Spurred on by the theme, “I am Whittier,” the Poet community set a new participation record for the College’s fourth annual Big Poet Give, with a total of 1,518 donors.
Eight matching challenges hosted throughout the day helped raise more than $279,000 for the Whittier Fund, athletics, scholarships, and other areas around campus, surpassing last year’s dollar total. Young alumni—graduates of the last decade—also set a new participation record.
During a campus celebration, current students learned about philanthropy and wrote nearly 400 thank you notes to donors.
Giving Days are increasingly popular with non-profit organizations, especially in higher education. Whittier has been on the forefront of this trend for several years. Members of the Office of Advancement recently spoke about their successful strategies to an audience of peer colleges at the 2019 Meeting of the Minds Conference in Pomona, California.
“We highlighted our digital tactics that allow us to reach a global audience,” said Alex Popescu, director of annual giving. “We have to meet our donors where they are. This year we introduced Venmo as a giving option, which is a digital wallet that is popular particularly with our young audience. The results speak for themselves: 20% of our gifts came in via Venmo. Continuously innovating this campaign and others is a challenge our team accepts ever year.”