Holy Cross’s “Become More” Offers More than the Standard Campaign Website

Amanda Kohn by on Nov 18, 2015

The College of the Holy Cross recently launched its largest comprehensive giving campaign to date, focusing on transforming the college’s future both domestically and internationally. The College of the Holy Cross’ Become More campaign has already raised $214 million, with a goal to reach $400 million by June 30, 2020. The campaign endeavors to inspire creative teaching and learning, support the Jesuit identity, advance learning opportunities through internships and study abroad opportunities, support athletics and health and wellness programs, expand diversity and affordability, and support the annual fund.

Though Become More’s official on-campus public launch will not occur until April 29, 2016, on September 30, 2015, Holy Cross unveiled its Become More: Campaign for the Future of Holy Cross campaign website. This crisp, well-designed sitelet provides a standard to which other universities should strive through its straightforward design elements, clear labeling and comprehensive campaign content.

Designed specifically for the campaign, Holy Cross’s Become More sitelet incorporates best practices in contemporary web design. Its responsive features automatically update according to which device a user uses, and its vibrant color scheme works within the college’s purple and black branding, chromatically tying the university and the campaign itself together in viewers’ minds. The vibrant colors also help make the microsite attractive and pleasant to visit. Overall, the sitelet is easy to navigate and well-designed.


Become More Microsite Homepage (Truncated)

Holy Cross clearly identifies each tab or section and does not present any misleading content based on the titles.

The sitelet’s header consists of three links – Get Involved, Contact Us and Support Holy Cross – that each open a iFrame pop-up window with related links to volunteer opportunities, college and alumni-related social media pages, contact information and development opportunities such as Giving Programs, Gift Planning and the Make a Gift giving form. Holy Cross uses the top quick links and footer to provide links to these sections, which is an effective way to provide an array of information for alumni, students, parents, faculty and other supporters. Holy Cross’s integration of this pertinent information allows users to learn about the university’s giving and volunteer opportunities without having to navigate away from the campaign website.


Support Holy Cross iFrame Pop-Up Window

In terms of campaign content, the three tabs – Our Vision, Campaign Priorities and About the Campaign – effectively explain the campaign’s purpose, its usage of the gifts and commitments, and alumni/donor involvement with Holy Cross.

The About the Campaign tab offers recent campaign-related news articles, donor stories and impact stories that show readers the role and impact of the campaign in the community. Unlike peer campaign sites, this tab of Holy Cross’s microsite presents the donor and impact stories as quotations instead of articles, creating an easy-to-read display that lets users read a variety of stories quickly. The tab also includes campaign resources that show how and why donors should participate in Become More. Very few schools provide this level of transparency by offering a case for support within their campaign website. Most others require their donors scour the school’s entire website to find compelling reasons for support.

In terms of visual content, Holy Cross also stands apart from its counterparts. Unlike other giving campaign websites that solely provide images of donors, students and faculty, Holy Cross successfully incorporates images of the college’s landmarks, offices and buildings as background images, fostering a sense of relatability as alumni can relate to their alma mater’s landscapes over an individual whom they may not know. Contrary to some in its peer group, Holy Cross’ social media offerings within the Become More website include both alumni and school-wide social media accounts, accessible within the footer and Get Involved header link. Providing links to both account types enables donors to view campaign content posted on the sites and interact with both the school and alumni accounts by posting campaign-related photos or retweeting a posts. The only missing element in the Become More website’s content, it seems, is a detailed campaign progress meter that shows the number of donors and other key statistics to demonstrate how well the campaign is progressing. The current progress meter only presents the current amount raised.

Overall, the Become More campaign website’s straightforward design elements and labels improve site navigation and offer users a positive experience, crucial elements for attracting and retaining alumni donations. Other schools should consider Become More’s efficient and refreshing sitelet as a model when improving or initiating their own comprehensive giving campaign websites. Holy Cross’s clean design that incorporates imagery instead of simply stock images, eye-catching color schemes that feature school colors and clear labels complement strong content that engages alumni and other readers alike.

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.

About The Author

Amanda Kohn

Amanda is a Senior Research Associate for Alumni Monitor at Corporate Insight. Read more