Large event solicitations are often a very effective means of engaging a class, however, these events require a lot of planning, marketing and resources to result in a high and enthusiastic turnout. It is incredibly important that large events are not the sole method of soliciting a class, even if they may appear to be the most attractive strategy.
When utilized, large event solicitations are recommended toward the end of the spring semester. We recommend weeks 10 to 13 as the most ideal time for an event. This provides the earlier part of the semester to build interest and make personal invitations. Regardless of the format of the event, Class Gift Committee members should have an active role in planning the event as well as leading the event program. The program should include an explanation of the Class Gift, information on the impact the Class Gift, and an opportunity to sign up for pledges. Using the My Class Gift platform will allow immediate feedback on amount pledged and ranking in comparison with other Class Gifts.
Some sample solicitation events include the following:
- Senior Night – Senior Night is very popular with college students. This event provides an opportunity to gather in a casual atmosphere, but also serves as an ideal setting to introduce the Class Gift to the whole graduating class. Senior Night can be held on campus or in a reserved space at a local restaurant.
- Dinner and Program – Hosting a dinner is a great event for a Class Gift Program. College students are often eager to receive a complimentary meal, which makes for good turnout and an appreciative audience. If not utilized as a solicitation, a dinner is also an excellent end-of-the-year event to announce the Class Gift and thank those seniors who have already pledged. A dinner event can create an urgency and a deadline for those students who may want to attend an exclusive event.