningful gift, but to also do at least one of the following:
- Encourage five people in their friend group or network to give
- Engage with Longwood on social media to promote fundraising
- Represent Longwood alums in their region by wearing branded ambassador gear
- Participate in stewardship by recording “Thank You” videos to show appreciation to other donors
Hall said Longwood’s ambassadors went above and beyond this year, with nearly 85 percent completing all four tasks, in addition to donating. And it was all possible because of the customizable fundraising options available on GiveGab’s platform, and the kind of fervor that can only be created with Giving Days.
“There is no kind of spirit and no energy like there is on a Giving Day,” Hall said. “There’s just something about friendly competition and driving each other to do one better, to give to and support the alma mater.”
Giving Days are the future of alumni and donor engagement. Mulligan noted, “You want to get major donors to not only give on the day, but to share their experiences at the university with their networks. When the Giving Day arrives, all of that work is culminated into one focus where you are both raising as much money as you can and gathering hundreds or often thousands of stories about why people love that university.”
See how running a Giving Day with GiveGab can help your school drive alumni engagement and widen your donor base for the long-term. Request a demo at givegab.com.