‘Grow Wagner’ was most successful fundraiser in college’s history

‘Grow Wagner’ was most successful fundraiser in college’s history

Day of Giving 2On Tuesday, Wagner College took part in the National Day of Giving with its own “Grow Wagner” campaign — which became the most successful one-day fundraiser in the college’s 131-year history.

“We raised $129,479 from 314 different people,” said President Richard Guarasci, “and our campus community played a very large part in making that happen. I am proud of the response the Wagner family gave to the challenges.”

Chief Development Officer Patrick Minson described how the campaign came together.

“Lindsay had the idea,” Minson said, referring to Lindsay Hansen, assistant director of annual giving. “A lot of schools have had ‘Day of Giving’ campaigns — in fact, we had one in August 2013, which raised $10,000 from more than 100 donors. We wanted to do it again — but more deliberately.

“We knew that the National Day of Giving was coming up, the day after Cyber Monday. Should our Day of Giving be that Tuesday? Should it be a day unique to Wagner College? Ultimately, we decided to do it on the National Day, because it was easier to recruit volunteers for a day already well recognized as a focus for philanthropy.”

And volunteers — “Social Media Ambassadors” — were crucial to the success of Wagner’s Day of Giving, Minson said.

“Lindsay worked with Shaowei Wang and Anna Mulé from the Communications Office to put it all together — and it couldn’t have been done without all three,” he acknowledged.

Wang, the Communications Office’s graphic artist, designed the images that would highlight the tweets and Facebook postings sent out to alumni, faculty, staff and other friends of the college throughout the Day of Giving, including the “Grow Wagner” photographic emblem for the campaign.

Mulé, the director of digital marketing, helped devise the social media campaign. She also produced five videos featuring Wagner personalities with distinct constituencies that were released throughout the day on Facebook and re-posted and –tweeted by the Social Media Ambassadors.

“She used the ‘Grow Wagner’ campaign theme for each video,” Minson said. “Coach Walt Hameline’s video started off the day with a ‘locker-room pep talk’ given to a potted plant.”

Other personalities who participated in the video campaign were English professor Anne Schotter, nursing dean Paula Tropello, physics professor Otto Raths and Rusty Curcio, head of dance for the Wagner College Theatre. We’ve embedded a playlist of all five videos for you to watch, below:

A large chunk of the total contributions raised on Wagner’s Day of Giving — $70,000 — came from four individuals, Minson said, but those contributions were used as challenges for matching gifts that generated an additional $59,000 from 310 people.

“We even raised $3,000 at a table stationed in the Union — faculty and staff passing through to the Hawks Nest or the dining hall stopped to give,” Minson said.

“This was a campuswide effort — really, a Wagner-wide effort, because so many people from so many parts of the greater Wagner community put so much into making the ‘Grow Wagner’ campaign a success,” he concluded. “It was a very, very good day for growing Wagner College.”

Want to help “Grow Wagner” yourself? Make a gift online at our Wagner Connect page.