Donors worldwide contributed to a record-breaking $225,000 through more than 1,500 gifts during Monmouth’s third annual Giving Days from Thursday, March 23 to Friday, March 24. Donations came from Argentina, Germany, Mexico, and New Zealand, in addition to 38 domestic states.
Monmouth initiated Giving Days as a way to engage with its donors, as well as capitalize on digital marketing and social media opportunities to broaden its donor pool. The 48-hour allotted period includes time-sensitive matches, challenges, and deadlines for potential donors to meet, thus fueling the urgency for individuals to give immediately.
One of these activities included the ability to match or challenge donors. For example, an individual could challenge peer-alumni to participate and then make an additional gift to support that department when others do.
“We find that potential donors are 27-30 percent more likely to follow through on making a gift when presented with a match or challenge opportunity,” explained Lindsay Wood, Senior Director for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving.
Donors were able to choose the area they wanted to support, ranging from school departments to a student club or organization. This customization option gave donors control over how their gift would be used, thereby inviting a wider range of individuals to participate. For example, student-athletes are a group where donors can show support.
The University utilized volunteer ambassadors to help spread the word about Giving Days as they leveraged their networks to garner greater participation. These individuals receive training from the annual giving office and have the ability to track their own personal impact. This year, 180 ambassadors motivated the donation of 429 gifts, equating to over $57,000.
Additionally, the Giving Days team experimented with new ways to enhance external reception. Consequently, there was a greater effort on campus to promote the culture of philanthropy among the Monmouth community.
Wood clarified, “You may have seen a sticker with a QR code for the Giving Days website when you grabbed a coffee on campus at Dunkin, the Parson Cafe, or in Magill.”
“I think it would be a smart move to promote Giving Days more on campus,” said Sydney Cherwien, a junior communication student. “I honestly didn’t know much about it until now. I think it would be good for students to know that various Monmouth alumni are donating back to the place they spent so much time learning and growing from.”
Students also discussed whether they see themselves becoming future donors as alumni.
Breanna Guinta, a junior creating writing student, said, “When I am an alumna, I can see myself donating back to Monmouth. This school has great faculty and all the students I have met are all so nice— I want to give back to Monmouth for future students so they can get a great experience, along with a great education, like I have.”
Cherwien said, “I would love to be able to give back to the institution that has helped me so much in my college career only two semesters in [as a transfer], as an alumnus in the future. If I have the means to donate to Monmouth as my career develops, I would love to be able to give back to its future students.”
Wood concluded, “My hope for 2024 is to see Giving Days grow into an institution-wide philanthropy event that goes beyond giving, building excitement around campus during the campaign and bringing an awareness of the support we seek to inspire for our current and future Hawks.”