UConn Foundation enlists help of student in revenue doubling promotional campaign

The UConn Foundation has launched its second installment of a promotional campaign meant to double the University of Connecticut’s endowment over the next five years. The Foundation’s strategy is a multi-platform media campaign that has time slots on National Public Radio (NPR) as well as social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and blog posts, and billboard postings in select Metro North Stations.

The Foundation utilizes the stories of both UConn students and the donors who have given to the Foundation in their broadcasts published on NPR.

“This campaign is all about raising additional funds for scholarships, NPR is a great way to do this in that the listeners are used to making donations for philanthropic causes,” said Derek Slap, Associate Vice President, External Relations. “Our slogan is the power to transform lives, and we try to market that everywhere.”

The NPR breakouts focus on one student in particular, Justis Lopez, a 22-year-old student to graduate this May with his masters in education through the Neag School of Education. Justis is a first generation college student who has been a graduate assistant in the Deans’s Office, an alternative spring break participant, and has taught both English and special education classes in local public schools.

“We are not here by ourselves we are here by the great work of other people who have paved the way for us in some way or another,” said Lopez. “We are supported by others, and we can pay it forward to give back to UConn.”

Lopez wants students to get involved with the UConn foundation, citing his previous experience with the Alumni Center initiative called Ignite, a online fundraiser that encourages student philanthropy.

“We should inspire students to give back and build the spirit of philanthropy,” said Lopez. “We should start practicing this now as opposed to post graduation.”

This campaign is not just for student donors, but any donor who is willing to give to the UConn Foundation.

“We have had people donate in honor of family members,” said Slap. “In our last campaign, we got a new donor from Stamford who set up a scholarship fund who had heard our NPR segment.”

The bridge between all different donors and students of all backgrounds is an evident theme in the recent UConn Foundation campaign. Something is working for the Foundation, as last year they were able to raise $81 million in funds. The second campaign is to start on NPR Monday with Justis’ story and donor Dan Toscano.

“I got involved to share the unique story I have about the role UConn has played in shaping the trajectory of my life experiences in an environment that is a dream come true,” said Lopez. “Anyone of any background and any walk of life can enjoy college. Anything is possible with the right support team.”


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