Florida International University – "Battle for Miami" Competition

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Title"Battle for Miami" Competition
InstitutionFlorida International University
Submitted ByMatthew Fernandez
Assistant Director of Annual Giving
CategorySpecial Campaigns/Challenges
Institution TypeCollege / University
What fiscal year did this effort occur?2018

Florida International University and the University of Miami played in a football game on Saturday, September 22, 2018. In the two weeks leading up to the game, both schools agreed to embark on a donor challenge to see which university can acquire the most donors within the 2 weeks.

What makes this unique

What made this effort unique was working collaboratively with another university for a common goal. It took planning, open dialogue, and trust. We leveraged a unique football game that happens once in a while to create an opportunity to engage our community for student scholarships. Both schools had one chance to make this the battle a success, and it was executed to perfection.

Primary Goal

The primary goal of the Battle For Miami was to retain and acquire donors.


Florida International University won the Battle for Miami with a total of 675 donors. University of Miami had a total of 607 donors. UM & FIU decided to keep the score at 627 to 607 to make it look close to repeat it for next fiscal year. Both schools raised collectively more than $55,000 for students ($15,000 for FIU & $40,000 for UM). This incredible campaign was an amazing accomplishment for both school, driving new donors and support. For FIU had a total of 693 total gifts, an average gift amount of $22.92, and the mode gift was $10. 27% of donors never gave before to FIU. 52% of the donors were LYBUNTs, and 21% of donors were SYBUNTs.

Other Comments

Battle for Miami was a university and community-wide effort. Each school, college, and unit was able to participate with the Battle for Miami; there was no limit. We even targeted faculty and staff here at FIU, and told them it would count towards their Ignite faculty and staff participation giving. We partnered with athletics to cross promote and send to season ticket holders, and all former student athletes. We updated the score at 12pm each day, and it created anticipation every day to see who was in the lead. On the social media side, we paid for Facebook/Instagram ads, the president of the university even participated on social media, and the main FIU account posted regularly. There were two alumni network events within those two weeks, and staff walked around with iPads so alumni could make a gift on BattleforMiami.com. UM was leading the battle for most of the two weeks, and the last day FIU took the lead with an email blast in the last hour. We updated the main landing page, battleformiami.com, to reflect that FIU won, and we sent donors a stewardship 5x7 photo as a token of our appreciation.

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