April 2014

Santa Clara University’s $796,000 Day

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 29, 2014— Santa Clara University got the happiest of surprises on April 23, when it launched its first ever one-day giving challenge dubbed  “ALL IN FOR SANTA CLARA.”  
With a starting goal of rallying at least 1,001 donors to meet a $100,000 challenge grant from alumni Julie and Mark Robson, the University found itself well past that goal only three hours into the 24-hour campaign. Development officials quickly lined up an anonymous second donor to pose a second matching grant of $100,000, provided another 1,001 donors stepped up. That goal was also met and surpassed. 
By the end of the day, the university had logged 2,973 donors – up from a previous one-day record of only a couple hundred.  The final dollar tally was a tremendous $795,785.  
The tally included:
*2,972 donors (2,187 of them alumni)
*$268 average gift per donor (not including challenge gifts)
*418 first-time donors
*183 separate funds supported
*177 faculty/staff donors
The effort entailed weeks of planning and, on the day, two dozen different e-mails to tens of thousands  of alumni and supporters, as well as a daylong barrage of social media posts by organizers and participants alike. Each campaign message invited fans of the University to show their support to any one of multiple programs on campus, from scholarships to ethics research to sports. 
Some of the elements of the campaign that organizers say helped make the day a record-breaker  include: 
*Allowing alumni to give to campus programs of their choosing – from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics to the engineering and business schools, to the general Santa Clara Fund.  
* Two dozen specialized e-mails to alumni with affiliations around campus, including one to more than 53,000 alumni from SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., which alone  raised $148,000 – the university’s most successful single e-mail campaign yet. 
 *Giving donors a quick and easy way to share on Facebook and other social media that they had just given. Many post-ers proudly noted the number their donation represented on the march to 1,001 donors, or urged friends into giving with public entreaties.