Using Competition to Boost Young Alumni Giving
“Our young alumni participation rate was relatively low,” said Susan Auchincloss, Director of Annual Giving at Salisbury School, “and we wanted to find a way to increase it without sacrificing the amount of money we raise.” She knew this would be no easy task in a world where recent graduates are hard to reach, attention spans are limited, and competition for charitable donations is fierce. So they decided to launch a month-long challenge called The February Faceoff. It included three key components:
Competition – During the month of February, gifts from the classes of 2000-2012 to Salisbury’s Annual Fund were recorded and displayed along with the comparable class results from six of Salisbury’s peer schools. Using “Us vs. Them” as a slogan, the challenge tapped into the school’s competitive spirit. Each class also designated a “captain” to ignite some internal competition between classes and build a strong network of volunteers to spearhead the challenge.
Integration – Over the course of one month, every recent graduate received a carefully orchestrated wave of appeals using new (email, social media) and traditional (direct mail, phone) media. The goal was to make it easy for alumni to contribute in a way that was convenient for them.
Personalization – Starting with a postcard (which contained a QR code) and followed by four weekly email appeals, alumni were driven to a personalized online giving page (i.e., a PURL) which contained specific pre-determined ask amounts based on giving history, class year, and estimated giving potential.
The February Faceoff proved to be a huge success as Salisbury’s young alumni participation rate doubled from 8% to 17%. The amount of money donated to the Annual Fund by young alumni doubled too, with nearly 43% of donors contributing $100 or more. And, if that’s not impressive enough, the campaign inspired an anonymous donor to make a $10,000 gift in honor of the challenge.
Go Crimson Knights!
Want to learn more? CLICK HERE for AGN’s Webinar on Constructing Donor Challenges.
Want to learn more? AGN Members receive exclusive access to the Research Library which includes hundreds of articles, samples, templates, surveys, reports and other information on the latest trends and best practices in school advancement. Use the search bar above to explore all of our resources.
- Next s