Update: Additional survey results were received so we’ve updated our data!
Recently, My Class Gift conducted a survey of colleges and universities to get a sense of what schools are doing in the way of senior class giving. We had a very positive response to this survey and I would like to post some of the results. But before I do that, I want to congratulate the winner of the $25 Starbucks gift card. Sal Pennino of Dominican College in Orangeburg, NY was our lucky winner. Way to go, Sal!
The My Class Gift team got into this because we believe there is a better way to do higher education alumni giving, and we believe that we have found a solution.
The mission of My Class Gift is to transform and renew higher education alumni giving through a unique and innovative crowdfunding platform and senior class gift model. To that end, we want to know what universities are currently doing to raise senior and alumni funds, as well as what are considered the most important methods for reaching students and alumni. As we at My Class Gift continue to develop our offerings to better serve universities and alumni, we greatly appreciate that feedback. So here’s what we found.
- Of the universities that participated, 69 percent are currently conducting a senior class gift program in some form. The rest ended their program at some point in the past or just haven’t gotten around to starting one. Reasons for suspension vary but getting a good Return on Investment seems to be the most common.
- Most use paper forms (85%) and events (90%) to conduct these campaigns. Email came in second with 70 percent.
- When asked about top tactics for engaging seniors, 91 percent suggested using student ambassadors and 65 percent thought a variety of giving and pledging options was important.
- In terms of what universities are hoping to get out of their senior class gift, 87 percent rated a high participation rate as important and 75 percent rated the conversion of the seniors to consistent annual fund donors as most important.
- Participation rates varied across the board. Of the participants, 30 percent reported 5-20% or 20-50% response rate and 25 percent reported less than 5% response rate.
- Finally, almost every school currently doing a senior class gift reported individual gifts of less than $100 (83%). A handful, however, reported multi-year pledges of more than $1,000 (17%). Because My Class Gift received responses from both clients and non-clients, it was not surprising that those 17% with pledges of $1,000 (or more!) used the My Class Gift model and crowdfunding platform.
So what does all of this mean? First and foremost, it means that there is tremendous potential for universities all over the country to raise a lot more money in senior class gifts and exponentially increase participation and conversion rates among alumni. This is huge! The My Class Gift team got into this because we believe there is a better way to do higher education alumni giving, and we believe that we have found a solution. Secondly, we gained some priceless feedback on what is most important to universities and are already hard at work to incorporate these ideas into our platform, consulting services and overall strategy. That is exciting!
If you have not completed the survey yet, I invite you to please do that now. It seriously takes less than 5 minutes but can be huge for your institution as well as alumni giving across the board. Survey link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/myclassgift.
Finally, if you would like to visit with us about making your senior class gift program mean more for your institution, your seniors and your alumni, set up a FREE DEMO today. We would love to visit with you.