Annual Giving solicits alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff and students. Gifts are counted as Annual Gifts if they meet the following criteria:
- Fiscal year giving totals less than $25,000
- The gift is expected to be annually recurring
- The gift can be directed to current operations, endowments, capital projects, deferred or in-kind gifts
The University Advancement, Office of Annual Giving serves as the foundation for all University fundraising efforts. The collective gifts provide a stable and ever-increasing source of support for the College needs. The Donor Relations team work in conjunction with the Office of Annual Giving to coordinate Annual Giving soliciations for the College of Arts and Sciences.
The University of Washington’s centralized Direct Mail program generates the majority of gifts into the Office of Annual Giving via a highly organized and complex matrix of personalized and individualized mail solicitations that are produced throughout the year. All solicitations are developed to address each prospective donor’s school, college affiliation and giving affinities. Of equal importance is the analysis of segmentation and test results, and collaboration with each school and college unit to design the most effective targeted approach. The Direct Mail program accounts for more than 50 percent of the dollars raised by the Office of Annual Giving.
The Student Calling Program (SCP) plays an important role in the success of the Annual Giving Office’s fund-raising efforts on behalf of the University of Washington. Year-round, six days per week, UW student callers contact alumni on behalf of each campus, school, college, and program, asking for financial support for the UW. The SCP is responsible for raising over $1 million dollars from 15,000 alumni and friends on an annual basis. While the SCP is primarily focused on renewing and acquiring donors to the University, the Student Calling Program also provides many of the University’s constituents with their only direct communication with the UW. This can occur through phone solicitation, program surveys and stewardship calls.
The Online Giving Program plans and implements internet-based external communications and marketing programs to increase awareness and private support for the University of Washington. The Support UW website, created and maintained by the Online Giving Program, generates an increasing number of gifts each year and has proven to be an effective tool for donor acquisition and renewal. The program manager also offers expertise to Advancement units to enable online donations through school, college, program and department websites and e-newsletters. Secure online giving capabilities can be added to any UW website free of charge, courtesy of the Office of Annual Giving.
Steps for basic stewardship:
- Timely/consistent thank you’s for gifts to your department – change thank you language regularly. The Dean’s Office time frame to mail a thank you to a donor is one week, and we change our thank you message three times a year.
- Thank payroll deduction and reoccurring pledge donors quarterly, to avoid sending a thank you every week or two.
- Acknowledgment of first-time donors to your department
- Regular communication to donors on your use of private support. This can be in a newsletter, an annual letter from the Chair/Director, and/or brief phone calls to close supporters.
- The Donor Relations team can help order thank you card and suggest messaging for thank you cards.
- The team will also consult on special donor groups, including faculty/staff/retiree and planned giving donors.