Elon University – Fight Song Coaster Appeal

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TitleFight Song Coaster Appeal
InstitutionElon University
Submitted ByStephen Codner
Director of Annual Giving
CategoryDirect Mail Appeals
Institution TypeCollege / University
What fiscal year did this effort occur?2017

In the fall of 2017, Elon’s annual giving push was a give-to-get: commemorative coaster sets reflecting the fight song “Here’s to Dear Old Elon.”

What makes this unique

Who knew that simulated leather coasters would be coveted by our alumni? This appeal project went viral on social media and the word spread. As fundraisers, we hope that our donors give for true philanthropic reasons, but if we can get them to make a gift with a give-to-get, we can steward them with messaging they will be more apt to read and thus, be a returning donor next year.

Primary Goal

Originally this give-to-get project was designed to reactivate and acquire new alumni donors. We did move the dial on sybunts and nevers, but it was our loyal donors that really responded to this.


We brought in close to 700 alumni donors with this appeal project. A parallel campaign was done with our athletics fundraising team.

Other Comments

Attached is the appeal mailer. There was also a matching fulfillment mailer (to send the coasters to donors) and accompanying emails during the campaign timeline, which ended at our Homecoming (first weekend of November). There was a surge of gifts before the end date precipitated by a “last chance” email.

Campaign video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQOkARilBjA&feature=youtu.be

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