Like many institutions, Clemson was thinking about launching an annual giving day. They knew that one day takes a tremendous amount of planning. And since they had just wrapped up a billion-dollar capital campaign, undertaking a give day wasn’t a high priority.

But they knew it could boost alumni participation and get new donors involved. So Clemson brought us in, and together, we started thinking through how to make it happen.

We started with a small internal team, beginning with high-level strategies and design comps they could share internally to build buzz and momentum. We focused on making giving a simple and mobile-first experience and built messaging atop the cornerstone of a strong Clemson brand.

The Strategy

Eventually, the date was set. Clemson would hold their inaugural Give Day on April 7, which was also Founders Day. Since we only had 4 months lead time, we knew they needed a simple strategy and strong project management. There were many ideas we all wanted to execute, but it was important to focus on best practices and not reinvent the wheel.

Divide & Conquer

Since all the moving parts would be too much for one or two key leads, the first step was dividing into teams. We built three core teams, each with a captain: Marketing/Communications, Stewardship, and Logistics.

Project Management

Most institutions don’t have a dedicated project manager. We get that, so we worked with Clemson to build processes & workflows to help us hit tight deadlines.

Content & Social Strategy

With a limited time and budget, our content strategy focused on building awareness & urgency by creating content that students, alums, and fans would be eager to share. Clemson’s creative team created social media templates that were easy to recreate on Give Day. They also focused on high-impact content that would generate buzz in the weeks leading up to the big day.

45k

cross-channel mentions

1.6k

unique posts

94%

positive sentiment

Bringing It All Together

On the day of, engagement and awareness was driven through social media content that was easy to access & share.

The Results

300+

new donors

$137

average gift amount

$903k

total amount raised

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