Giving Days in higher education are a great way to energize all of your supporters. This can include current students and young alumni making their first gift, alumni of all ages who want to show their support for their alma mater, as well as faculty and staff who want to show pride in their university or college.
While the primary focus of a Giving Day should be on the collective power of your supporters and broad-based participation, it’s also important to involve your institution’s tracked or major gift prospects in the day.
Engaging Major Gift Prospects
These individuals can not only provide valuable support on your Giving Day but can spur donations from your broad-based supporters in the form of challenges and matches as well.
Gamifying a Giving Day by leveraging challenge dollars can provide a strong incentive for your constituents to give to areas that they are passionate about.
Getting Tracked Prospects on Board
The first step in getting tracked prospects on board is to let them know about your Giving Day before you make a public announcement. This can be done through a more personal segmented email or letter to your tracked prospects.
Next, gift officers should reach out to prospects who they think would be interested in supporting your institution on its Giving Day. Gift officers can center these conversations around outright gifts or gifts in support of a challenge or match on the day. The challenge or match opportunities you present to your donor should be meaningful to them. You can use a donor’s giving history to help inform these conversations.
Finally, come up with creative ways to include these donors in the day. This can be as simple as making sure the challenge or match is well advertised, providing the donor with updates throughout the day, or having the department(s) who wins the challenge come up with creative ways to say thank you.
Your Solicitation Strategy
Make sure each giving day solicitation you make is in line with the strategy you’ve established for that donor. You don’t want to harm a relationship by trying to solicit a large gift from someone who is not at the appropriate stage in your cultivation cycle. If someone is not at the appropriate stage, you should still include them in your segmented communications to tracked prospects.
Remember that the power of a Giving Day is the opportunity for a community to come together in support of something bigger than themselves. Any gifts you receive from your tracked prospects is a sign of their continued belief in your institution’s mission.