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Alumni Fundraising: Activate Your Alumni to Donate and Fundraise for Your College or University

In college, were you more likely to attend an event if staff members said it was fun or if your friends wanted to go? 

While that may seem like an absurdly obvious question, it’s an important one to consider when you’re looking to build your alumni fundraising.

Alumni fundraising for colleges and universities is often still stuck in the traditional model: Staff members (who may not have a close relationship with alumni) reach out to potential donors.

But breaking that mold by setting up an online fundraising campaign and using your committed alumni to recruit their peers can have huge benefits for you academic institution’s fundraising efforts.

Simply having something online makes it easy for alumni to view your campaign, donate, and share it with their peers, while setting a specific fundraising goal and end date creates more urgency to donate. 

Here are a few ways to take your next online fundraising campaign to the next level by activating your alumni to donate and fundraise for your college or university:

1. Engage Alumni Fundraising Leaders

Let’s face it, alumni hear from you a lot, and from time to time, it’s good to shake up the voice of who is asking for their donations.

Recruit some of your most active alumni to be the leaders of your next campaign, and you will not only give them a new sense of loyalty to your college or university but also bring a known face to your fundraising efforts. 

Receiving a message from a peer, rather than a staff member, feels much more personal and can have many benefits in addition to raising more money.

You will likely receive more direct responses with beneficial information such as new events in their lives or insights into why they may not be donating. 

From start to finish, Douglass College alumni used this tactic to completely run their GivingTuesday fundraiser— from setting up the campaign to sending out all communications.

The alumni organizers took full advantage of CauseVox’s “Updates” feature, sending six message from an alumni leader to the community over the course of the campaign. 

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By the end of their GivingTuesday efforts, the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College almost doubled their $50,000 fundraising goal with $92,972 raised. 

Even if you do not have a formalized alumni organization like the the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College, you can still utilize peer voices in your fundraising efforts.

Have them write and send out emails, make phone calls, or post updates on your  CauseVox peer-to-peer fundraising campaign to make your next fundraiser more personal.

2. Create Competition

Take a cue from college sports, and set up a competition. What groups at your school have historically had a friendly rivalry?

Whether it be different Greek organizations, class years, or sports teams, bring them back to their college days with a competition for who can donate more in a given period of time.

Remind your alumni of the comradery they may have felt at your college or university, and encourage them to join alongside and reach out to their peers to beat the goal together. 

Keuka College put this into practice by pitting the even-numbered class years (the “Green Team”) against the odd-numbered class years (the “Gold Team”) in a friendly competition that was celebrated on campus during their homecoming weekend.

By using CauseVox’s “Teams” feature, they could easily track the donations associated with each team and blew away their $100,000 fundraising goal with $188,484 raised across the two teams. 

They also invited their alumni to set up their own personal fundraising pages, making it easy for them to engage their friends, family, and fellow alumni in the campaign.

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At CauseVox, we see that campaigns that use peer-to-peer fundraising typically raise 2x as much as other types of online fundraising campaigns, and the same holds true for alumni fundraising.

3) Get Creative On Social Media

Harness the power of social media! While it’s a wonderful tool to share your campaign with alumni who may not be on your email list, the real magic happens when alumni share your posts and campaign with their peers.

Don’t be shy with asking people to take action on social media. Likes, comments, and shares all increase the virality of your posts, ensuring that your campaign is seen by more people.

Get creative in your captions, such as adding “Tag your freshman year roommate in the comments and share your funniest memory.” or “Like this post if you still keep in touch with one of your friends from college.” to the end of your posts.

By prompting your alumni to remember the people and moments at your college or university that made their years there so special, you give them an added, more personal reason to donate.

In addition, make sure to create a bold graphic that grabs people’s attention when your link is shared, such as this one shared by Foothill-De Anza Community Colleges Foundation for their #GivingTuesday campaign.

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Through CauseVox, Foothill-De-Anza was able to customize the graphic that appeared in people’s Facebook feeds and ensure easy social media sharing tools connected into every single page of their campaign, making it as easy as possible for alumni to share the campaign with their peers.

Use CauseVox To Run Your Alumni Fundraising With Less Effort

Run your alumni fundraising on CauseVox to see how you can raise more with less effort.

Education transforms lives, and peer to peer fundraising gives your alumni the chance to share their own powerful stories with their peers while bringing them back into community together. 

Activate your alumni with CauseVox’s peer to peer fundraising tools and allow clutter-free admin control, time-saving fundraising automation, and real-time reporting to help you get more donors without the extra effort during your next fundraising campaign.

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