Giving Tuesday Continues to Boost Higher Education Donations

Amanda Kohn by on Jan 11, 2017

Since its inception five years ago, Giving Tuesday has become a worldwide day of giving with the total dollars, number of gifts, participating organizations and social media engagements rising every year. In 2016, Giving Tuesday raised $168 million from 1.56 million gifts and accrued 2.39 million social media engagements for nonprofits in 98 countries across the globe. This past November, 14 institutions in the Alumni Monitor coverage group participated in Giving Tuesday through active fundraisers and other events. Three schools—Kenyon, Northwestern and San Diego—even integrated specific microsites into their alumni platforms for the day to distinguish the normal giving websites from the global giving drive, a Giving Tuesday best practice other schools should consider as they prepare for 2017.

In these microsites and their associated campaigns, Kenyon, Northwestern and University of San Diego exemplified alumni fundraising best practices, branding their campaigns with school-specific names, encouraging social media engagement through hashtag usage and republishing users’ posts on their microsites, and promoting the campaigns through social media posts or banner images within their alumni websites. They also excelled by providing giving links, FAQs, challenge overviews and donor recognition (e.g., spotlighting donors in a livestream or sending a thank you tweet). To help schools looking to shine in 2017, we now profile these three successful Giving Day fundraising campaigns and microsites:

Kenyon College Chime In Microsite

Kenyon College raised more than $245,000 through its Bell-A-Thon, in which it recognized recent donors by ringing a bell every hour over a live broadcast. The Bell-A-Thon featured performances from student groups and faculty interviews, some of which were also publicized using Facebook Live. Alumni could tune in to the livestream through a Chime In microsite created just for the event that provided a schedule, a giving link and a Twitter feed for #KenyonChimesIn. In addition to its microsite, Kenyon’s Bell-A-Thon stands out for its multimedia approach, which incorporated both on-campus participation and digital engagement, and exemplified the idea of contributing more than just money by having students and faculty donate their time and voices throughout the day. Further, the college’s innovative use of Facebook Live boosted engagement on Facebook with an average number of views reaching 1,030.

Kenyon Chime In Microsite (Truncated)

Northwestern University #CATSGiveBack Microsite

Northwestern University promoted its Giving Tuesday drive with the hashtag #CATSGiveBack, raising $535,567 from more than 1,900 donors. A campaign microsite included giving links, updates, promotional videos, social media posts and a #CatsGiveBack-themed giving form through which donors could enter their Twitter handle to receive a custom thank you tweet. Northwestern focused on students by promoting its CATalyzer crowdfunding platform through which alumni could contribute directly to student projects and initiatives, the majority of which were fully funded by the end of the drive. Most notably, Northwestern stands out for its donor recognition approach on Twitter that offered personalized thank yous to donors instead of providing peers’ more common generic posts.

Sample Personalized Thank You Tweets

University of San Diego #ToreroTuesday Microsite

University of San Diego raised more than $194,000 from 420 gifts on Giving Tuesday. A #ToreroTuesday microsite hosted a progress meter, giving links and a photo gallery for #ToreroTuesday, and users could interact with the campaign on social media using the associated #ToreroTuesday hashtag. USD incentivized donors with a Torero Athletics challenge, recognizing every $100 raised toward athletics with a commitment to community service hours from the department.

#ToreroTuesday Microsite (Truncated)

In preparation for Giving Tuesday 2017, schools should keep these campaigns and their associated microsites and social media in mind to ensure increased engagement and participation on Tuesday, November 28, 2017.

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About The Author

Amanda Kohn

Amanda is a Senior Research Associate for Alumni Monitor at Corporate Insight. Read more