American University – "Perfect Pair" Sock Appeal

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Title"Perfect Pair" Sock Appeal
InstitutionAmerican University
Submitted ByKatelynd Anderson
Associate Director
CategoryDirect Mail Appeals
Institution TypeCollege / University
What fiscal year did this effort occur?2018

In an effort to boost end of fiscal year giving, the AG team decided to do an online only giving campaign around AU branded socks. The idea was that if donors gave $35, they would then receive a pair of socks for their gift. It was a new idea for FY18 and it is something we are looking to repeat it.

What makes this unique

This effort was unique for AU, as it "broke the mold" on the standard direct solicitation pieces. It also challenge AG to continue to think outside the box as we continue to engage our constituents, particularly those who don't wish to receive printed communications. It also came during a "lull" time in the giving calendar, ensuring that we are constantly challenging ourselves to be always moving forward.

Primary Goal

New donors and reengaging lapsed donors in an effort to boost not just the overall giving dollars for FY18, but also the donor count.


This campaign was so successful that we are going to repeat it in FY19, including those who participated last year. Over $39,000 was raised through this effort. 64% gave over the $35 gift amount that was asked, totaling nearly $19,000. The average gift was $277.92.

Overall, 141 people participated, with 15% being new donors, 25% being LYBUNTS, and 32% being SYBUNTS, with the remainder being current donors. 19% of participants had graduated in the last 10 years, 48% had graduated in the last 20 years.

These outcomes were met through a variety of online strategies, including targeted paid social media posts, and emails to select segments. We have also taken the left over socks to various events to engage attendees in a way that encourages them to make a gift. This strategy has also been successful.