Vandal Giving Day
Description of Project
Each year, Vandals have 1,889 minutes to make gifts, challenge others to make gifts and to make an impact on the areas that have impacted them.
Goal of Project
Vandal Giving Day entered the world in 2015 as a blitz development and stewardship opportunity for small, private donations to shape the future of the University of Idaho. In 2019, the goal of Vandal Giving Day was to break free of the idea that only large donations have value and inspire greater numbers of new donors in the 35-45 year old demographic.
Implementation of Strategy
We asked ourselves how to clearly target a micro-generation known for Gen X cynicism mixed with the optimism of the Millennials. We decided to hit them in the funny bone to get their attention, and we knew we had just the way to do it. Xennials have cultural references for classic home video game consoles, and we have Joe Vandal. Could Joe become a video game character? You bet he could.
Results of Strategy
It was crucial to give our video game hero a storyline, and to inspire our donors with a clear purpose: Help Joe beat the game in one shot. Working in close partnership with University Advancement and the Office of Alumni Relations, we created a plan to leverage influencer marketing through Vandal Giving Day Ambassadors, develop matches and challenges, and elevate the level of fun. We leaned on the skill of University of Idaho Creative Services and Digital Media to mold our hero's storyline into tangible, engaging visuals to release through email, in the real world, and on social media.
Bringing It Together
Leading with social video, our hero embarked on the journey of a lifetime — Joe Vandal sat down to play a classic video game and was sucked into an 8-bit world. He was presented with challenges by video game versions of well-known and much-loved Deans of Students. Joe climbed to new heights. He dodged hazards, rose to meet challenges, and earned his victory with the help of his friends. Joe Vandal emerged from the video game victorious. With their donations, Vandals from all over the globe helped Joe unlock matches and meet challenges. In 1,889 minutes, Vandals chose to give a grand total of $439,308 in 1,795 individual gifts. These gifts supported 21 designation areas, including need-based scholarships. Social media post engagement nearly doubled the engagement of 2018.