Mary Baldwin University’s one-day social media fundraiser engaged 541 donors and raised $74,000 for the Baldwin Fund, which helps retain outstanding faculty and advisors, supports maintenance of Mary Baldwin’s historic campus and regional centers, awards academic scholarships, and enriches student life.
The Day to Lead the Way on May 13 reached thousands of friends of the college via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and included hourly incentives and giveaways such as tickets to the Blackfriars Playhouse; campus prints; restaurant coupons; and books written by Mary Baldwin faculty, staff, and alums.
In addition to posts on the Mary Baldwin social network, supporters heard throughout the day from alumni “ambassadors,” who encouraged giving on their own social media channels.
One such ambassador, Lindsey Lieberman ’04, convinced friends beyond the Mary Baldwin network to support her alma mater.
“While I’m not an Mary Baldwin alum, I gave so that other young ladies can have a chance to become women of poise and purpose,” posted Lieberman’s friend, Jes Schneider.
Many donors gave in appreciation of a specific Mary Baldwin program or in honor of a professor who inspired them. Joanna Vickery Herath ’96 paid tribute to the Health Care Administration program and its leader Steve Mosher, while Kristy Wheeler Tannehill ’01 gave in support of the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership.
“I am overjoyed by the response to our first Day to Lead the Way, and we are extremely thankful for the support of such a generous and engaged community of alumnae/i and friends,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Sherri Mylott. “Not only did we raise $74,000, we also increased giving participation and engaged new donors.”
Among those who gave were 104 new donors, leading to a 1 to 2 percent increase in the college’s overall giving participation rate, which helps Mary Baldwin’s overall ranking among other institutions and can lead to improved opportunities to receive grants. The online campaign also attracted a significant number of young donors as about 40 percent of gifts were from alums and students from class years 2000 to 2016.