Samples, Research & Tools
Annual Giving

The Library maintains this collection of online samples for all CASE members.


Annual Fund Campaigns
Annual Fund Challenge Campaigns
Annual Fund Young Alumni & Student Campaigns
Annual Fund Solicitations & Appeals


Annual Fund Campaigns

Arizona State University: ASU Instant Thank You Video Program
2015 Circle of Excellence Bronze Award in Annual Giving Programs
The Instant Thank You Program is a rapid-response donor relations initiative that provides highly-personalized thank you videos to call center donors in as little as 10 minutes from the time they made their commitment over the phone. The program has been in effect for almost three years and has been a key in helping ASU increase their overall donor retention.

Boston University: Luggage Tag Thank You
The Luggage Tag Thank You was a year-end stewardship piece sent to all donors who made a gift between $1–$999 in FY 2012. The project was segmented into different populations, including general, Senior Class Gift, new donors, parents, School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine. Each segment had slightly different copy and photograph on the luggage tag.

California State University, Sacramento: Fall 2012 Sac State Fund
The Sac State Fund solicitation was designed as an integrated and sequenced communications appeal, leveraging the fall issue of the alumni magazine and an electronic appeal to promote connection to the University.

Cary Academy: The Cary Academy Fund: Move from Darkness into Light
The annual fund campaign was designed to go back to the basics and re-educate the Cary Academy community. The goal was to make it clear what their donations were being used for, how they benefited every student and to move them from the darkness of not understanding into the light.

Cheshire Academy: One Word. One Gift.
2016 Circle of Excellence Silver Award in Annual Giving Programs
This two-year branded Annual Fund endeavor combines traditional print marketing with email marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, and development outreach to reconnect with current and past constituents. Designed to engage constituents in a two-part interaction with the school, this endeavor asks donors to remember what they love about Cheshire Academy by choosing one word to represent their experiences, and then make one gift to the annual fund in honor of that word. The initiative had a three-part goal of increasing overall participation in the Annual Fund, increasing online donations, and engaging donors in meaningful conversation. By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, Cheshire saw a 15% increase in funds raised, 20% increase in donor participation, and 800% increase in online gifts.

Dartmouth College: Arc of Family Giving
2015 Circle of Excellence Silver Award in Annual Giving Programs
The Arc of Family Giving model optimizes non-legacy family philanthropy by structuring the size and complexity of their gifts each year. Top parents are asked to support Dartmouth with an annual fund gift to the Parents Fund of $15,000 or more followed by an endowed senior year capstone gift of $50,000. By the end of fiscal year 2014, the Arc model contributed $3.4 million in unrestricted giving to the Parents Fund.

Georgetown University: Impact of Undergraduate Alumni Giving Handout
The handout was designed for the Georgetown University Alumni Association Board of Governors to use to facilitate conversation with their peers about giving in a concise and eye-catching way. It was also repurposed into an annual fund mailing with a response from general alumni of 424 donors giving $106,000 and from parents of 182 donors giving $53,000.

Georgia Regents University: IGRU (I'm Giving. Are You?)
2015 Circle of Excellence Bronze Award in Targeted Campaigns
Prior to university consolidation, each of the George Regents University campuses had different annual fundraising programs. The IGRU campaign was created to be a grassroots, peer-to-peer fundraising initiative that compelled university and medical center constituents to not only give, but to encourage others to give as well. The 2014 IGRU campaign achieved record fundraising totals, exceeding the campaign goal by over $300,000. 

Iowa State University: Doors of Iowa State
2013 Circle of Excellence Gold Award in Annual Giving Programs
The mail piece featured close ups of 13 doors from across campus. The mail piece and two follow up emails asked viewers to identify each of the doors on campus and drove traffic to a corresponding website. The solicitation raised more money than any other annual giving solicitation in school history: 1,683 gifts totaling $599,190.

