24 Hours of Giving: The William & Mary Way

by on Jul 01, 2015

The College of William & Mary raised more than $1.3 million from alumni, students, parents, friends, faculty and staff on April 21, 2015 through a coordinated effort dubbed “One Tribe One Day.” In its second year, One Tribe One Day is a 24-hour period during which the school tries to inspire the whole of the William & Mary community to band together to generate support for the institution and showcase school pride. Philanthropic giving, social media and global events are just a few of the ways that William & Mary encourages community members to participate in this special tradition.

One Tribe One Day Banner Image

Philanthropic Giving

Emphasizing the importance of gifts in any amount, William & Mary attracted more than 6,000 total donors during its 2015 One Tribe One Day campaign, including nearly 1,200 first-time donors – an important metric for higher education advancement shops. For comparison, in 2014 the One Tribe One Day attracted roughly 1,700 total donors, which at the time was more than triple the school’s previous record for donors in one day.

Beyond participation numbers, another significant indicator of a successful giving day is the amount of money raised. Through donations and challenge gifts, William & Mary raised an impressive $1.3 million through the 2015 One Tribe One Day – a giant leap over the $150,000 total of the previous year. By both of these traditional development goals, it seems that William & Mary is moving in a positive direction with its one-day giving push.


A key aid to fundraising success, William & Mary empowered its advocates to spread the word about One Tribe One Day through social media. By creating a Social Media Guide prior to the big day, the school equipped social ambassadors with the knowledge, context and tools to make a big impact among their networks. The guide includes a checklist of ways to support the campaign on social media, as well as sample messaging for Facebook and Twitter posts. The school even offered One Tribe One Day avatars and cover photos for supporters to deploy across their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.

24-Hour Photo Challenge Image

As part of One Tribe One Day, William & Mary challenged community members to “show the world what makes W&M great” through a 24-Hour Photo Challenge. Using the hashtag #OneTribeOneDay, community members shared photos that were uniquely William & Mary, building a sense of school pride across social media throughout the day.

Events Near and Far

In addition to online engagement, William & Mary led an on-campus carnival, an on-campus barbecue, and nearly 20 alumni events on April 21. The carnival and barbecue were sponsored by student groups, while regional alumni clubs hosted the off-campus events – a great way to help ensure some level of alumni participation. From Zurich to Boston to San Francisco, William & Mary supporters met up with other local alumni and friends to celebrate the school and build excitement for One Tribe One Day.

By fostering alumni engagement and networking, building a sense of unity and school spirit through social media and, most importantly, raising a large number of dollars for the school, the One Tribe One Day campaign proved to be a record-breaking success for William & Mary, and a model upon which other colleges should base their giving day intentions. In particular, other schools could learn from William & Mary’s use of alumni clubs to generate pockets of local support and their pre-built Social Media Guide as tools for helping propel their own giving days to greater success.

For more information on Alumni Monitor and our research on alumni outreach and engagement, please contact Dana Peterson at dpeterson@corporateinsight.com or visit us at alumnimonitor.corporateinsight.com.