Stevens Institute of Technology

Founded in 1870 by America's First Family of Inventors — who patented steam ferries and the modern form of railroad track, among many other inventions — Stevens Institute of Technology has been at the forefront of technological innovation in education and research since its founding in 1870.

At a Glance

Stevens Institute of Technology engaged KDG to build a custom crowdfunding site that would motivate as many donors as possible throughout a 48-hour giving period.

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Engaging Concept

Donors had to keep donating to keep Attila, the school’s beloved mascot, swimming down the Hudson.

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Call to Action

This campaign featured special badges that could only be unlocked if a certain donor count was reached.

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Competitive Donors

Donors could see who was in the lead through graphs tracking which Greek-Life, Athletics, and Graduating Class Year had the highest participation.

Our Solution

KDG put Stevens Institute of Technology's mascot, Attila, on the Hudson River, calling all donors to donate in order to keep Attila swimming during the entire campaign.


If there is one thing that we love at KDG, it’s good, quirky fun. Stevens Institute of Technology let us create a truly unique concept in order to get donors more excited to support their school. Since the campus is located along the Hudson River, KDG came up with the idea of having Attila swimming down the Hudson River, calling all donors to help him along the way.

Each donation made would reset a "swim timer" that would give Attila an hour and fourty-five minutes of continuous swimming. If the timer were to reach zero then Attila would give a shoutout on the site asking for more donations to reset the "swim timer". KDG was inspired by this Reddit Article when brainstorming different ideas for the campaign. Reddit challenged all members of their platform to click a button in order to keep a timer from hitting zero. Each member only got one click so they had to be careful with how soon they used their click or else the timer would expire. Surprisingly 1,008,316 Reddit users rose to the occassion and used their click to keep the timer going. This number got our attention right away as the perfect incentive for the campaign.

KDG didn't stop there when creating the rest of the campaign's interactive pieces. Donors who gave were able to post a "shoutout" with a photo capturing their Stevens spirit and a message to get others to rise to the occasion. These shout outs helped spur some healthy competition between Greek Life organizations, athletic teams, and the different class years.

Initially, Stevens came to KDG with a goal of 145 donors in mind. Once the campaign launched Stevens not only met their goal but crushed it, reeling in over 6 times their donor goal! With each new campaign, Stevens has consistently exceeded their goals and helped Attila to complete his mission time and time again.

What Stevens Institute of Technology Said

“The Kyle David Group was able to develop a Giving Campaign that was so much more than we had envisioned.”
Melissa Fuest
Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, and Executive Director of the Stevens Alumni Association.


“We received positive feedback from alumni, students, faculty, staff and parents who were delighted with the attention to detail and interactive features that the site had to offer.”
Melissa Fuest
Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, and Executive Director of the Stevens Alumni Association.

While KDG enjoyed creating a unique campaign theme for Stevens Institute of Technology, we were mindful not to expand their budget. In fact, we reduced it considerably. Unlike other crowdfunding platforms that charge a percentage of all donations raised, KDG built Stevens Institute of Technology a customized, fixed-fee solution they could use repeatedly for future campaigns without the threat of paying a percentage of collected funds or paying for re-use.

Attila has since returned to the Hudson to skate on thin ice during Winter 2015 and dove in for a second swim in Summer 2016.

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