Event with Donations: Union College

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As Union College in Schenectady, NY was preparing for reunion, they began looking for ways to increase donor participation while also adding to the annual fund. Constituents were already coming to their site to register for the event, so the challenge was how to further engage those individuals and turn them into donors as well.  


Union College incorporated giving options into the online event registration process during their 2018 ReUnion. As guests worked their way through the event registration process, they were brought to the Additional Options step on the form where Union College included a pre-populated donation box. Language at the top of the page informed the registrant that an automatic $5.00 gift was added to their registration in honor of the attendee’s class reunion. Registrants were able to increase the gift if desired by entering a higher amount in the box (the amount could be decreased as well). Registrants were also given the option to choose a Designation for the gift, including the unrestricted Annual Fund. the back end for reporting and administrative efforts.

Once the registrant reached the billing step, they had to enter a credit card only one time to complete both the ticket purchase and the donation. Donation and event dollars remain separate on the back end for reporting and administrative efforts. 


Union College experienced great success from adding a donation to its event registration: Out of 576 primary registrants:

  • 63% donated the pre-filled $5.00
  • 33% increased their gift from $5.00
  • 4% decreased their gift but still gave
  • 83.4% designated their gift to the Annual Fund
  • 128 donations came from alumni who had not donated in 2+ years
  • All but 28 alumni made another gift at some point in the year

While $2,880 would have been raised if each of the 576 registrants would have stuck with the $5.00 donation, Union College ended up raising a total of $24,773.83 in donations through ReUnion 2018 registration.

Screenshot of the main Union College ReUnion 2018 registration page

Screenshot of the Union College ReUnion 2018 registration page with optional donation routing overlay