May 23rd, 2016

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.

4 Comments on Class gift hits the heights!

  • Funnily, there were a lot of awards given by BU to donors which exceeded the value of the donation. That’s money management at its best.

  • My comment is awaiting censorship.

  • I passed your message along to the Class Gift staff, who had this to say:

    “Hi Debbie,

    While we do provide donors with stewardship perks, that’s just part of standard best practices for recognizing those who want to build a better BU. We want all of our donors – especially those who are the future of the University, like students – to know that we appreciate their generosity, be it by giving their time, talent, or treasure. The average gift of the Class Gift program is around $35 and the committee volunteers have logged over 2,000 hours volunteering for BU. Any recognition efforts, in total, cost much, much less per donor and are simply serving as a way for us to say “thanks”. We are happy to chat about this more if you email giftprgm@bu.edu. Thanks for your feedback!

    BU Class Gift”

  • And thank you for your patience while the comment was moderated. I’m the only one who moderates and I was out on Friday. We moderate for spam (which we do receive), to ensure no one posts links to dodgy websites (which they do try to do); we do not moderate for content (unless it were horribly offensive, which, fortunately, I have not seen).

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