September 29, 2016 \ Rachel Jellinek
Giving Tuesday, Matching Challenges and Crowdsourcing Donations



I recently attended “Development in the Digital Age” hosted by Women in Development of Greater Boston.  Giving Tuesday, matching challenges and other blitz campaign ideas were batted around by fundraisers from small and large shops. Here are some takeaways and resources that may be helpful to check out:

Blitz Campaign Strategy

Robert Caldwell, Chief Advancement Officer, from the Holderness School

  • He relies heavily upon faculty and students as ambassadors and organizers of blitz campaigns. They have their greatest success when they empower members of their community to go into their own networks and spread the meaning of the school’s goals in their own words, instead of using branded messaging.

Lindsay Roth, Associate Director, Annual Giving, Boston University

  • One way they succeed in building community on Giving Day with their alumni base is to host parties at BU but also invite businesses that have a strong BU employee contingent to host celebrations.  They can monitor the “ticker” rising toward the campaign goal both digitally and in-person.

Stacy Joseph, Assistant Vice President, Annual Giving, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

  • They use their own website for crowd-funding purposes.  They avoid paying a cut of the money raised to the platform vendor, and they have better access to data.  In their online giving intake forms, they have added a question, “Why do you give?” Forty percent of donors fill that question out and have provided good content and feedback.

Giving Tuesday or Unique Giving Days or Both?

Robert said they prefer to have their Giving Day in February.  It is tied to a culturally significant event that is part of the school’s tradition, which creates nostalgia and emotional appeal.

Lindsay said that they do both Giving Tuesday and Giving Day as part of BU’s Spring Challenge. They have the resources to do both and have had success so they continue.

Stacy shared concern about having Giving Days possibly cannibalize other fundraising efforts and take away from existing resources without clarity around the ROI.  They have “Matching Challenge Days” instead, where they get an initial donation and do a push via email and social media to reach a match, which has been a successful approach.

Resources to Check Out


Mobile Cause