Online Giving Days are hot right now in higher ed fundraising circles, but they’re not new. The model can be traced back to the America’s Giving Challenge in 2007, and it has been used with notable success in a range of contexts, especially by community foundations. It has taken higher ed awhile to appreciate the potential of online giving days, but everybody sat up and took notice last October when Columbia University raised $6.9 million in 24 hours. That success garnered national attention, in addition to a CASE Grand Gold Award for Innovative Use of Technology in Fundraising.

This show featured guests perfectly positioned to give us insight into this topic: CloEve Demmer is the architect of that groundbreaking campaign at Columbia, and Justin Ware, Director of Interactive Communication at Bentz Whaley Flessner,, is a widely-respected thought leader on online giving and online ambassador programs. Topics covered included the structure and results of the Columbia initiative, key points in pitching online giving days to leadership, organizational readiness for this sort of challenge, effective deployment of volunteers, and donor and volunteer stewardship.

UPDATE: Since writing this post, excitement about online giving days has increased even further because Columbia proved that their success in 2012 was not a fluke. The 2013 Columbia Giving Day raised $7.8 million from 9,759 gifts. That works out to $326,151/hour. If you focus on the gifts, it’s 407 gifts/hour. Either way, it’s a stunning success. Congratulations to CloEve and everyone else at Columbia who worked hard to make it happen!

This show was sponsored by


iModules Software is the leading constituent engagement management provider for educational institutions. iModules delivers an integrated, online platform that transforms how institutions strengthen constituent relationships and achieve fundraising success.

CounterMarch Systems

From registration to check in and participation, CounterMarch Systems provides software that alumni and staff love to use. We build comprehensive, easy-to-use systems that handle the complexities of reunions and homecomings so that your staff are free to do the important work of alumni engagement. Our mobile apps provide a platform for alumni networking and social media connectivity before and after the event and are “integration-ready” for a seamless user experience.


Andrew Gossen

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