Class gift hits the heights!
As of graduation day, May 15, the Class of 2016 had broken the Class Gift record for number of donors, with that number reaching 2,705, a full 16 percent increase over last year’s class at Commencement. The total amount raised was more than $95,000 for 169 funds at BU.
So how did they do it?
According to Class Gift campaign co-chairs Monica Meiterman-Rodriguez (CGS’14, COM’16; left photo) and Juliana Zeta Villanueva Freeman (CAS’16; right photo), the first step was convincing classmates that the Class Gift is the starting point for creating a philanthropic relationship with BU and a strong link to the University after graduation. And the second step was challenging students to honor a meaningful experience. Said Meiterman-Rodriguez: “We wanted our classmates to think about giving a gift, no matter how much, to a fund or group that helped them grow at BU, as a way of reminding them of the influence those groups had on their lives.”
“We wanted our classmates to think about giving a gift, no matter how much, to a fund or group that helped them grow at BU, as a way of reminding them of the influence those groups had on their lives.” —Monica Meiterman-Rodriguez
They also wanted to make sure their peers understood the impact of the Class Gift. “I think it instills a sense of appreciation for what they experienced and leads to a greater inclination to support the University in the future,” said Freeman.
Class Gift leaders organized their campaign strategically by forming committees for specific tasks: for fundraising events, social media outreach, marketing, and personal appeals. “Essentially, we tried to keep students constantly aware and interested in the mission,” Meiterman-Rodriguez said.
It worked! In the end, said the co-chairs, it was as much about what the seniors were grateful for and wanted to honor as it was about raising money. And judging by this year’s success, Class of 2016 members are already showing promise as tomorrow’s BU philanthropists.