Partnering with Volunteers on Giving Day with Williams College

Giving Days are a lot of work – Share the load

Giving days are a lot of work. Just as the folks in charge need to bring in external and internal champions to build awareness and buzz leading up to the big day, they also need to delegate follow-up so that every donor can get proper thanks and celebration. 

Laura Day, Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement, Williams College

At Williams College, Laura Day gets the whole advancement staff involved in sending 1-1 messages of thanks to Williams donors. It’s a smart way to expose other advancement colleagues (gifts & records, stewardship, advancement services) to the joy of speaking directly with alums. And by sharing the heavy load of immediate follow-up, more donors hear “thanks!” more quickly from an actual human.

Don’t wing it. Get specific with impact. 

Narrowing your giving day focus aligns with the immediacy of a one-day, all-in fundraising push, and it lends itself to a focus on giving day impact. 

Lots of donors make nominal gifts on giving day, and the beauty is that the aggregate effort really does move the needle at your institution. 

Celebrate every single one of your giving day donors as if they were major gift donors. Even at the smallest gift levels, your donors are trusting your institution to solve issues that they care about. Show them that you’re worth that trust by being prepared to demonstrate immediate impact after giving day.

Here’s how.

Prior to Giving Tuesday, have students from featured centers and programs record ThankView videos. Queue up these videos to send in batches to donors throughout (and after) Giving Tuesday.

A quick “Thank you so much for giving to this center! Here’s what I love most about this center as a student…” will put a face to the designation and show your donors an example of exactly the type of person that their investment is supporting. 

We love to look to Williams College for impact inspo. Here are some examples of how it’s possible to get super-specific about gift impact, even for small, unrestricted gifts. 

Williams $10 Gift
Williams $25 Gift
Williams $50 Gift

Your Team Playbook

We work with hundreds of higher ed partners around the country. Some acknowledge Giving Tuesday. Most hold giving days. Some have multiple days of giving. 

Some raise hundreds of millions, others raise thousands, and everyone is trying to figure out the best ways to reach the most donors and raise the most support for their amazing institutions.

We’ve compiled some of the best follow-up strategies into a Team Playbook for Giving Day Follow-up. Be sure to let us know how it goes! 

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