Friday, October 21st marked the public launch of University of Washington's most ambitious fundraising campaign ever. Six years into "Be Boundless: For Washington, For the World," a ten-year campaign that seeks to raise $5 billion by 2020, UW marked this public phase by producing a spectacular multimedia show - Together - and promoting the campaign on a huge, city-wide scale.
On Friday evening, a handful of us at USEED hung around our #awesome-campaigns Slack Channel (one of our company-wide online communication feeds) watching the Together livestream and following the resulting Twitter feed.
We watched, captivated, as a city wrapped itself in purple and gold in alliance with the university. Some of us observed the phenomenon from thousands of miles away, while others simply had to step into their backyards to see Seattle lit with pride.
Together, hosted in the Alaska Airlines Arena and put on by hundreds of community volunteers, celebrated the campaign launch with music, movement, storytelling, and live performances to unite students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of UW under four key priorities:
These priorities help focus the campaign while still giving donors extensive choices in how they want to contribute to it. In fact, there are hundreds of funds, causes, schools, and initiatives that fall under these four umbrellas to bring unity among hundreds of thousands of donors and the ways they want to impact the higher education experience.
Without large-scale philanthropic involvement, University of Washington would not be able to maintain a standard of excellence in these areas with state funding and tuition alone. For an institution that, according to Reuters, is among the top five innovative universities in the world, it is not only necessary to win broad-based support toward this campaign; it is critical for the institution's continued health, innovation, and prosperity.
Notable figures spoke at Together, including Microsoft President Brad Smith, Washington Governer Jay Inslee, and Bill Gates Sr, who all shared heartfelt messages to the UW community. Dr. Jorge Reyes, UW Medical Center chief of transplant surgery also spoke, and he brought two patients on stage with him who were the first in the Pacific Northwest to receive non-related living donor transplants. "This is truly inspiring," our CEO noted in the Slack Channel.
After raising over $3 billion to-date, UW is well on their way to execute on their mission to raise $5 billion by 2020, and it's clear that it is going to revolutionize the higher education experience for their students, their community, and the world.
And so as our Friday evening ended and Together came to a close, one of our developers left a final comment, summing the night up well:
"Now this is an ask."