In search of fresh, new ideas that appeal to current students and young alumni—the key to cultivating the next generation of donors—and infuse excitement about giving among the faculty and staff, the development team decided to sample one-day giving campaigns.
Other colleges and non-profits had found success with these 24-hour fundraising blitzes. Berea decided to hold one in 2016, establishing a trend for colleges in Kentucky. Since the College had never undertaken a fundraising campaign of such magnitude before, much of the initial planning for the inaugural Giving Day was dedicated to creating a strategy for success. The first Giving Day in 2016 had a modest goal of $25,000. It exceeded all expectations, bringing in nearly $200,000.
As the second Giving Day approached on August 31, 2017, the campus community, alumni, and friends brimmed with excitement, eager to promote the event. After the overwhelming success of the inaugural Giving Day, the target for 2017 grew exponentially and earned a tagline: $200K in a Day. Wearing orange T-shirts with a blue and white gift box proclaiming “Giving Day” at Berea College, a team comprised of staff and students from Alumni and College Relations went to work. The campaign called for a dedicated website, promotional emails, videos, and campaigning on social media. Those activities combined with fielding phone calls at the end of Giving Day to ensure a successful event.
Twenty-four hours later, the final tally came in above goal at more than $208,000. The generosity of friends and Bereans continued in the weeks that followed. All totaled, the second Giving Day brought in a goal-shattering $231,575! Of the 546 donors who helped us reach our total, 63 percent were alumni.
With two consecutive years of success, Giving Day will become an annual event that encourages philanthropy and showcases the mission that makes Berea such a unique and worthy place to support. Thank you for believing in the work we do.