University of Utah – Student Engagement Specialists

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TitleStudent Engagement Specialists
InstitutionUniversity of Utah
Submitted ByRachel Robertson
Assistant Director of Annual Giving
Institution TypeCollege / University
What fiscal year did this effort occur?2020

In fiscal year 2020, the U of U expanded our Student Philanthropy Center and hired students to fill the role of Social Media & Digital Engagement Specialists. These students help provide a steady stream of authentic content for the Annual Giving channels and help drive a culture of philanthropy.

What makes this unique

Our Student Social Media & Digital Engagement Specialists are here to provide our donors and non-donors authentic content throughout the year. This is unique because it is student-driven, the Annual Giving staff has a little bit of editorship but not when it comes to social media, the students have the power and autonomy to go live and post at anytime. This position is expanding upon the just student call center and creating a robust Student Philanthropy Center that is focused on social and digital.


The outcome is still pending as we've only been doing this for a few months, but we have seen our Annual Giving specific Instagram page increase by double the followers, Facebook page getting multiple engagements a day, and campus areas at the U requesting for our students to help cover and broadcast philanthropy events. The emails from student employees have had an increased open-rate, our Kevin email to donors and lapsed donors received a 50 % open-rate and the introduction of Ariana to non-donors alum received nearly 20 %. We have seen an overwhelming positive response in email responses too when the email is driven by a student representative.