Came across this article about how schools are experimenting with new fund raising methods by trying to utilize social media/networking to draw attention and ultimately garner contributions toward various University projects.
As many of us have experienced, every piece of mail we get from our alma mater includes a stamped return envelope, every e-mail we receive has a link to make a gift and every attempted phone call we ignore from a number we don’t recognize other than the area code where our school is located is a veiled attempt to reach into our pockets. I found this “new” method of harassment (at least as I have traditionally viewed these attempts) could actually change my opinion on the matter.
Crowdfunding (which, if you recall from the Obama campaign case) can be a powerful tool to maximize donations. This concept allows people (alumni) to donate money, in any amount, directly to specific university projects and or student/faculty led initiatives. No more contribution requests to the “general fund” or “annual capital project” but rather, you can make that gift directly to what you are most passionate about, if anything. To me, this is interesting and could actually get me to click on that link.
Basically, universities are trying their hand at this concept by using social and digital media. The key component to its success however is dependent on the word of mouth or “buzz” created by these projects.
1. What do you think is a good social strategy to increase donations? If successful, should this replace traditional methods (calls/mail/e-mail)
2. Specifically, how can universities spread the word and generate buzz about specific projects?
3. Is this just yet another way to get our hard earned (or borrowed) money? Will it this time around?