Creating Giving Circles to Increase Annual Giving

Last updated November 19, 2014

Course Length

1h 22m

Last Updated

November 19, 2014

Creating Giving Circles to Increase Annual Giving

Last updated November 19, 2014


A strong and diversified alumni giving pipeline can increase your annual giving numbers and help your shop insulate itself from future fundraising downturns. One way to diversify your annual giving portfolio is to create an affinity-based giving circles program, which helps to alleviate donors’ doubts about unrestricted giving.

Join us online to consider a new model for growing and retaining your alumni donors. You will be introduced to Illinois Wesleyan University’s “giving circles” model, which upon its launch saw a 300% increase in participation and converted 15% of participants from young alumni non-donors. Along with a comprehensive program overview, you will learn tactics for:

  • Selecting and training program “influencers”
  • Integrating the program into your current efforts
  • Building buy-in for the program
  • Monitoring progress
  • Scaling the program for your institution

Who should attend?

Annual giving, alumni relations, and development professionals who want to increase annual giving and cultivate alumni donors will benefit from this program.


  • Institutional Context
    • Enrollment, alumni base, and shop structure
    • Program backdrop and genesis
    • Program successes
  • The Program Model
    • Funding goals
    • Grassroots structure
    • Influencers
    • Focus on participation vs. dollars
  • Selecting and Recruiting Influencers
    • Example backgrounds
    • Introducing the program
    • Developing FAQ sheets
    • Initial and ongoing training
  • Eight Steps to Implementing at Your Institution Including:
    • Building buy-in
    • Going automated
    • Monitoring progress
    • Translating the model to a larger setting
  • Measuring Results
  • What’s on the Horizon, Upcoming Trends