Miami University: #MoveInMiami
2016 Circle of Excellence Bronze Award in Annual Giving Programs
#MoveInMiami day-of-giving effort, introduced the year before as a participation-driven effort, set an initial goal of attaining 2,019 donors in 20 hours and 19 minutes to honor the incoming first-year class. The 2015 effort surpassed the original goal early in the evening, announced a second challenge of 3,000 donors and surpassed that as well with 3,281 donors making gifts of all sizes and to all areas of Miami's campus. In all, the effort unlocked $200,000 in matching gift challenges and raised $672,757 for more than 300 designations campus-wide. Driven largely through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other online applications, #MoveInMiami recorded 13.2 million social media impressions.

University College London: What Would Jeremy Do? Autumn 2012 Appeal
2013 Circle of Excellence Bronze Award in Annual Giving Programs
Instead of centering their messages around student need or nostalgia, the autumn 2012 appeal tapped into something that would uniquely resonate with the UCL community — their ethos of radical thinking based around UCL icon and radical thinker, Jeremy Bentham. Jeremy was the signatory of the appeal and in return for a paper lantern reproduction of his head he asked alumni to support radical thinking by making a gift to UCL.

University of Illinois at Chicago: We are UIC: New Annual Giving Identity and Solicitation Materials
2013 Circle of Excellence Silver Award in Branding Programs: Department or Unit
The "We are UIC" project created a new campus-wide annual giving identity for the University of Illinois at Chicago and the corresponding collateral material for campus, college and non-academic unit fundraising solicitations. The university's existing brand standards were used as the foundation for all the pieces.

University of Missouri, Columbia: Mizzou Traditions Fund
The Mizzou Traditions Fund, established in 2010, is the annual unrestricted support fund of the Mizzou Alumni Association. Fundraising outside the realm of membership dues was new in 2010, but the goal has grown 80 percent since then. A variety of marketing channels are utilized to educate, engage and solicit the alumni base.

University of Sydney: Today is the Day
2013 Circle of Excellence Bronze Award in Annual Giving Programs
Today is the Day is the 2012 Tax Renewal Appeal of the Sydney Development Fund. The appeal ran for 12 weeks at the end of the fiscal year and stretched across all 16 faculties, a number of faculty-based foundations and various units such as museums and the library.

University of Washington: Capstone Fund Annual Giving Campaign
A twice-yearly, multi-channel giving effort, the Capstone Fund reaches out to never-givers and lapsed donors by tying a postcard mail piece into the student calling effort, video and email. Capstone projects are a shared experience by the majority of College of Engineering students and alumni. The fund directly connects alumni gifts to students by helping Capstone teams with funding take their projects to the next level.

Viewpoint School: Viewpoint School's Annual Fund: Leadership Giving
2015 Circle of Excellence Gold Award in Annual Giving Programs
By establishing leadership co-chairs to motivate parent volunteers and personally solicit current families, utilizing target ask amounts in annual fund appeal letters, and scheduling individual meetings with new families to meet with the President of the Viewpoint Educational Foundation for a personal annual fund ask, Viewpoint's 2013-14 Annual Fund increased from $1.7 million to $2.1 million in one year.

Villanova University: Villanova #Giving Tuesday and Calendar Year End Campaign
2016 Circle of Excellence Bronze Award in Targeted Campaigns
On Tuesday, November 3, 2015 the Villanova Annual Fund launched its #GivingTuesday Campaign for 2015. They set a goal of acquiring 1,000 donors and thanking each of them with a Villanova pennant Christmas tree ornament. Instead of waiting until Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2015, to begin, they wanted EVERY Tuesday leading up to be #GivingTuesday and also wanted to take this extended opportunity to promote different areas of campus that could benefit from alumni support. A social media campaign and volunteer driven messaging supported their efforts and they exceeded their goal and finished the #GivingTuesday Campaign with 1,341 donors raising more than $135,000 to directly benefit Villanova students.

Wake Forest University: Naming Rights for the Rest of Us
2016 Circle of Excellence Grand Gold Award in Annual Giving Programs
This campaign was created specifically to celebrate the donors whose smaller annual gifts make a big difference. The university took items from around campus that held significance to Wake Foresters and offered exclusive naming rights for several lucky donors - items like the telephone of the man who makes the call when classes are canceled due to weather or the leaf blower that always seems to be operating outside a dorm window at 7am. With a gift at any amount, a donor's name was in the running. Gifts by all alumni to the Wake Forest Fund were 99 percent greater in February 2015 than in February 2014, and it yielded the best Young Alumni giving February in Wake Forest Fund history. The grand total of $179,995 raised was $29 short of an all-time February record.

