How the sin of spilled wine sparked an annual pop-up, project-based fundraising campaign
In 2017, the Goddard Alumni Giving Campaign during Alumni Weekend was born over a breakfast conversation. The evening before, at the bonfire outside the Music Building, an unsuspecting alumnus sat at the wobbly picnic table spilling an open bottle of wine—needless to say, some colleagues went to bed thirsty. Annoyance was still felt the following morning.
“It’s outrageous! Goddard should have better quality picnic tables!” The disgruntled voice got the attention of several tables.
Meg Hammond responded with that freckled smile of hers, “New tables cost money.”
Another challenged her, “How much?”
Meg thought for a moment and said, “I recently priced them about $250.”
Electric kinship sparked the air. People looked from one to another, speaking with their eyes. Suddenly there was movement. Meg found herself gathering $300 cash for a new picnic table.
In 2019, the campaign was seeded with a couple of large pledges of matching gifts amounting to $15,000. We raised $32,000+ over the weekend, pulling in many first-time donors. In the three years since the conception of the Council—through their support and organizing—the alumni-giving rate increased from 4% in 2017 to 7% by 2019.