Fundraising is a critical aspect to advance the mission and vision of faith-based universities and seminaries. When it comes to raising funds, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the community play a crucial role.
Universities and seminaries make a difference in the world. It is important to have a solid plan in place to move your mission forward.
With that in mind, check out some of these modern-day fundraising ideas to help raise awareness and money.
Share the vision and mission
Before you start asking for money or hosting a fundraising event, be sure to share your organization’s vision and mission. When people understand the why, they are more likely to donate. Let people know what your university is doing in the world. Share how your seminary is building biblically minded leaders. Explain the difference your organization is making. Your donors will want to back an organization that is doing positive things in the world, so they need to know about them!
Share where the money is going
Some may disagree with this, but many people are often more likely to give when they see a breakdown of how funds are being used. This doesn’t have to be a to-the-dollar total. But provide givers with an overview of how their money will make a difference. For example, a percentage might go to the new building that is being erected, while another percentage will go to faculty salaries. Just be honest about the funds, and you may even see an increase in donations.
Host a Giving Day
Many nonprofits and organizations will host a “giving day,” where they dedicate a specific day to raise funds for their cause. It could be on GivingTuesday or another day entirely. Either way, a dedicated giving day is usually a 24-hour fundraising event where an organization will come together to raise awareness, engagement, and donations. Get the word out ahead of time so your faculty, students, and community know when they can participate. Include easy ways to give, like online giving or text-to-give.
eCommerce to sell merch
Another modern fundraising idea is to sell university or seminary merchandise. This could be in a brick-and-mortar store, in a pop-up tent at an event, or even online. Additionally, this strategy is two-fold. Not only does it provide funds for your organization, but it also spreads awareness. When people wear or use your products, others will see it. It’s like walking marketing. And much of the time, others will see a shirt or hat or coffee mug and want to get one too.
A gala may take a bit of work to put together, but the reward is well worth it. Host a nice evening out for current students, prospects, alumni, and the community. Provide a meal, auction items, and maybe even dancing. You can raise money through the price of admission and through auctions. Plus, you can use this as a platform to share your vision with those in attendance.
Host a silent auction to help fundraise for your faith-based university or seminary. This can be done at a gala as previously mentioned or even done on campus. Gather donated items, gift baskets, trips, and more to provide at the auction. This could be a one-day event or even over multiple days.
Use your donor database CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to reach out to alumni. Because they have been impacted by your school, they are likely to give even well after their time there. They understand the importance of the work you are doing and how you are equipping believers to walk in their calling and spread the gospel. Because of this, you’ll want to reach out to those alumni. With a robust CRM like DonorDirect, you can even keep track of who has already donated, who is interacting with your school, and who may want to be a part of what is happening.
Though this isn’t necessarily a fundraising technique, it is a beneficial tool to help gain consistent funding for your university or seminary. If somebody wants to give one time, encourage them to set up recurring giving. They can give smaller amounts on a consistent basis, rather than one large sum at one time. They’re more likely to actually give more on an annual basis.
Other Fundraising Ideas
Of course, don’t forget about crowdfunding or peer-to-peer fundraising. Set up an online fundraising opportunity for your students, community, and alumni to participate in. Or have them spread the word to their peers, family, and friends about how they can make a difference at your school.
Grow Your Organization
Talking about money isn’t always the most fun topic when trying to engage your donors. But it is necessary to raise funds so your school can reach its goals and make a difference in the lives of students and the community. DonorDirect designed our CRM and donor management tools for nonprofit ministries, so they’re tailored for your organization. Connect with us today to get started!