Making History With Love and Honor
Special Events > Special Events: In-Person (Multi-Day)
Best of CASE District V Award
Institution: Miami University
Title of entry: Making History With Love and Honor
About this entry: Miami University Advancement planned a series of events over Homecoming weekend, October 6-7, to publicly launch the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history – For love. For honor. For those who will. With Homecoming as the backdrop, we planned two days of events designed to launch the campaign with impact and engage key donors and stakeholders. Launching a campaign in a post-COVID environment presented challenges. Even though we had returned to in-person events earlier in 2022 with attendance nearing pre-COVID levels, it was a very different environment than when we launched our last comprehensive campaign 13 years ago with a glitzy, 700-person gala. The landscape for fundraising events has shifted significantly with many non-profits moving away from large, black-tie galas in favor of more meaningful event experiences. We adjusted our event model accordingly, with a two-tiered strategy that focused on stewardship for donors at the leadership giving level and a broader, game-day strategy that cast a wider net for major donors and included elements for all alumni. Both days were focused on thanking and celebrating Miamians for their contributions and service, which reinforced the key message that the campaign is launching with strong momentum. We broadened the impact beyond attendees by sending a recap video to all alumni (attached in PPT). The events also provided us with a hook to announce the campaign to local, regional and national media. The result was a high-impact launch that engaged key donors and alumni and created strong momentum for the billion-dollar campaign.