The key challenge we faced during this campaign was the ask. As a result of COVID-19, many people have lost their income, and therefore may not be able to donate. We overcame this challenge by acknowledging how difficult the first half of 2020 had been, and by using softer solicitation messaging such as asking those who were in a position to give, to please do so.
We also asked staff and the wider community to share the Emergency Student Fund with their family, friends and colleagues to raise awareness of the campaign online and drive donations through word of mouth.
The goal was to raise $100,000, to support students through the emergency bursary program. The bursaries are means-tested and both domestic and international students are eligible.
The goal was achieved through two waves of solicitation emails to audiences – donors, high-level prospects, staff (~ 30% of donors to this campaign) as well as university alumni and non-donors. A significant number of donors (~45%) made their first ever gift to QUT.
Impact was measured by keeping track of donations and liaising with Equity to ensure students received financial assistance quickly. To date, QUT has raised over $129,000 and has supported 173 students.
QUT was one of the first universities to launch a student-focused appeal in response to the pandemic. We were able to launch this campaign quickly as we redirected current fundraising efforts from Giving Day into this Appeal instead, as it was a better fit given the economic fallout from COVID-19.