Engaging Students in Donor Stewardship with a TAG Day
Heidelberg University was searching for a way to increase philanthropy awareness on campus and introduce their own Student Philanthropy Day. So the Heidelberg Fund team and the Student Alumni Association put their heads together and came up with an innovative idea: TAG Day.
“We considered the idea of a Tuition Freedom Day – a popular idea on other campuses as a way to point out when (in the academic year) tuition dollars would theoretically run-out and private support would take over,” says Ashley Helmstetter, Executive Director at Heidelberg. “But that model didn’t resonate for us. Since 99% of our students receive scholarship and financial aid, we were mostly interested in highlighting the specific impact gifts that we have on our campus.”
The word “TAG” is an acronym (Thank-A-Giver) as well as a call to action. Students use the day as an opportunity to reach out and thank donors for support – many write handwritten notes, and they put together a great thank you video. In addition, they spend the day “tagging” stickers onto items around campus that exist as the result of donor support. This includes material items like buildings, books, and artwork as well as people, including faculty, staff, and students.
Now in its third year, TAG Day continues to gain momentum. “We add a new (fun) element every year,” says Helmstetter, “but our fundamental focus remains on stewardship, engagement, and education.”
Go Student Princes!
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