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Marketing and message

Success on Cornell Giving Day depends on your ability to mobilize your audiences. We’ll do our best to create buzz through email and social media. We know the more alumni hear from you and their peers, the more successful your college or unit will be.

Marketing basics

At a minimum, plan to:

  1. Send email messages
  2. Use social media
  3. Rally volunteers
  4. Inform your staff

Creative direction

Offer an experience that is recognizably Cornellian but also unique to Cornell Giving Day and your college or unit to create a distinct brand.

The mood:

  • Optimistic but not sappy
  • Smart but not stodgy
  • Encouraging but not gushing
  • Fun but not childish
  • Clever but not silly
  • Informal but not sloppy
  • Helpful but not overbearing

We want our audiences to feel:

  • Pride: being part of Cornell
  • Togetherness: demonstrating the power of collective action
  • Excitement and involvement: knowing their actions can create positive change for Cornell and the world

We want our audiences to believe:

  • Cornell needs them
  • They are participating in something larger than any one person
  • Their gifts to Cornell serve the university and its mission
  • Together, we really can make a difference in one day

Message points and language suggestions

Overarching message
Tomorrow will be better, because of our actions today.

We are:

  • Inviting people to come together to experience a day of collective action to help Cornell fulfill its mission, making a difference in the world.
  • Reinforcing–in an emotionally stirring way–that each person and each gift is part of a worldwide event that has immediate, visible results.

What difference can one day make?

  • What new ideas can one day spark?
  • What research can one day complete?
  • What hypothesis can one day prove?
  • What collaborations can one day empower?
  • What life can one day change?
  • How can you make a difference TODAY? Join. Share. Give. Learn. Engage.

Sample language

  • You can make a difference for (Cornell or area of the university) today.
  • Come together on March 14 to help Cornell make a difference in the world.
  • When Cornellians come together they change the course of our future.
  • Tomorrow will be better because we are rallying together for Cornell today.
  • It’s going to be big—and fun. Don’t miss it!
  • See what we can accomplish together!
  • Giving Day is for one good cause: the future.

Cause taxonomy causes and definitions

  • Animal health: Any funds pertaining to animal health, wellbeing, or wildlife conservation.
  • Arts: Any funds pertaining primarily to the arts.
  • Big Red spirit: Any funds supporting a Cornell team of any discipline that actively competes with other collegiate teams.
  • Environment: Any funds pertaining to conservation, sustainability, or environmental study.
  • Experiential learning: Any funds pertaining to learning outside the classroom setting and/or off campus, particularly in conjunction with a pre-determined project.
  • Humanities: Any funds pertaining primarily to the study of the humanities in a classroom setting.
  • Health and wellness: Any funds pertaining to human health and wellbeing.
  • Diversity and inclusion: Any funds that specifically support diversity and inclusion.
  • Public policy: Any funds pertaining to efforts to positively influence public policy in favor of the greater good.
  • Scholarships and fellowships: Any funds supporting scholarships and fellowships of any kind.
  • Science: Any funds pertaining primarily to the study of science in a classroom setting.

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