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Ending a Five Year Giving Plateau with #BowOnPoe

As a non-traditional campus, The University of Baltimore developed creative ways to engage with current students and alumni online through online Giving Days. By hosting a #GivingTuesday initiative in 2020, and their first Spring Giving Day in 2021, the University of Baltimore ended a five-year giving plateau with support from GiveGab.

Leslie Joyce, Senior Director Of Development at the University of Baltimore (Ubalt) began working with the GiveGab team ahead of their 2019 #GivingTuesday fundraising campaign, #BowOnPow. She understood the importance of having an online presence during #GivingTuesday and was looking to expand the University’s fundraising capacity and find creative ways to engage with donors online 

Leslie Joyce“The GiveGab team has allowed my team to quickly and efficiently build a Giving Day experience that provides our campus with energy and a sense of excitement about the impact of philanthropy.” 


During their first #BowOnPoe campaign with GiveGab in 2019, they raised $63,134.2, exceeding their fundraising goal of $40,000 by 57.8%. To build upon this momentum, the following year, Leslie and her team held their annual GivingTuesday campaign in 2020 as well as their first spring Giving Day in 2021. Their #BowOnPoe Giving Day, held on March 3, 2021, allowed Leslie’s team to be more strategic in their messaging and outreach to rally support for the University without the distractions of the holiday season.

What Makes #BowOnPoe campaigns unique?

Located in the Gordon Plaza at the University of Baltimore sits a statue of Edgar Allan Poe in recognition of his literary achievements. This statue is well known to all who are familiar with the university and is an integral part of their campus.

To create engagement throughout their campaigns and show their donors’ impact in a tangible way, Leslie and her team began putting a single bow on the Poe statue every time a gift was made. This attracted current students to the statue to learn more about this endeavor and allowed online donors to feel a closer connection to the campus.


Prizes and challenges were also a must for inspiring their participating funds and colleges with a little friendly competition. Leslie and her team have perfected this strategy by offering two physical prizes in addition to cash prizes.

The Giving Cup is awarded to the participating school or college that raises the most dollars, while the Bowphy is awarded to the one with the most donors. These coveted prizes instill a sense of pride for the winners and motivate the participants and their dedicated donors to get the word out about the event.

In this case study, Leslie Joyce, Senior Director Of Development at The University of Baltimore, shared her team’s experience growing their annual #GivingTuesday campaign and hosting their first #BowOnPoe spring Giving Day.

Topics Covered in this Case Study Include:

  • A brief overview of The University of Baltimore and its fundraising history prior to joining GiveGab
  • What led Leslie and her team to choose GiveGab for their 2019 #GivingTuesday campaign, and her experience working with a dedicated Project Manager
    • The importance of having an online presence during #GivingTuesday 
    • Benefits of hosting two fundraising campaigns to facilitate repeat giving and grow brand recognition
    • Creative examples of how Leslie’s team was able to engage with the Ubalt community during its Giving Days both on campus and virtually



Read more about how The University of Baltimore ended their 5 Year Giving Plateau 

Read The Case Study