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Communications and Public Affairs

President Pastides at the Statehouse

Event Spotlight: Give 4 Garnet 2018

Whether it’s the president’s annual State of the University address or Give 4 Garnet, high-profile and meaningful events happen around USC Columbia throughout the year. Communications and Public Affairs can ensure university events convey our values, mission and messages through thoughtful in-person experiences.

The Opportunity: Give 4 Garnet 2018

On April 18, 2018, the University of South Carolina initiated its first-ever systemwide giving day, Give 4 Garnet: A Day of Giving. This event centered on two goals: raising $3 million in a focused, one-day effort and demonstrating the power of all USC supporters united in a single mission. Central to the messaging was the Give 4 Garnet tagline, “Every little piece will make a big impact.” To support 25 distinct mini-campaigns from across the USC system, our office worked with the Office of Annual Giving and marketing partner Flock and Rally on everything from the day’s visual identity to social media messaging, from internal and external communications to volunteering on the day of the event.


The Deliverables

  • give 4 garnet confetti logo

    Logos and billboards

    Our office, the Office of Annual Giving and Flock and Rally collaborated on billboard placements before, during and after the event. Visuals were repeated and reimagined for items such as fliers, social media images, T-shirts and website design.

  • give 4 garnet woman confetti

    Give 4 Garnet website

    A dedicated website served as a key messaging resource and the online giving platform. We worked with the Offices of Development and Annual Giving and Amplo/Snap! Advance to develop site content for each giving campaign.

  • give 4 garnet darius rucker

    Video messaging

    Seven promotional videos were produced by our office and local vendor Dust of the Ground. Videos featured musician Darius Rucker, President Harris Pastides, Give 4 Garnet chair Lou Kennedy, and USC community members.


The Approach

  • In its first year, Give 4 Garnet drew on resources from multiple partners, all coordinated by the Office of Annual Giving in the Division of Development. The Office of Communications and Public Affairs assisted with internal and external media communications, graphic design, printing projects, video production, social media and volunteering at the Greene Street event on Give 4 Garnet Day. 
  • Give 4 Garnet involved many partners, spreading the message of collaboration and collective impact. Other key partners included Flock and Rally (marketing/branding/public relations), Dust of the Ground (video production), Amplo/Snap! Advance (website platform) and other vendors. Social media ambassadors (including alumni, faculty/staff members and friends) and development and communications professionals also shared Give 4 Garnet messaging and assisted with the planning and execution of giving day events.
  • Give 4 Garnet focused heavily on electronic communications, especially social media promotion and wide-ranging email outreach to alumni, friends, students, parents and faculty/staff members, in order to direct supporters to the web-based giving platform.


The Results

  • Give 4 Garnet exceeded its $3 million goal, raising a total of $3,707,061 in 18 hours and 01 minute (a reference to USC’s founding in 1801).
  • 4,304 total donors, including 1,391 first-time donors
  • 1 million social media impressions for #Give4Garnet
  • 899,000 impressions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • 474 new followers on social media on Give 4 Garnet Day
  • More than 1,700 public profiles shared our messaging online
  • Morning TV segments on WACH and WIS, on-site event day coverage on Greene Street by WACH, WOLO and USC student media, and website articles by these outlets when we passed our $3 million goal
  • One video, CarolinaLIFE, related to a Give 4 Garnet campaign went viral on social media, with more than 200,000 views on Facebook and Twitter, plus more than 2,000 shares and 2,700 engagements. The video featured an aspiring USC student, Mac Watson from Virginia, in an emotional moment as he learned he’d been accepted into the College of Education’s CarolinaLIFE program. Recorded by Mac’s mother, then edited and posted by Communications and Public Affairs team members, the popular video helped propel the College of Education beyond its $15,000 fundraising goal, garnering more than $35,000 for the CarolinaLIFE program.