Stony Brook, NY
Stony Brook University (SBU) was set to launch its second annual online giving day in April 2020.

Although the focus was initially on building a Student Engagement Team to increase the number of alumni gifts on the giving day through increased use of student-driven video content, the pandemic forced the cancelation of the giving day and meant pivoting to fundraising for the Student Emergency Fund (SEF) by using the same tactic—student-centered, video-driven content.

After developing a job description and posting the position, students were interviewed and a team of six student gift officers (SGOs) were hired and trained. A digital strategy was developed for warming constituents and eventually soliciting donors—all through content created by the SGO team.

Student-led, video-driven fundraising allowed SBU to continue fundraising during a turbulent time.
Paul Muite
Executive Director • SBU Annual Fund

The impact was significant. Video emails from the SGOs outperformed all others, including those university leadership, by a nearly 3:1 ratio. Far more donors and dollars were raised for the Student Emergency Fund thanks to the new SGO program. This was especially critical for SBU, given that the call center was closed and only a handful of students were able to make remote calling work during the pandemic.

Stony Brook University utilized the digital service offered by BWF. To learn more about this solution, click here.