Boston University Giving Day Case Study – How to Boost Annual Fund Participation

On April 30, 2014 the Boston University community, including 300,000 alumni from around the globe, 30,000 students and 9,000 faculty and staff members, came together online and on campus for BU’s first Giving Day. By the end of this one-day event, the community had raised $1.1M for the BU Annual Fund from 3,126 donors from 46 U.S. states and over 25 additional countries.


Institutions large and small have raised hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of dollars during Giving Days. If you have considered organizing a Giving Day, but hesitated because you’ve never done one before or because you were concerned about the resources required to pull it off successfully, this webinar is for you. Phil DiMartino, Assistant Director of New Media Fundraising For Annual Giving, Hilary Shepard, Director of Annual Giving at Boston University,and Miriam Kagan, Senior Fundraising Principal at Kimbia, will walk you through Giving Day best practices and BU’s participation data by geography, segment (student, recent grads, faculty, staff, etc.), donor type (first-time, SYBUNTs, LYBUNTs, etc.), and channel to share how they:

  • Planned for and marketed this key new component of their annual fundraising campaign
  • Obtained matching funds of $250,000 from BU trustee Stephen Karp (CAS’63) and micro-challenge funds for school/college focus
  • Implemented an Online Ambassador program to help spread the word
  • Generated interest throughout the community across multiple channels with an emphasis on social media
  • Enabled 15% of donations to be made by mobile devices
  • Coordinated both campus and social media activities
  • Analyzed their results to determine how to make their event even better next year