While higher education fundraising is a year-round effort, a one-day campaign that rallies a community behind your institution’s mission—typically known as a Giving Day or day of giving—generates excitement, urgency and friendly (yet fruitful) competition amongst supporters. Giving Days are a great method for re-engaging relationships with existing donors while drawing the attention and support of new donors.
Some colleges and universities are well-versed in leveraging Giving Days as part of their overall fundraising strategy, while others may just be starting out.
See 11 higher education institutions that took their Giving Days to the next level using Advance from Gravyty, a digital fundraising platform for hosting and promoting online giving initiatives including Giving Days, crowdfunding, annual giving, reunion fundraising and more.
Rutgers University leveraged a newcomer leaderboard that encouraged competition among new funds for that year. The Scarlet Knights’ Giving Day website is also a great example of leveraging bonus leaderboards to drive engagement competition.
For Principia, matching gift widgets were a perfect way to show the full impact of matched donations. What better way to inspire others to give than to offer gift matching from others on a cause to rally around?
Letting constituents give to the fund that means the most to them—whether that’s a club or athletics department or the college they graduated from—boosts engagement and helps create donors for life. With a whopping 775 fund designations available on their giving day, Boston University made sure everyone could give to their cause.
Gamifying the giving experience is key to making it fun, exciting and easy to donate to your institution on Giving Day. Dickinson College leveraged thermometers and unit-specific challenges to show the impact of each donation to their unique causes.
Minnesota State University Moorhead
With Minnesota State University Moorhead, leaderboards and heatmaps were a fun, visual way to increase competition amongst donors on their Giving Day. What states would drive the most donations? Supporters could track the competition in real time.
Florida Institute of Technology
Gamification is a fantastic way to engage constituents during your Giving Day, but the Florida Institute of Technology’s team took things to the next level with live-streamed and in-person events, including game-themed events like Florida Tech Family Feud!
Giving Days aren’t just limited to United States colleges and universities. Pembroke College in Cambridge, England leveraged matching gift challenges like first-time and international donations to inspire others to give, driving £101,181 in giving day donations.
What’s one way current and former students identify with their college or university? Their Resident Halls! Pepperdine created dorm and apartment challenges, where Resident Halls with the most donors received bonus funds.
University of San Diego
University of San Diego is a great example of gamifying Giving Day through challenges, leaderboards, heatmaps and other engaging features. They even kicked off a social media challenge using a unique hashtag to drive engagement.
Wake Forest University
Deacs Day of Giving drove athletics competitions, driving both revenue and donor goals. Each program received a lead gift that would “unlock” after 50 gifts were made in support of that program. Donors increased by 34% as 14 different programs unlocked their challenges.
Sports tend to naturally drive competition and passionate support. That’s why Leigh Athletics’ Giving Day leverages the season of “March Madness” to drive competition amongst former athletes for their various athletic programs.
University of Miami
The Hurricanes’ use of their “biggest boost” leaderboard helped drive competition and every school, college and participating area in Giving Day increased their donor count over Giving Day 2021. Additionally, the competition with the ambassador leaderboard allowed their volunteers to feel ownership and success in Giving Day. They could see in real-time the impact they were having to help the U achieve the donor goal for Giving Day.
Create fully branded online giving sites for Giving Days, annual appeals and crowdfunding campaigns with powerful gamification, marketing and sharing features to drive participation and increase donations. Get a free demo today.