Announcing the Winners of AGN’s Best in Annual Giving Challenge

Posted on 02/24/2019

AGN is pleased to announce the winners of its recent Best in Annual Giving Challenge. After reviewing more than 300 entries from institutions around the world, a panel of AGN’s faculty selected the “10 Best” based on overall quality, uniqueness, and level of innovation.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Challenge and congratulations to all of our nominees and winners. We’re already looking forward to the next challenge this fall!

Winners of AGN’s Best in Annual Giving Challenge

  • William & Mary used nostalgia to appeal to each of its alumni classes by sending segmented emails that highlighted the most popular movie, album, and pop culture item from the summer of the recipient’s freshman year.
  • UNC Charlotte texted recent graduates with a brief survey and used responses to drive solicitation and engagement strategies.
  • Smith College promoted monthly giving through their print magazine and as a first ask in their phonathon scripts.
  • Washington & Jefferson College launched a special challenge via email during what is typically a slow time for giving day activity.
  • Harvard Business School placed pop-up ads with a “countdown meter” on its alumni website during the final month of its fiscal year to encourage year-end support.
  • The University of St. Thomas asked current recurring gift donors to increase their donations by offering a special edition pint glass from a local brewery as a premium.
  • Boise State University quickly organized an emergency crowdfunding campaign to support a remote research center that was damaged by wildfires.
  • Penn State College of Medicine sent an email appeal that was cleverly disguised as a stewardship piece to reactivate lapsed donors.
  • Caltech ran its successful giving day on a budget of less than $500.
  • Williams College offered a matching challenge where each donor’s gift was increased based on the number of hours they put into community service.

Search for these winning ideas and over 300 more in AGN’s Sample Library

All of the Challenge entries can now be viewed in the AGN Sample Library, a new resource where AGN Members can search for and download examples and templates from hundreds of annual giving programs around the world. It includes donor appeals, caller scripts, gift acknowledgements, volunteer materials, and much more. Many of the samples feature additional information about the initiative such as goals and results.