Higher Education Giving Days
8 Benefits of Higher Education Giving Days

An increasing number of colleges and universities are making Giving Days an important part of their overall fundraising and engagement strategy.  

These 24-hour fundraising challenges go beyond inspiring a school’s alumni to give, with participation seen from faculty, students, and even non-affiliated members of their local communities.

Some terrific examples of successful Giving Days for colleges and universities include:

Higher Education Giving Days
Browse higher education Giving Days

Let’s dive into the ways in which Giving Days can benefit both higher education institutions and the people who support them!

1. Improved Alumni Engagement

Successful Giving Days rely heavily on an enhanced online presence and social media engagement that leads supporters to a simple way to give back through online donations. Essentially with a Giving Day what you’re doing is:

“Meeting donors where they already are – on social media and online” – Canisius 

2. New Donor Acquisition

Giving Days can (and often do) attract new donors of all age levels, thereby contributing to the overall higher ed fundraising numbers.

Crowdfunding through a mobile-responsive Giving Day site, like the one designed for Vanderbilt University (showcased below), provides a way for everyone to show their support in a way that’s convenient for them.

Higher Education Giving Days
Mobile-responsive Giving Day site for Vanderbilt University

Giving Days focus on what’s referred to as the “crowdfunding game” or increasing the number of people that are involved in giving rather than targeting a small number of people giving in large quantities.  This makes it possible for more people to get involved and to feel as though they contributed to the grand total, regardless of how much they gave.

3. Increased Awareness of Needs

With an amplified online presence through your Giving Day website and social media campaigns, you’re improving both the number of people you’re reaching with your message and the quality of that message.  The better your cause is understood, the more people will relate to it and want to provide their support.

4. Bring in More Funds

As Canisius mentioned following their successful Giving Day, a lot of the funds they saw during this event may have never come in otherwise. Having a sense of urgency (a 24-hour timeframe) really does encourage giving. 

5. Rising Popularity & Success Amongst Other Universities 

More and more colleges and universities are seeing incredible results by implementing a Giving Day in their fundraising plan.  Their strategies for success throughout the day are often shared openly and can be implemented by other institutions in order to see similar results.

6. Exceeded Expectations

Our experience with Giving Days for higher education organizations over the years have revealed that the majority of them have surpassed their initial fundraising goals.

As with any other fundraising initiative, the more strategic planning and resources you put into your day, the better the results will be.  Learn more about what highly successful Giving Day hosts do differently in this article.

7. Strengthened Sense of Pride & Connection 

Whether it be in the college itself or within certain groups they were associated with, donors can feel a strengthened sense of pride and connection to your school by contributing during the Giving Day.

For example, a specific sports team could be recognized for giving the most as a group for that day or for having the most donors.  These numbers are reflected in the Giving Day Leaderboards, one of the many great features offered through GiveGab. 

Higher Education Giving Days
Screenshot of Cornell Giving Day 2018 Leaderboards

When you have an established day dedicated to giving back to your college or university, you can get the entire community – beyond just your alumni – involved.  When fundraising isn’t only targeting your alumni, you’re casting a larger net and establishing a bigger community of supporters that your alumni, faculty, students, and so on, can ALL feel a deeper connection to!

8. Increased Philanthropic Spirit

As most donors can attest to, there’s a lot of joy that comes from contributing to something greater than ourselves.  When an organization of higher learning has provided us with the skills and experience to succeed in life or with invaluable personal connections, a collaborative giving event can ignite a widespread spirit of philanthropy that lasts far beyond the day.    


Giving to higher education has increased every year since 2010, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.  Your college or university can be a part of this growing trend by implementing a Day of Giving into your overall fundraising strategy!

For more information about the Giving Day platform for Cornell, Canisius, and many other successful Giving Days, click below:

Higher Education Giving Days on GiveGab