Individual Stories, Indelible Impact

Columbia University sought to bring their $5 billion dollar giving campaign to life for donors, alumni and their broader community, but they were unsure how to communicate the impact of such a massive effort with simplicity. We developed a strategy that goes beyond the numbers with a narrative experience that shares individual stories while creating an indelible link between university fundraising and the achievements Columbia’s donors make possible.

Breaking New Ground

To celebrate the incredible success of The Columbia Campaign, Columbia University's Office of Alumni & Development wanted to do something differentiated from traditional university website fare—something that would create a buzz and have an impact. We got to work on an interactive strategy that would do exactly that. The plan? Giving Shapes our World would use interactive storytelling to bring donor impact to life, highlighting individual achievements made possible by the campaign's generous donors.

Intimate Portraits

Too often, donor activity can become abstracted from the very real individual achievements they make possible. We developed content strategy to highlight incredible stories from The Columbia Campaign, while making each donor a part of the work they make possible behind the scenes. Custom photography, compelling content and a cinematic user experience combine to engage visitors. Short narratives encourage exploration by quickly capturing stories of impact, while discrete donor profiles celebrate contributions and maintain focus on Columbia's innovation and achievement.

Broadening Awareness & Outreach

Upon launch, Giving Shapes Our World was an instant hit, gaining notoriety not only within Columbia, but also with the Offices of Alumni & Development of other universities. Seeing an opportunity to drive donations to their individual programs, Columbia's schools were eager to direct students and alumni to the new site. We supported this broader awareness initiative, developing school-specific digital marketing, advancing the Office of Alumni & Development's role as an advocate for the entire University.

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Columbia Fundraising Campaign Website

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Columbia University SIPA WhosOnTheBallot.org

Project Industries

  • Nonprofits & Education
  • Philanthropies & Foundations
  • Education & Academia

Services Provided

  • Interactive Services
  • Interactive Strategy
  • User Experience
  • Development & Integration
  • Content Development
  • Content Strategy
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Data Visualization