UMassGives Online Ambassador Campaign Acquires 1,500+ Donors – Most of them New

The online ambassadors strike again. This time at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (a BWF_social client) where the annual giving team led the inaugural UMassGives online fundraising campaign. Sarah Sligo, Executive Director of Annual Giving at UMass Amherst, had two goals in mind when the campaign planning started – acquire new donors (specifically young alumni and students) and expand the “culture of philanthropy” around UMass Amherst. The 36-hour UMassGives inarguably accomplished both by bringing more than 800 new donors in to the fold and creating a substantial amount of buzz online by way of UMass Amherst’s growing online ambassador program. UMassGivesTweet1

Twitter was a buzz with activity, helping virally spread the culture of philanthropy at UMass Amherst.

Twitter was a buzz with activity, helping virally spread the culture of philanthropy at UMass Amherst.

In the months leading up to UMassGives, Sligo and her colleagues identified more than 200 potential online ambassadors to help promote the campaign. Nearly 150 of those potential ambassadors agreed to use their social networks to share information and build the buzz around UMassGives, creating a viral spread of awareness.

During the campaign, ambassadors received emails asking them to share updates about UMassGives on their social networks. That activity spread across the Internet, helping make news of UMassGives go viral, which ultimately led to the university raising more than $80,000 from 1,588 donors.

For more on the campaign, check out what Sarah has to say in the video below: Need help planning a campaign that acquires new donors? Check out BWF’s social media consulting services by clicking here.

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11 thoughts on “UMassGives Online Ambassador Campaign Acquires 1,500+ Donors – Most of them New

    • Thanks for you question, Samantha. This was year #1 for UMassGives, so we won’t know retention numbers until next summer. As for your donor acquisition cost question, let me double back with Sarah Sligo to get you an answer.

      • Any update on this? I’m also curious about the acquisition cost…and if they retained the new donors. Thanks!

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  4. Thanks for checking in. I want to preface this by saying we (BWF_social) were not engaged to help UMass Amherst with the second UMassGives. Which is unfortunate, because they had an even better year dollar wise the second time around! At 1,562, their donor count was nearly identical to 2013, but with $112,000 raised, they outdid the dollar amount by nearly $40,000. Of course, that doesn’t get at the root of your question – what’s the cost per donor? I’m going to try and track down this info, but especially considering the woman I worked with in 2013 has moved on, it might take a bit.

    On a related note, look for a survey from BWF_social later this summer/early fall that will tackle this question and many more regarding online giving days and fundraising campaign.

    Thanks for reading! -JW

    • Thanks for your quick response! Good for them for maintaining momentum. Looking forward to your survey. – SK

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