In this time of social distancing, colleges and universities around the country are looking for ways to safely bring their campus community together. For many schools, a higher ed crowdfunding campaign or Day or Giving provides the engagement and excitement they need to rally their community. Not to mention, it provides the much-needed funds that keep programs alive.
KDG has been celebrated for our award-winning higher ed crowdfunding campaigns. From a five-year record-breaking streak with Drexel University to an inaugural campaign with Fenwick High School, we’ve seen firsthand the impact a crowdfunding campaign can have on campus culture.
What is a Crowdfunding Campaign?
A crowdfunding campaign is an annual tradition colleges and universities have turned to in order to boost engagement and fundraising. Usually, the campaign uses an online giving portal that students, alumni, and friends from around the world can donate through. Donors react positively to these events because they encourage small donations as opposed to big gifts. They also create a common cause that donors can rally around.
The best campaigns are the ones that engage alumni, students, and other donors for 24 hours. By building different games and challenges into your campaign, you can keep donors coming back throughout the day. For example, KDG’s most popular campaigns are ones that unlock new features after every 50 donors or so; features like videos, images, or clues to a larger puzzle. The evolution of the portal and the fear of missing out pique donors’ curiosity. You’ll find them refreshing the page time and time again, and maybe even making a few extra donations.
Crowdfunding with KDG: From Concept to Completion
A typical crowdfunding campaign with KDG can be completed in roughly three months, but planning ahead ensures that your campaign is successful online and off. Sometimes clients begin planning with us as early as six months before their Day of Giving!
Never held a crowdfunding campaign before? Our team of experts is by your side from concept to completion to help brainstorm themes, wireframe designs, plan goals and challenges, and even provide technical support during the campaign.
The success of your campaign rests on a unique and engaging theme that rallies donors around a common cause. Giving is about more than donating money, but achieving a goal, whether that’s unlocking a secret door, unveiling a new mascot, or unraveling a cryptic clue. Some of our most popular campaigns have involved missing mascots, space adventures, and hidden treasures.
Our team will challenge yours to think about and answer the following questions:
- What makes your school different?
- What’s a popular visual representation of your school?
- What’s a cause that students, staff, alumni, and families can rally around?
When we have these answers, we have the campaign’s first major building block. Challenges, games, designs, marketing, and more will revolve around this theme.
You want to build excitement, right? Like a trailer for a new film, game, or book, you want your students to be thinking about the campaign weeks or months before it launches. A ‘coming soon’ page gives them a brief glimpse at the campaign’s theme and allows them to sign up for more information.
Design & Development
This is where your crowdfunding campaign comes to life! Fonts, color, branding, videos, and custom illustrations come together into a bold, bright, and unique design for your giving portal. The design is made responsive so that users on desktop or mobile can participate.
Designs can closely match your school’s brand, or mold familiar elements into something new. When Drexel University went with a steampunk theme in 2017, the brand’s colors were present but muted to look more vintage. Meanwhile, the familiar dragon mascot took on a gold hue to match the mechanical gears throughout the design. Now’s your time to think out of the box.
Development focuses on the functionality of the giving portal. Interactivity is a big reason for a campaign’s success, from real-time leaderboards and progress bars to custom badges and maps. Our developers make sure your platform’s bells and whistles are running smoothly, while also ensuring that data is accurately displayed and quickly delivered to your team.
Testing & Support
We won’t let any crowdfunding campaign go public if it hasn’t been thoroughly tested to account for every possible situation that could occur come the big day. Our developers, designers, and even our sales team runs through the donor experience from beginning to end. Your team is also given the ability to test different scenarios and see the campaign through the eyes of a donor.
Once the 24-hour campaign launches, we’re by your side to provide round-the-clock technical (and moral!) support. We’ll pinpoint any issues, ensure the integrity of donor data, and be a phone call away if you have a question. Following the campaign, our team will meet with you to give you a breakdown of its performance from every angle and help you make next year’s event even better.
A Higher Ed Crowdfunding Campaign in Action
Not sure whether a giving campaign is the right way for your school to increase engagement? Take a look at some of our clients and what their Day of Giving campaigns look like in action.
There’s nothing quite like a campus event that gets your community excited! These traditions don’t have to end, but the face of them can change. Don’t hesitate to reach out to KDG to learn more about online crowdfunding campaigns and how we can help you bring your campus community together…even at a distance!