Why Your Advancement Team Should Join the Forbes #MyTopCollege Challenge

If you’re looking for an easy way to showcase your higher ed institution this month, there’s one hashtag trend you should jump on board with right away:  #MyTopCollege. An online campaign launched by Forbes, #MyTopCollege is a chance for students and alumni to use social media to share why they love their colleges. Until July 30 (when Forbes presents its annual America’s Top Colleges ranking), any Twitter user can post about his/her school on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vine using the campaign’s special hashtag. Forbes’ favorite posts will appear on the website and in the print magazine.

So what’s in it for your advancement team? Although the contest won’t affect Forbes’ official Top College rankings, this is a perfect opportunity to reach out to your alumni and muster up some good ol’ fashioned school spirit. (And getting featured in Forbes isn’t so bad either!)

From your institution’s social media accounts, encourage alums to participate in the campaign, reflecting on what made their college experiences so great. Most alums will jump at the chance to show off their schools, whether it’s by reminiscing about a quirky campus tradition or sharing the scenic view from their former dorms

Check out how Willamette UniversitySalem College, and EverTrue customer Colgate University kicked off their #MyTopCollege campaigns:

It’s great to help your alumni remember all the unique and wonderful qualities of your school. What’s even better is that alums who engage with your institution on social media are more likely to give. In other words, your most enthusiastic #MyTopCollege participant could be your next big donor—so don’t let all the amazing social insights from the campaign go to waste! It’s an excellent chance to learn what your alums care the most about and should be part of your Social Donor Management strategy.

What exactly do I mean? Consider, for instance, that an alum creates a #MyTopCollege post about your school’s fine arts program. That’s a significant piece of information that could lead you to a more focused and effective ask.

And who doesn’t like some healthy competition? Cal State Fullerton has clinched the first place slot this week, with San Diego State University in close second, but there’s still time to get your school on the leaderboard!

Once you get your school participating in the #MyTopCollege challenge? Click here to learn more about how you can use the social insights you garner from the campaign to power your fundraising.


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