Alumni Associations Look to Giving Tuesday to Raise Donation Participation

by on Nov 28, 2017

Since its start in 2012, Giving Tuesday has grown to become a national occasion for giving back, kickstarting a time of holiday and end-of-year giving that follows longer-standing, consumer-centric events, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Primarily through employing #GivingTuesday posts on social media, organizations continue to use this day to raise money, and this is no exception for colleges and universities, which should take advantage of the high-profile call to action to remind alumni to give. Currently, only 33% of the Alumni Monitor coverage group schools have promoted Giving Tuesday through social media, press releases or their homepage. Of this minority, however, Rutgers, Tufts and Penn State stand out through special pages, microsites and social media posts that showcase creative approaches to garnering alumni engagement and participation as well as raising money.

Unlike in years past, Rutgers now celebrates its institutional Rutgers Giving Day on a different day than the formal Giving Tuesday. Accordingly, the school now promotes Giving Tuesday with a special Tool Kit page that emphasizes the difference between the two giving days and that offers all necessary links and information to make the alumni donation process as convenient as possible. The page employs a customized version of the Giving Tuesday hashtag, encouraging alums to use #GivingTuesday as well as #GiveScarlet to distinguish the campaign from other institutions. Rutgers also promotes the day on the school’s and the alumni association’s homepages as well as on its Twitter page.

Rutgers #GivingTuesday Tool Kit Page

Penn State and Tufts both employ dedicated microsites to encourage alumni to donate on Giving Tuesday. Both feature countdown clocks and the #GivingTuesday hashtag. In addition to its range of modular fundraising initiatives, Penn State is unique in promoting a means of engaging young alumni. To increase support from young alums, Penn State will donate an additional $100 for every $10 gift from a graduate of the last 10 years. The school also has heavily promoted the day on its Twitter page.

Penn State #GivingTuesday Twitter Promotion

Penn State #PSUGOLD Twitter Promotion

Tufts’s microsite emphasizes social media most prominently, featuring Giving Tuesday content via embedded social media feeds. The microsite excels with another feed, its challenge feed, which displays giving goals that, when met, unlock larger gift donations. The site also encourages competition and participation through donation leaderboards, tweets by donors on the embedded social media feed and a Donor Heatmap that ranks the states with the most donors. Tufts’s Giving Tuesday microsite allows alumni to donate easily by prominently displaying a Give Now link to the donation page and by providing an easy-to-use dropdown menu for fund designation selection. The microsite also clearly displays the success of the fundraiser by listing the amount raised and the number of gifts. Other schools should look to these features, particularly displaying donation amounts or a participation challenge, as best practices to increase awareness of the success of giving events.

Tufts #GivingTuesday Donation and Gift Live Counter

Tufts #GivingTuesday Challenge Feed

Tufts #GivingTuesday Donor Heatmap

As schools continue to take advantage of online platforms, they should look to creative strategies to raise money and increase alumni participation. Donation challenges, leaderboards and countdown clocks are just a few strategies schools should consider to bolster alumni engagement. To learn more about innovative giving day features, please see our latest report, Creative Ways for Giving Days: New Techniques to Improve Results.

About The Author

Henry is a Research Associate for P&C Insurance Monitor at Corporate Insight.

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