Sam Sussman, an 18-year-old from Orange County, coolly delivered an address supporting gay rights in October 2009 at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. The politics, philosophy and law major had earned the spot in the march by winning an “Equality Idol” contest on YouTube in which he discussed the importance of gay rights.
At a first-of-its-kind online event in April, Binghamton University launched its second comprehensive gifts campaign.
Bold. Brilliant. Binghamton. The Campaign for Binghamton University was launched via a website that included a live, streamed announcement of the campaign goal of $95 million, videos featuring dozens of University faculty and staff, 360-degree photos of campus locations and chat rooms hosted by Binghamton faculty, students and alumni.
Over the course of the lively, two-hour, real-time Internet event, the site had more than 1,500 visits that produced close to 20,000 page views. ‘Party-goers’ roamed the website vying for prizes and casting their votes for their favorite one-minute videos produced by members of the University community. Topping the most-visited list were the chat rooms, with the most popular of the 17 conversations being those associated with residential community affiliated groups.
Without ever leaving their homes or offices, participants were able to celebrate Binghamton University from New York to San Francisco, and in countries as far away as India and Australia.
"As far as we know, we were the first university to launch a campaign this way," said Rebecca Benner, senior director of advancement services and campaign operations. "And I'm sure with the economy the way it is, we won't be the last to do so. The launch was a great success – both cost-wise and in the number of people we were able to reach. It also was a great way to show rather than tell our friends and supporters that Binghamton is at the forefront of communications and technology."
The Herson Group, headquartered in Penn Yan, N.Y., and Washington, D.C., worked closely with Binghamton University to develop the customized and interactive website.
"We were very pleased with the way the event played out," said MJ Herson, lead agent on the project. "We had relatively few glitches and those we did have were quickly dealt with. With steady traffic in all of the features, including our Twitter feeds and updates to Facebook, our guests were able to communicate with one another through a wide range of vehicles. More importantly, they were able to engage with Binghamton University is a very new and dynamic way."
Along with the announcement of the $95 million campaign goal, the launch recognized a number of large gifts to the University, including $25.9 million from Siemens.
Last Updated: 8/5/14