‘Shine Through’ Campaign Raises Over $50,000 for Student Financial Aid

Photo: Anna Biller/Courtesy

Jennifer Scully ’21 wearing the custom mask created for the ‘Shine Through’ fundraiser.

Emerson’s “Shine Through” fundraising campaign, which offered personalized Emerson-branded face masks to donors, raised $53,111 in unrestricted financial aid for students during its five days.

Launched by the Office of Institutional Advancement, the fundraiser ran from October 19-23 and was bolstered by a “Shine Through” social media campaign centered around a purple mask with the Emerson College logo.

Financial aid has become the college’s top fundraising priority following the devastating economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, annual giving director Anna Biller said. The money raised will be distributed to students eligible for aid according to the needs of the college.

“It’s money coming in the door, so it’s not going into the endowment, it’s going straight into the hands of the students,” Biller said in an interview.

The thousands of dollars raised by the campaign will serve as unrestricted financial aid, meaning any student in need of financial aid can receive funds. Funds will be distributed to students in the current fiscal year.

“Financial aid comes in the year with a budget, and they do an incredible job of distributing those dollars as widely as possible to allow students to choose to come and also to be able to stay,” said the vice president of Institutional Advancement John Malcolm. . “But the dollars are insufficient for the task.”

The campaign resulted in 580 individual contributions, the majority coming from alumni, followed by parents, faculty and staff, and students.

The college has created two face covering designs for donors and posted them on social media for alumni and parents to vote in advance of the campaign launch. A Boston direct mail seller will ship the masks to donors early next week, Biller said.

Students bolstered campaign efforts by taking control of social media while wearing Emerson face coverings, as well as hand writing thank you notes to each donor.

Planning for the campaign began in June with other fundraising ideas to help students with financial aid this year.

The fundraiser follows last fall’s “Tightly Knit” campaign, which sent Emerson socks to more than 400 donors who helped with student financial aid.

“We thought, ‘let’s continue to do this kind of campaign in the future,'” said Malcolm, who oversaw marketing for the campaign. “The team thought a lot over the summer about what we could use as an incentive to give or some sort of iconic item we could give to people who contributed that symbolizes giving in the COVID environment. -19. And it made a lot of sense for us to focus on face coverings.

While the campaign is over, Biller said she’s still getting emails from people wanting to donate.

“I just had someone come in today – an elder emailed our donation email address saying ‘I missed the campaign and really wanted to donate, can I donate today ? “, Biller said. “So, of course, we say yes to that; I don’t want to stop anyone from being a philanthropist in college.

Malcolm said the college will update its giving pages to provide more information about raising financial aid funds. Future campaigns, like the college’s annual parent fundraiser and another to help support the college’s response to COVID-19, are also in the works, he said.

“I often hear first hand from students and members of the Annual Fund team how important scholarships and financial aid really are to keep someone in school when they couldn’t. otherwise,” Biller said. “So there is real clarity around that; it’s truly amazing to see the school come together and say ‘this is our number one priority right now for our students’.