U of M breaks records on Give to the Max Day 2017

Give to The Max Day is a collaborative venture led by Minnesota Community Foundation and many other organizations committed to helping make the state of Minnesota a better place. The University of Minnesota Foundation started a major push to participate in Give to the Max Day around 2012. From year to year both the University and the Give to the Max campaign have broken their records, raised more money, and received more gifts than the previous years.

Robyn White, the Associate Director at the University of Minnesota Foundation reports, "the University of Minnesota's crowdfunding website, URaiseMN, is a major destination for U online giving and fundraising year round, but especially on the University's giving day, Give to the Max Day. On the day, the U raised more than $1.4 million from 3,500 donors and a majority of gifts came through the crowdfunding websites." The crowdfunding website is built with the Drupal 7 content management system, CiviCRM 4.6 LTS, and hosted with Skvare. The URaiseMN crowdfunding site is loaded with customization to boost the power of team campaign and personal campaign pages, social sharing, user interface, and reporting. It empowers supporters to create personalized fundraising pages and share with their friends in a few simple steps.

Skvare utilized CiviCRM’s Personal Campaign Pages (PCP’s) and extended the features to improve the styling and effectiveness of the PCP’s. The modified PCP’s allows users to easily configure text and add media via a rich style editor. They can also add videos to their pages and the apply an option to add custom fields. The pages display a goal thermometer to show the total raised and beyond 100% of the goal. The site also allows people to give anonymously. Donors can choose whether or not they want their name to be displayed in the public-facing donor list or keep their anonymity with a simple click of a checkbox. "Donors report liking the ability to write notes along with their gifts for the crowdfunding page honor roll. Many U supporters check back many times during the day to see giving progress on the crowdfunding pages," says Robyn White.

Team campaign pages allow groups of people to collectively fundraise and compete with other teams. While the default PCP’s from CiviCRM focus on individual peer-to-peer giving, the new extension relays data between team pages and personal campaign pages. The team pages aggregate the data from each of the individual fundraisers assigned to the team and show totals raised by each of the team members. Creating a little competition among team members is not only a good way to boost the number of gifts received but makes fundraising more fun!

The power of P2P stems from the emotional aspect of someone asking a friend or colleague to support their cause. When someone receives an ask from a colleague or loved one, they’re 300 times more likely to give. Roughly 1 in 4 solicitation emails from peer-to-peer fundraisers resulted in donations vs. 1 in 1,250 sent by the fundraising organizations themselves. There are a range of software options out there for conducting peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraisers; from fully-hosted products, to open source DIY options. Whichever route you go, look for these features when making your selection or building your own. For more information on the custom features for the University of Minnesota’s crowdfunding website, read the case study on Skvare.com.

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