How Germanna Community College’s first-ever Giving Day helped support students’ critical needs amidst COVID-19 with $500k in donations

In an effort to continue providing quality education to its students and keep them from dropping out of school due to financial concerns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Germanna Community College’s first-ever Give Day focused on three critical funding priorities - helping first-generation high school students realize their full potentials, providing need-based scholarship programs, and supporting students with more emergent needs. The college successfully raised $503,855 in 24 hours and surpassed its initial goal of $300,000 by 168%.


of the dollar goal achieved


total number of gifts


of donors influenced their peers to donate

William Peace University grand welcome to the Class of 2020 virtually with Almabase

About Germanna Community College

Founded in 1970, Germanna Community College (GCC) is a community college in Virginia with campuses in Locust Grove, Fredericksburg, Stafford and Culpeper. Germanna Community College is one of the twenty-three community colleges in Virginia that comprise the Virginia Community College System.

As of 2018-2019, at Germanna Community College, 35 percent of undergraduates receive grant or scholarship aid and the average scholarship or grant award is $2,704. With over  36,000 constituents, the college provides accessible, high-quality educational and training opportunities that address various communities’ diverse and changing learning needs.

What challenges did Germanna Community College face?

1. Limited staff resources

While the advancement efforts at Germanna Community College are overseen by a five-member team, the driving forces behind Giving Day fundraising at the college are Jessica Thompson, Coordinator of Institutional Advancement and Sandra Wimberley, Germanna’s Development Officer for Institutional Advancement. 

Collectively responsible for engaging 36,000+ constituents and ensuring success for the college’s first-ever giving day campaign, Jessica and Sandra had their hands full.

2. Limited experience hosting a 24-hour Giving Day virtually

The Germanna Give Day 2020 was the first 24-hour Giving Day event in the history of the college. In addition to the challenge of limited experience with Giving Days, the Advancement Team at Germanna Community College also had to plan the event completely virtually amidst a pandemic.

3. Increased need for financial aid due to the pandemic

Germanna Community College anticipated an increased need for financial aid in the wake of COVID-19. As the college continues to impact its community through various thoughtful initiatives such as providing student scholarships and emergency needs, financial aid is the pillar for Germanna Community College.

What was Germanna Community College able to achieve after implementing Almabase?

1. Hosted the first-ever Giving Day virtually in support of students, aided by a well-defined strategy 

Germanna Community College hit the right chord with their Give Day messaging, theme and the overall strategy. The college, aided by fundraising experts at Almabase, built a well-defined digital strategy ahead of its Giving Day, successfully raising $500,000 in 24 hours and surpassing its initial goal by 168%.

Aimed at directly impacting the lives of Germanna students, Germanna Give Day 2020 addressed three giving priorities directly impacting the lives of Germanna students - help first-generation high school students realize their full potentials by driving funds to Gladys P. Todd Academy, provide need-based scholarship programs via the Germanna Guarantee program, and support students with more emergent needs via the Germanna Cares program.

Marking the institution’s 50th Anniversary, Germanna Give Day 2020 was also aimed at celebrating the nurses and healthcare workers associated with the community and honoring the institution's past in addition to building a better future.

Germanna Community College’s Give Day page got the messaging right and made a compelling appeal to all constituents to come together and show their support for the college. 

Germanna Give Day Campaign Page

$503,855 raised
329 total gifts
Achieved 168% of the dollar goal

2. Drive fundraising success by implementing an end-to-end digital marketing campaign

Aided by Almabase’s additional staff services ahead of Germanna Give Day, the Advancement & Marketing teams at Germanna Community College were able to implement an end-to-end digital marketing campaign across emails and social media. To educate their donors about the giving process and to facilitate a smooth donation process, Germanna Community College also created donor education videos that were shared with donors.

Here’s a glimpse into the email marketing campaign planned by Germanna Community College. 

Germanna Community College announcing the campaign to all potential donors via email 

Germanna Community College’s reminder email 4 days prior to the Give Day. The email urges donors to make an early gift and gives detailed information about the three giving priorities that are the critical for the day.

Germanna Community College’s ‘Last Calling’ email on the day of the campaign to create a sense of urgency amongst donors

The Advancement Team also upped its game on social media to rally support for the Germanna Give Day campaign. Check out the complete social media campaign on Facebook: 

Here’s a glimpse of Germanna Community College’s Facebook campaign #germannagiveday rallying support from alumni, friends of Germanna, parents, and staff. 

Germanna Community College’s President Janet Gullickson thanking all donors for their contribution and motivating the community to donate further towards students’ cause. View the post on Facebook.

Germanna’s alumnae and current faculty member participated in the Cap and Gown Challenge to unlock a $2500 gift during the Germanna Give Day. View the full post on Facebook.

3. Gather unconditional support from the entire community by leveraging peer-to-peer fundraising 

Germanna Community College witnessed incredible support from all its community members including friends of Germanna, board members, staff, faculty, and alumni. The institution unlocked several gift challenges and boosted the impact of donations via social giving and peer-to-peer fundraising. The college was also able to motivate different class years to compete with another for a position on the leaderboard and unlock major gifts.

Friends of Germanna alone contributed a total of 150 gifts amounting to $440,820

Various challenges unlocked during the Germanna Give Day campaign

59.53% of donors influenced gifts

Germanna Community Colleges continues to empower the lives of students by raising funds for scholarships, emergency needs, and much more via Almabase. Check out Germanna Community’s online community.

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