Mega Gift Donations & How You Can Get Them

An anonymous $100 million mega gift donation was made to Baylor University this week. It is the largest major gift the school has ever received.

And it’s just one in a series of multi-million dollar donations from Baylor alumni and families that came as part of a $1.1 billion fundraising campaign.

Baylor University is a small, private institution and if you look at their alumni statistics, you might find that their alums are much like yours. So how have they been able to secure such large sums of money?

What can you do to mimic their fundraising success and get mega gift donations of your own?

Alumni Engagement is the Key to Mega Gifts

Alumni Matthew Linder and Sherri Patton have each donated $2 million to Baylor in the past few years. They both said they did it because they felt a strong connection to their school.

And if you think about it, that’s not surprising. One of the main reasons people donate to charity is because they want to be a part of the positive impact it will make on others.

Staff at Baylor know that effective alumni engagement is the key to fundraising. So last year, they launched a strategic plan called Illuminate. It focuses on academics, athletics, financial support for students and more. It will impact all aspects of campus life.

Baylor’s team recognized that involving their alumni in developing this strategic vision would boost engagement and giving. So their ambitious campaign, Give Light, was meticulously developed around a clear academic plan.

They made sure that potential donors knew the campaign’s goal and why they were raising money. That paved the way for their enormous success and it’s how they generated several mega gift donations.

Universities Need To Give Back Too

Community spirit shouldn’t end after graduation so Baylor University goes above and beyond to thank those who contribute to their institution. Their media relations department also highlights the fruits of those gifts.

  • John and Nancy Jackson currently co-chair the Give Light campaign. They received special recognition when they purchased their 13th consecutive season ticket.
  • Bill and Pat Carlton, also co-chairs, received the Alumni of the Year award in 2017 for their contribution to Baylor.

How do you thank alumni who contribute to your campaigns?

Alumni who feel they are getting something in return, are likely to renew their annual memberships. Baylor sends its alumni a magazine that could compete with National Geographic, in terms of style and production.

Have you given thought to what your institution is offering your alumni?

Aside from asking your alumni to give through email-marketing, high-quality communication material and exclusive events are great ways to keep your alumni in the loop. And it gives your institution the opportunity to give back in return.

Congratulations to Baylor University for all its success! Follow their lead – invest in engagement and watch major gifts come rolling in!

Request free alumni statistics for your school to get started. 

Sources & Additional Information

[1] Baylor University,

[2] Matthew Lindner,

[3] Sherri and Robert Patton,

[4] Why People Donate,

[5] Motivating Grads To Give,

[6] Give Light,

[7] Free Alumni Statistics

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