Case Study: Drexel University

Raising $700,000 in One 24-Hour Crowdfunding Campaign

In 2016, the leadup to the 125th year since its founding, Drexel University turned to crowdfunding as a way to re-engage and energize students, parents, friends, faculty, staff—and especially alumni.


KDG won several awards for its inaugural campaign with Drexel University, including a Davey Award, a WebAward, and a Horizon Interactive Award.


The #Drexel24 Day of Giving campaign attracted so much attention that it briefly trended on Twitter during the day of the campaign.


Participation from alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends exceeded the original goal for number of donors by nearly 5 to 1.

screenshot of Drexel's 2016 giving campaign

Missing Mario

For a custom crowdfunding platform that would get the job done, Drexel turned to KDG. Together, the two teams worked on a unique campaign. Its theme focused on finding the beloved school mascot, Mario the Dragon, who was missing and needed the support of special agents (donors) to help find him. The gamified campaign platform featured a spy-themed skin and real-time Google API widgets to display donor statistics.

  • User experience research & personas
  • Custom theme development
  • Simplified donor form
  • Mobile development
  • Digital challenges
  • Donor map
  • Real-time Google API widgets
  • Custom referral links
  • Social media integration
  • 24-hour support
  • $713,000 raised with 2,887 donors

KDG was able to develop a... site that was so much more than we had envisioned.

Ivy Lane,
Executive Director of the Drexel Fund


Donations Made Simple

KDG worked with Drexel to create a donor form that took less than 60 seconds to fill out on a mobile device and tested it with live users to ensure that the experience was going to be perfect every time on a mobile device. Campaign donations from mobile devices often exceed 30%.

Friendly Competition

Drexel schools, colleges and units competed in mini competitions and challenges to attract the most donors. From sports teams to clubs and dormitories, friendly competition kept everyone engaged throughout the day.

Going Social

By using custom referral links, donors could share the giving page and receive recognition and credit for each donor that they referred. Custom ID badges were created on the fly for each special agent (donor) and became instantly shareable on social media after the gift was made.

24-Hour Support

KDG was on call during the entire 24 hours of the campaign, monitoring site performance and ensuring that the campaign platform ran smoothly throughout the day. KDG’s powerful remote capabilities permitted them to build and support the campaign without setting foot on campus.

Special Agents

This year's special agent theme had donors creating their own ID card as the form was completed.

Custom Charts

Users were able to see a breakdown of donations by club or organization.

Keeping Score

Real-time features included a map of all agents, breakdown of donors, and of course a progress bar to mark each moment the campaign lapped its goal.

An Eye for Detail

The KDG team placed emphasis on the details, from loading animations to mouse interactions.

Real-Time Updates

A feed section kept donors engaged with the campaign's on-campus activities.

Drexel University logo

We talked about our theme, and the team really ran with it and built a site that was creative, cool, and highly functional.

Ivy Lane,
Executive Director of the Drexel Fund

They were highly collaborative and responsive, becoming true partners as the creative vision evolved.

Christine McAuliffe,
Director of Marketing Technology and Innovation

By Matt Harwick | July 3, 2016

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