Engaging Young Donors: GiveCampus.Com

Michelle Ammirati by on May 04, 2016


Crowdfunding has become a powerful platform within the alumni giving field. In 2015, four of the firms in the Alumni Monitor coverage group promoted crowdfunding platforms to raise money for both student projects and annual giving. Since our review of 2015 trends, six more schools within the coverage group have hosted similar platforms. The Washington Post recently covered the crowdfunding trend by highlighting GiveCampus.com.

GiveCampus.com is a crowdfunding website based out of Washington, D.C. The social fundraising platform listed 51 institutions as partners on its website, where it also lists nine different ways clients can use the platform, with accompanying success stories.

Platform Uses for Institutions

As the Washington Post points outs, young donors are particularly difficult to engage and are much more likely to spend their time online. The founders of GiveCampus.com—Kestrel Linder and Michael Kong—built their platform based on other funding sites like Kickstarter, but they charge a subscription fee for the institutions. For institutions that are looking to engage the young alumni population, crowdfunding could be the answer to retaining interest from young donors, while also allowing the alumni population to do some of the legwork through what GiveCampus.com highlights as peer-to-peer advertising.

Looking at an example of a GiveCampus.com campaign—Smith College’s goal to raise $3.1 million in one month—demonstrates the benefits that a crowdfunding campaign can provide over that of cold-calling, emails or letters. One of the incentives offered on the platform was a gift for generating donations among peers. Peer-to-peer advertising has the potential to influence young alumni drastically through their own social networks.

For young alumni who would rather not participate in a Giving Day, the website also lets institutions raise money for specific projects and empowers students to raise money for their campus organizations or individual research projects. Using a crowdfunding platform also allows donors to follow up on the projects they have contributed to, which fosters deeper connections between alumni and their institutions.

Crowdfunding Campaign Example

GiveCampus.com showcases the future of alumni donations. Whether or not universities outsource this type of service or create their own fundraising sites, crowdfunding is a best practice for institutions trying to secure the future of young alumni engagement in the donor process.

For more information on Alumni Monitor and our research on alumni outreach and engagement, please contact Dana Peterson at dpeterson@corporateinsight.com or visit us at alumnimonitor.corporateinsight.com.

About The Author

Michelle Ammirati

Michelle is an Analyst for Healthcare Monitor at Corporate Insight. Read more