How the French American International School raised over $360,000 to support its community amidst COVID-19

French American International School sensed the economic impact the COVID-19 crisis would bring. In an effort to support itself and the families associated with it, the school successfully completed its 48 Hours of Giving campaign, crossing its goal of $200,000 by 181%, raising a whopping $362,575.


raised in 48 hours




donations made by current parents

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

About French American International School

The French American International School is a PK-12 independent school in San Francisco, California with over 3,000 constituents. Since founding nearly 60 years ago, the community has prepared students to navigate the world with confidence and command, empathy and joy. They achieve this through rigorous bilingual, French, and International Baccalaureate education programs, and a vibrant school culture strengthened by multilingual, multinational educators and families.

While French American International School has a larger advancement team, a large portion of the fundraising programs is overseen by only two members - Stephen Dini, Director of Advancement and Shannon Cassidy, Associate Director - Annual Giving.

What challenges did the French American International School face?

Increased need for financial aid due to COVID-19

Financial aid is a pillar for the French American International School as the school provides support to its students in the form of tuition, books, lunches, and to every family that needs help during these tough times.  

As the COVID-19 crisis continued to unfold, the school anticipated an immediate need to raise funds to ensure that its students are able to return to school and continue receiving the education that they deserve once this situation dies down.

Increased burden on parents and students

School closure carries high social and economic costs for students, especially those belonging to vulnerable or marginalized groups. There is an increased burden on parents as they struggle to deal with the financial pressure owing to forced furloughs and wage cuts. The school wanted to find a way to help support these families through these testing times.

Traditional channels for engaging donors now obsolete

Restrictions on any form of social gatherings have already put a stop to traditional fundraising events like dinners, galas, and community meet-ups, leaving all existing plans either postponed or cancelled. The French American International School, therefore, needed to find alternative ways to reach out and connect with their donors.

What was French American International School able to achieve after implementing Almabase?

Achieve and exceed its fundraising goal by 181% in 48 hours

The French American International School ramped up its digital marketing strategy with the 48 Hours of Giving campaign. The school set up a branded giving page and made excellent use of its community of loyal teachers and students to make an impact on donors. With a brilliant marketing strategy leveraging social media and emails, French American International School successfully raised over $362,575 in 48 hours.   

Here's a glimpse of the Facebook campaign with support from teachers and students. 

FAIS’s lower school music teacher making a musical ask for gifts towards 48 Hours of Giving campaign. View the post on Facebook

A FAIS student in support of the 48 Hours of Giving campaign. View the post on Facebook.

Take a look at the creative emails French American International School sent to its constituents.

FAIS started the 2nd day of the campaign with an email featuring a workout video by the school’s P.E. teacher, Marion Cohen, urging constituents to support the giving campaign

An email thanking all donors for helping the school reach its campaign goal

$362,575 raised in 48 hours
365 donors
75% donations made by current parents
19% donations made by faculty members

Peer-to-peer fundraising inspiring a sense of competition

In addition to a brilliant marketing plan, French American International School also leveraged its online community to influence donations. The school provided its donors with the ability to track the impact of their own contribution and also have an insight into who influenced the most number of gifts. With the click of a button, donors could effectively reach their entire social media network and share their contribution measurable via real-time stats, influencing their peers to also donate for the school’s cause. 

FAIS also leveraged gamification techniques like leaderboards, challenges, and tributes to invoke a healthy sense of competition between class years and various other communities.

Challenges unlocked during the campaign

Influencer leaderboard

One-click social sharing

18.9% donations from peer-to-peer influences

A streamlined fundraising dashboard with detailed insight into donation data

From creating a branded giving page to gift processing, all fundraising functions could be handled via a single dashboard easily. This made campaign management efficient and also helped facilitate an enhanced donation experience.

French American International School had access to real-time insight into all important metrics including the number of donors, total gift amount, influencers, social shares, campaign visitors, and much more. This data is easily accessible and downloadable by the staff members and acts as an efficient data point for the school to plan future campaigns.

French American International School continues to support its constituents throughout the COVID-19 crisis and organize giving campaigns round the year with Almabase. Head over to French American International School’s ‘48 Hours of Giving campaign page’.

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