Washington State University: WSU Foundation Annual Giving Fundraising Strategy
The WSU Foundation implemented a comprehensive, multi-channel annual giving strategy in 2012 designed to coordinate efforts, reduce costs, maximize returns and improve alumni and donor response to solicitation. The strategy involved a three-pronged approach to acquiring and renewing donors: email, mail and Call-A-Coug phonathon in both fall and spring.

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Annual Fund Challenge Campaigns

Antioch College: Giving Tuesday Competition
2014 Circle of Excellence Silver Award in Targeted Campaigns
This Giving Tuesday competition sought to award a $5,000 prize to the student organization or department that earned the most votes in an online giving contest. Votes were earned by making a gift to the Antioch College Annual Fund through a Giving Tuesday Competition microsite, donors then assigned their votes to their favorite project(s). This excitement provided motivation to make a gift, ultimately raising over $25,000 by the end of the day.

Augsburg College: Give to the Max Day
2014 Circle of Excellence Silver Award in Targeted Campaigns
Give to the Max Day (GTTMD) is a one-day online giving event to encourage donors to give to Minnesota nonprofits. For GTTMD 2013, a Board of Regents member challenged Augsburg College to raise the most money of all the Minnesota colleges and universities. The goal was to raise $220,000 and through unique fundraising projects and marketing strategies Augsburg raised $313,639 from 837 unique donors.

Boston University: $1 Million Alumni Participation Slatkin Challenge
The $1 Million Alumni Participation Slatkin Challenge was a donor-sponsored springtime push to gain 3,000 new donors. The success of the Challenge hinged on carefully timed, integrated marketing efforts which spanned mail, email, telemarketing, social media and web communications.

Claremont McKenna College: The Crown Challenge
2014 Circle of Excellence Gold Award in Annual Giving Programs
This multi-year giving program provides donors an opportunity to earn challenge dollars for the College through a four-year commitment of giving. Any pledge of any amount, paid over four years will earn the College a $500 gift from trustee Steve Crown. The goal is to have 3,500 active Crown Challenge donors every year. The Challenge also serves as a stewardship opportunity, and as a result 70% of Crown Challenge donors have upgraded their gift.

Hamilton College: What's Your Number?
2015 Circle of Excellence Gold Award in Annual Giving Programs
The goal of the What's Your Number? campaign focused on participation, achieve 11,000 donors and anonymous benefactors would release $1 million in challenge funds. To make the project interactive and engaging, donors were assigned a number when they made their gift/pledge and encouraged to take a selfie with their number to send to the college or post on social media. By the end of the campaign, 11,089 donors made gifts, a record for Hamilton.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges: Quake on the Lake: 2 Colleges. 2 Days. A Lifetime of Bragging Rights.
2013 Circle of Excellence Gold Award in Best Uses of Social Media
The Quake on the Lake was a two day annual fund challenge, pitting Hobart College (the men's college) against William Smith College (the women's college) to acquire the most donors on May 30 and 31, 2012. The challenge was planned and executed in about ten days and as a result of the tight timeline the entire campaign was web-based, relying on email and social media.

The Hockaday School: 50 for 50 Hockaday Annual Fund Challenge
In the spring of 2015, The Hockaday School held an Annual Fund Gift Matching Challenge titled "50 for 50". Their community was challenged to raise $50,000 within 50 hours; if the money was raised, it would be doubled by an anonymous donor. Over $228,000 in new donations were raised during the 50 hours, over 400 donations were made, and over 50 constituents who had already donated during the fiscal year made an additional Annual Fund gift. A single donor came forward with an additional $47,000 gift because he was so inspired by the match and the school added it as an additional matching gift.

