A CAMPAIGN LAUNCH TO ENGAGE THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY
Florida International University (FIU) started with a vision – “to build a public university in Miami, an institution that could create opportunity for an evolving, dynamic city.” Once an abandoned airstrip, the FIU campus is now a leading cultural institution, a community of 200,000 alumni.
Next Horizon: The Campaign for FIU must rally the community and prove the campaign’s purpose: every donor can make a difference in “transforming FIU and advancing the institution to its next horizon.”
August Jackson would bring FIU’s very first comprehensive campaign to life with a bold, community-wide launch. Elevating the FIU brand to a broader Florida community while engaging and inspiring active support for the campaign among internal stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors.
FIU faced two unique challenges requiring August Jackson’s experienced campaign counsel and strategic communications skill set. First, the Miami and broader Florida community were not aware of FIU’s tremendous accomplishments through their research, engagement and service to the community. Second, the campus community was not aware of what it means to be in a comprehensive campaign. Thus, AJ went to work to design an experience that solidified the campaign vision and FIU’s brand for everyone.
We worked with UW on the “Wisconsin Ideas Tour”—in effect, a teaser campaign. Three regional events in the year prior to the campaign launch let UW re-engage with key alumni and supporters. Chancellor Rebecca Blank shared a compelling vision for the school’s future, and guests were reminded why even public schools rely on private funding.
On the morning of the outdoor campaign launch, the weather forecast seemed unrelenting as the rain poured with a steady speed. At approximately 7:15 a.m., the client made the decision to move the event indoors. Having to think quickly on our feet, the AJ team rallied to reimagine the outdoor event into a ballroom space and a wide hallway in a community building. The team moved with deliberate speed to manage the change without losing the original vision of the community festival in the process.
Thank you so very much for what you did to make [this] such a historic and memorable day for us at FIU. It would not have been the success it was without you and the entire AJ team!SARA DUCUENNOISASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI RELATIONS AND ANNUAL GIVING, FIU
Absolutely exceeded expectations and we’ve heard from many “veterans” of alumni engagement activities that this was by far the most amazing thing they’ve ever attended—UW and otherwise. Hats off to you all for launching us in such a spectacular way.”
Casting a wider net of engagement from the beginning can have a galvanizing impact. The community festival opened the door for broader community engagement and provided a firm platform from which to launch FIU’s campaign that would ultimately benefit the broader community. The campus community gained a more concrete understanding of the campaign and its goals – and collectively share in all its accomplishments.
Overall, the campaign launch brought together more than 1,300 community members and internal stakeholders, excited to celebrate FIU’s impact, and the future of the broader community.