How to launch a fundraising campaign without the standard blacktie event; Bunny slippers allowed
BINGHAMTON, NY – Ready to unite alumni, friends and the campus community, a first-of-its-kind online event will launch Binghamton University’s second comprehensive gifts campaign and set it on a path to a bright, strong future.
Bold. Brilliant. Binghamton. The Campaign for Binghamton University will launch online at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 22.
The unique launch “fits the personality of Binghamton University,” President Lois B. DeFleur said. “We’re bold, cutting-edge, young and growing. And anyone can be involved in this launch and help us build Binghamton for the future.”
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first launch of this magnitude and it’s very unusual and contemporary,” said Marcia Craner, vice president for external affairs. “With a young alumni base that looks to technology for information, we wanted to move away from the black-tie gala style of campaign launch.”
The launch website will include videos featuring dozens of faculty and staff, 360-degree photos of campus locations, chat rooms hosted by Binghamton faculty and others, games with prizes and a live, streamed announcement of the campaign launch, said Rebecca Benner, senior director of advancement services and campaign operations.
“We’ll be showcasing a very human, personal element through the videos and chats as everyone talks about a place we all care about,” she said. “The launch will allow our alumni and friends to engage in a conversation with the University and with each other in a very personal way.”
The Herson Group, headquartered in Penn Yan, NY, and Washington, DC, has been working closely with Binghamton University to develop the customized and interactive website. “It will be very easy to negotiate, even for the most tech-challenged individuals,” said MJ Herson, lead agent on the project. “Guests will access the site by password and once through the ‘door,’ will be able to access a short introduction video that will offer clear step-by-step instructions on how to access the array of features. Then they can roam around and visit each of the choices, including a live ‘kickoff’ segment. Just like a real live event, you need an invitation to attend and when it is over, it is over.”
And going virtual means a significant cost savings.
"The last time we launched a campaign, the per person cost of the event was around $320,” said Benner. “This time, it’s around it’ll be in the $115 to $180 range. And more people will be invited. We expect between 750 and 1,000 guests will join us, which is up from the 438 guests who attended our last campaign launch events. The best part is that guests don’t have to get dressed up – they can join ‘party’ from just about anywhere in the world without leaving the comfort of their couch.”
To participate in the launch, register at bold.brilliant.binghamton.edu/register.