Phillips Exeter Academy: EveryONE: A Week for Exeter
2015 Circle of Excellence Silver Award in Challenge Grant/Matching Gift Programs
Every:ONE: A Week for Exeter was a five-day campaign for The Exeter Fund, seeking to raise 1,759 gifts (a number representing every student, teacher and staff member on campus) and secure an additional challenge gift of $250,000. Each day of the campaign, a story was shared to spotlight a certain Exeter Fund area of support. Over 2,000 donors made a gift, raising $1.4 million.

Rice University: Rice University 24-Hour Challenge (2015)
2016 Circle of Excellence Gold Award in Flash Campaigns
An anonymous alumnus from the Class of 1983 issued a challenge to increase Rice's alumni giving rate. If 2,400 alumni made a gift of any size on June 16, 2015, the challenger would donate $240,000 to the Rice Annual Fund. With a goal to double the success of the FY14 24-Hour Challenge, and with campus-wide branding in FY15, the 24-Hour Challenge nearly tripled its results from previous years and increased giving participation by 5.5 percentage points in one day.

Saint Peter's University: Let's Get It Done June 1
The goal of Let's Get It Done June 1 was to acquire 140 donors on June 1, 2012 in honor of the 140th anniversary of Saint Peter's University. The campaign used a multi-step and integrated approach to build buzz leading up to the donor day on June 1st, implementing three postcard mailings, four email blasts, social media and personalized URLs. Acquired 382 donors.

University of California, Merced: #GIVETUEUCM - 690% Increase in Day of Giving Tue UC Merced
2016 Circle of Excellence Silver Award in Challenge Grant/Matching Gift Programs
#GIVETUEUCM was the 2nd annual 24-hour giving initiative coinciding with the international day of giving -- #GivingTuesday. This past effort focused on support for undergraduate student scholarships and featured a 3:1 match provided by Foster Poultry Farms and Wells Fargo - helping to quadruple the impact of every gift. In 2015, the university exceeded their original goal of $100,000 by reaching over $316,000 of support for student scholarships - a 690% increase from 2014.

Wellesley College: Love Your Color
After experiencing an alumnae participation rate decline, Wellesley developed and executed a donor participation challenge. If Wellesley reached 3,300 donors in the month of June 2013, the college would secure a $100,000 gift from an anonymous alumna trustee. Using a creative strategy based on Wellesley's class colors, the challenge exceeded its goal and secured more than 4,100 donors.

Westmont College: $75K in 75 Hours Campaign
In honor of the 75th anniversary of Westmont College, the annual giving office developed a 75 hours to raise $75,000. The campaign began October 24 and ended October 27 during the 75th Anniversary Gala. The multi-channeled campaign used direct mail, email, phone, social media and a dynamic campaign webpage. In 75 hours the campaign raised $352,480 from 691 donors, including two generous matches.

Winthrop University: Winthrop Chimney Challenge: 3 days; 3 ways to give; 300 gifts
The Chimney Challenge was launched in December 2012 as an effort to increase scholarship support for the current academic year. With a challenge gift of $50,000, the campaign aimed to secure 300 gifts to the Winthrop Fund in three days. The goal was surpassed with 488 gifts from 421 donors for a total of $126,921.

Wofford College: The Wofford 500
The Wofford 500 was a 24 hour challenge campaign for the Wofford Annual Fund carried out on November 15, 2012. The goal was to secure 500 individual donations in 24 hours in order to earn a $50,000 challenge gift. The primary audience for this campaign was young alumni. Primary marketing was through email and social media, but three regional event locations encouraged in-person gifts that were matched. 772 donors gave $145,617.

Woodside Priory School: 10 Day Alumni Challenge Campaign
The Alumni Office designed and executed a social fundraising effort to increase alumni donor participation and to broaden the school's reach beyond the traditional mailed solicitation. The challenge was to motivate 100 alumni donors to contribute $10,000 within 10 days. As a social campaign this effort used multiple platforms of communication to inspire participation from multiple demographics. The campaign exceeded the fundraising goal of $10,000 with a total of $17,675.00 raised and 60 alumni participants which was a 400% increase over the average of the last five years.

