Many shoppers are spending these final weeks of the year frantically searching for that perfect gift for a loved one. There are also many thoughtful gift-givers looking for a way to support their communities this holiday season. Your educational foundation is the perfect place for these good samaritans to both find gifts and to give back.
How do you put your foundation at the top of the wish list? Here are some gift ideas that encourage alumni to connect with and give back to their alma maters:
Create a holiday-specific giving campaign
Use your existing fundraising platform to create a holiday-specific giving opportunity. Encourage donors to contribute in honor of a specific alumnus, such as a child, parent or grandparent. Offer to make something creative for alumni who raised donations, whether it be a social media shout-out or displaying names somewhere on campus. Create a graphic that gift-givers can use to print a lovely memento notifying them of the donation.
Encourage a class gift
Is there a specific need in your schools that could be funded somewhat easily? Encourage an alumni year or class to organize a class gift. If the Class of 2004 will be reuniting this holiday season, for example, have an engaged alumni collect funds for a specific project like a new classroom set of books or updating the bike racks. If the campaign is targeted at a smaller group with a specific funding goal, it may be easier for alumni to donate.
Promote school merch
Does your school sell merchandise featuring the school logo and colors? Remind your community that these items make for great gifts! No matter how long it has been since graduation, many alumni will be excited to receive a t-shirt, mug or other gear representing their alma mater.
Set up hours on campus or at a local community space where students can sell items for last-minute holiday shoppers. Gifts that give back are popular, and gift givers will feel good about buying something that supports the school’s educational foundation or athletic programs.
Tickets to the hottest show in town
If your school’s students will be putting on a winter recital, encourage alumni to purchase tickets for a holiday gift or for a special night out. Supporting local art events not only rewards the student performers for their hard work, but it also financially supports programs.
Register for Amazon Smile
If your education foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can easily add your organization to the Amazon Smile program. Amazon donates .5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organization a shopper selects.
Once your foundation is available through Amazon Smile, encourage alumni and your community to designate your education foundation as their selected charity. They will be donating to your foundation while making their regular gift purchases. Remember that they need to use the smile.amazon.com link for your foundation to receive contributions.
This holiday season, remind alumni and your community that a donation to your educational foundation is a gift that never goes out of style!