Sun Devil Giving Day social media
March 2015 and March 2016
Sun Devil Giving Day is Arizona State University’s university-wide day of giving that takes place every March. It aims to celebrate the role of philanthropy and encourage gifts to the university from everyone in the ASU community, whether they are alumni, employees, supporters or community leaders. It is an initiative that is led by ASU Foundation’s annual giving department, but is supported by the entire organization.
As manager of online communication for the ASU Foundation, one of my daily responsibilities was to manage the ASU Foundation social media channels, namely Facebook and Twitter. This role became magnified on Sun Devil Giving Day, as we used social media to promote Sun Devil Giving Day and help make it successful.
To do this, I conducted research on our social media audience and social media efforts. I worked directly with the annual giving department to develop a comprehensive social media plan to promote the most important day for online giving at ASU. I then created and curated content for use in the lead-up to, and during Sun Devil Giving Day.
While Sun Devil Giving Day is just one day on the calendar, the work required for such an event started months in advance. As manager of online communication, I had completed extensive research on our social media accounts, including a comprehensive audience analysis. This would come into play greatly when it came time for Sun Devil Giving Day.
Working with the annual giving department, we created a social media plan for both the ASU Foundation and the Sun Devil Giving social media accounts. Now that we had an understanding of the makeup of our audience, we were able to create content for this group. Our pre-SDGD content aimed to inform the audience of the upcoming Sun Devil Giving Day and build up excitement and interest. It also aimed to show how important philanthropy was to the mission of ASU, and how all gifts, big and small, contribute to the success of the university. On the day itself, we aimed to encourage gifts and thank donors for their support.
Once the plan and schedule was finalized and approved, I worked on crafting social media messages tailored for our Facebook and Twitter channels. I collaborated with our editorial team for content and our graphic design team to create graphics. Using both repurposed and newly-created content, I created a social media calendar for the entire month leading up to Sun Devil Giving Day.
Sun Devil Giving Day has become the most important day in the annual giving calendar, and our social media efforts were certainly one of the reasons that the 2015 edition became the most successful Sun Devil Giving Day ever, both in terms of number of donors and dollars raised. The next year, we surpassed these numbers once more. Sun Devil Giving Day continues to grow in importance and impact, continuing the momentum.
Below: Excerpts of the social media plan. The principles and metrics I laid out in this 19-page plan drove the strategy for ASU Foundation social media, including on Sun Devil Giving Day.
Below: SDGD Social media calendar. This laid out the social media posting schedule for Sun Devil Giving Day and the weeks leading up to it.
Below: Social media graphics. Two sample graphics created for Sun Devil Giving Day 2016.