Woodside Priory School: Triple Challenge Annual Fund Challenge Grant
2014 Circle of Excellence Gold Medal in Challenge Grant/Matching Gift Programs
The goal of the Annual Fund Triple Challenge was to reach 100% parent participation in 100 days in order for the school to receive a $100,000 gift. Priory communications promoting the Triple Challenge, class participation percentage updates, and peer-to-peer solicitation were all utilized over the 100 days. All donors approached agreed to participate, reaching the goal of 100% participation.

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Annual Fund Young Alumni & Student Campaigns

Boston University: BU Class Gift Program
Launched in 2010, coinciding with the public launch of The Campaign for BU, the BU Class Gift Program educates current students on the importance of philanthropy and solicits a gift from the 6,000 graduates each year. In the past year, Boston University has restructured and rebranded the program to feature a new slogan, committee structure, solicitation process, and partnerships across campus. The Class of 2015 broke BU's all-time record for Class Gift fundraising with 2,600 donors.

Haverford College: Young Alumni Giving Month
2011 Circle of Excellence Silver Award in Annual/Regular Giving Programs
October 2010 was the first Young Alumni Giving Month, the beginning of an annual tradition to raise money from young alumni and celebrate the importance of their participation in the Annual Fund. A matching grant matched gifts 3:1. 694 young alumni gave, including 93 lapsed donors and 119 new donors.

New York University: 1831 Fund
A campaign conceived of and led by students, the 1831 Fund creates community action around the issue of financial aid. Graduating seniors are asked to make donations of $18.31 in honor of NYU's founding year and the presidents and a trustee offer a direct a dollar-for-dollar match. All of the results of senior class gift campaign are directed toward scholarships for incoming students. In FY12, students contributed almost $17,000.

SOAS University of London: SOAS Impact - Crowdfunding at SOAS University of London
Student projects have been one of the key areas of the SOAS Alumni & Friends Fund support over the past five years - and in June 2015, the Alumni Relations team launched the School's first ever crowdfunding platform, SOAS Impact, to grow and further develop support for students and to encourage a culture of philanthropy amongst the student body. SOAS Impact empowers students with the skills to promote and fundraise for student projects, which aim to make an impact in the lives of their fellow students, the School, and the local and global community. Since the launch - and in the period of one year - students have successfully raised over £15,000 from alumni, friends and family, staff and fellow students for their projects.

St. Mark's School: St. Mark's VIth Form Pledge Project
2012 Circle of Excellence Gold Award in Annual Giving Programs
The VIth Form Pledge Project is a participation and awareness drive for the Annual Fund lead by current students in their senior year. The goals of the program are to identify class leaders who will become class agents, build Annual Fund awareness and create a habit of giving in young alumni.

University at Albany: GOLD 1844 Society
The GOLD 1844 Society is the leadership giving recognition society for annual $1,000+ donors. It was implemented at the start of the fall 2012 semester to expand leadership giving to the younger alumni and further engage them as long term donors and volunteers.

University of Virginia School of Medicine: Leaving Our Mark Giving Campaign
The Medical Alumni Association and Medical School Foundation team up with each graduating class to host the Leaving Our Mark giving campaign to benefit the annual fund. The final class giving percentage is engraved on a brick and placed in the courtyard of the Medical Alumni Headquarters and if the class reaches 75 percent participation then a large limestone is used in place of the standard brick.

Vanderbilt University: Rising to the GOLD Challenge
2014 Circle of Excellence Silver Award in Challenge Grant/Matching Gift Programs
This special campaign was jumpstarted by an anonymous donor who pledged to contribute $100,000 to Opportunity Vanderbilt, an initiative providing undergraduate students with scholarships and grant assistance, if at least 2,800 graduates of the last decade made a gift of any size to the university by May 31, 2013. Through the use of direct mail, web tools and peer-to-peer communication, more than 3,000 graduates were motivated to give.

Wellesley College: CountMeIn Campaign
2011 Circle of Excellence Gold Award in Annual/Regular Giving Programs
2011 Circle of Excellence Gold Award in Fundraising Publications Packages
A comprehensive, integrated fundraising communications campaign aimed at the alumnae from the most recent 15 classes consisting of a customized website, advertising, direct mail, videos, emails, social media outreach and text giving aimed at increasing alumnae participation.

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Annual Fund Solicitations & Appeals

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Annual Giving

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