Giving websites…my 2012 opinions.

Giving is part of the holiday season and educational institutions are competing with other worthy organizations for private support. Who’s doing good work in the area of development and advancement communications? I have some opinions.

Last year, at about this time, I wrote a post about fundraising sites that were submitted for CASE District II Accolades awards. Among others, I highlighted excellent examples from Humboldt State University, University at Buffalo and University of Oregon. I’ve returned to the examples from this post several times during 2012 as I talk with clients about best practices for “giving” websites.

During some recent surfing sessions, I formed some 2012 opinions and have a few more sites that are worthy of your attention:

I was immediately drawn in by the photo on this site. Combined with a compelling cutline, this web page does a terrific job of explaining why I should 1) care about RISD students and 2) support their education in the arts. Who could look at the photo of this young artist and not want to contribute the cash needed to buy her more charcoal? I have no relationship with RISD but I almost pulled out my credit card.

RISD Annual Fund

UT Austin
The Know content hub is rich with media and stories about UT Austin. As my eye makes its way around the site, I am drawn to the Support UT widget tastefully placed in the bottom, left-hand column. After consuming some wonderful features and video, I have greater awareness about UT Austin’s global impact; perhaps supporting the university is now more likely to happen. I admire this integration of a fundraising ask within the Know magazine site.

University of Miami: The Momentum 2 campaign
I think the Momentum 2 site has the vitality and lushness I associate with University of Miami. And, since the UM College of Arts & Sciences is a current client of mine, I feel I know the place well. I also really admire the movement on this site and the dynamic approach to content. I think a campaign site should be clearly labeled and free of jargon, so I like the topic navigation on this site. I like NOT seeing confusing language like “capital gifts” or “planned giving.”

University of Miami Momentum 2

What examples can you share? Who do you think is doing exceptional work in the area of development and advancement communications? Let me know.


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