Vandal Giving Day
Each year on Vandal Giving Day, Vandals have 1,889 minutes to make gifts and challenge others to make gifts to U of I. But some people believe only large donations make a difference. To break free of this idea, we wanted 2019’s campaign to inspire more new donors in the 35- to 45-year-old-demographic to take part in Vandal Giving Day.
We needed to grab the attention of a micro-generation known for Gen X cynicism mixed with Millennial optimism. We decided to hit them in the funny bone, and we knew just the way to do it: Transform U of I Joe Vandal into a classic home video game hero.
We gave our video game hero a storyline to inspire donors with a clear purpose: Help Joe beat the game in one shot. We developed gift matches and challenges. We leveraged influencer marketing through Vandal Giving Day Ambassadors. We created engaging visuals for email and on social media. and we even brought digital versions of well-known and much-loved Deans of Students into the game.
Vandals from all over the globe helped Joe unlock matches and meet challenges. In 1,889 minutes, Vandals gave $439,308 in 1,795 individual gifts. These gifts supported 21 different areas, including need-based scholarships. And social media post engagement nearly doubled from the previous year.