School’s Out! 4 Alumni & Reunion Fundraising Tips

The school year has ended and another round of students are graduating. Time to start planning class reunions!

Give your proud alumni the chance to give back to your organization. Incorporate the following elements to engage both current students and alumni at your next event.

Sell Branded Products at Reunion Events

People love to attend class reunions. Whether it’s a 5-year reunion or a 55-year reunion, your alumni will likely be interested in purchasing merchandise that reminds them of the good ol’ days they spent at school.

The type of merchandise you sell is up to you, but a few items work particularly well at alumni events:

  • T-shirts or sweatshirts (a classic favorite that everyone loves!).
  • Mugs and cups (perfect for displaying school pride at home or the office).
  • Bumper stickers (great for recently graduated high school alumni who just got their first car).

There are tons of other product fundraising ideas that work well for reunions. Get creative to find the right fit for your alumni, then incorporate into your fundraising event planning process.

Create Social Media Groups

As with any event, social media is a powerful promotion tool for school events.

Consider creating “groups” in Facebook and LinkedIn as well. Unlike pages, groups allow members to communicate about their shared interest – your school! Plus, members receive notifications by default when other members post within the group. This is a great way to get young alumni connected to their specific class and spread the word about upcoming events and fundraising activities.

Use Fundraising Technology

Select a donation platform that is easy to use and access. Text2Give®, for example, accepts text message donations from anyone, regardless of their attendance at your event. You can collect donations year-round to support various events and campaigns.

OneCause Partner Bradley University has raised thousands with Text2Give®, recently utilizing it at the Black Alumni Association Reunion because of its mobility and user-friendly nature. Plus, instructions are easy! Text the word [YOUR KEYWORD] to 243-725 (bid-pal) or visit the friendly URL[YOUR KEYWORD].

Create a Crowdfunding Campaign Along With Your Event

Before your school reunion, why not create a crowdfunding campaign with information about your event? Crowdfunding can be used for many different school fundraising ideas, but it works particularly well with school reunions.

Here’s why: your crowdfunding page can help you promote your reunion so that more alumni come and support your school.

Alumni can contribute to your campaign, as well as share your page with their family members and friends. Even more past students will see the page and not only learn about your event, but also possibly make a donation or explore your online silent auction items.

You can end your campaign a few days before the reunion and celebrate how much you’ve raised on the big day!

Know Your Alumni

Before you start planning events and inviting alumni to donate, it’s important to know who each alumnus is, their giving capacity, and how they can best fit into your fundraising strategy. A great way to make sure you’re fundraising efficiently is to screen your alumni for key donor factors like the company they work for, stock ownership, real estate holdings, and political giving.

Having a solid idea of alumni wealth means you can invite them to events and make direct asks that would be reasonable for each individual. Additionally, if you know who your alumni work for, you can maximize your donation revenue by pointing alumni towards the appropriate corporate giving resources.

Using these strategies you can more accurately plan direct asks and invite lists for events, capital campaigns, and annual fund contributions. 

Enhance your Donor Identification Strategies

Alumni events like reunions, galas, and charity auctions are unique in that most of the attendees know each other, or can at least recognize faces and names. Use this intimate setting to your advantage! Call out and thank donors by name.

There are several ways to do this. Many nonprofits choose to hand out flashy pins or some other physical accessory to indicate an attendee that is also a donor. With OneCause fundraising software, you can also use a Scoreboard® to highlight and thank your donors. This recognition often encourages additional donations when guests see their friends’ names on the big screen!

Summer months can be quiet for fundraising events. Don’t let the hot temperatures cool your fundraising efforts! Break out the BBQ and start collecting donations from your alumni today!

Wrapping Up!

To learn more about fundraising for schools, read these additional resources: