If you ever doubted the power of social media, read on to hear how one private Christian university raised $37,000 in one day through social media alone.

William Jessup University in Rocklin, California, just outside of Sacramento, planned a special online fundraising effort that may have set a one-day record for using social media to drive fundraising for higher education.

The program, Give:24, used social media to urge people to give $24 on Sept. 8, with the money benefiting programs and scholarships at the university, as well as charities selected by various university departments.

William Jessup University is transforming tomorrow, today,” said Dr. John Jackson, the University’s President. “Many new friends across the country have now joined our vision for equipping agents of transformation for people, communities and culture. Give:24 is a wonderful example of seeing how the region, state, and country are ready to embrace the mission and vision of William Jessup University.”

According to a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy survey, the largest concentrated social media fundraising effort by a higher education institution yielded $20,000.

Social media is a powerful tool to connect with our community and build relationships,” said Eric Hogue, WJU’s Vice President of Advancement. “We know that a large number of these contributors are new financial supporters of the university, significantly increasing our existing donor base.”

The university expects to continue to receive additional support in the coming days as a result of Give:24. Half of the funds raised will support programs at the university, 40 percent will be dedicated to scholarships and the remainder will go to charities selected by individual departments at the growing university.

The one-day campus wide staff and faculty effort encouraged every WJU employee to contact 24 friends, neighbors and family, asking them to give just $24.

All departments conducted business as usual throughout the 24 hour timeframe as all contributions were solicited via email and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which drove participants to the university website at www.jessup.edu.

Some of the charities slated to receive funds include the Matt Redding Foundation, Mercy Ministries, Placer Adult Literary Service (PALS), World Vision and Teen Challenge.

If your church, ministry, nonprofit, or university is looking to begin taking online donations in order to bring in more donations via the web, here are a few good online donation companies to look into:

Lauren Hunter is a freelance writer, church technology consultant (http://lhpr.net) and founder of the blog ChurchTechToday (http://ChurchTechToday.com), Technology for Today’s Church.