In recent years, The University of Rhode Island has earned national recognition for academic and athletic excellence, achieving year over year record enrollment and faculty growth.
In order to align internal and external perceptions with these evolving realities, the university's independent philanthropic and support partner, the University of Rhode Island Foundation & Alumni Engagement (URIFAE), undertook an ambitious and comprehensive campaign aimed at making impactful investments in the university’s students, faculty, research, and facilities.
The first step in creating a digital experience to support the campaign involved conducting a workshop to better understand the content requirements and opportunities that this initiative presented. Moving into design, we adapted the organization's existing visual branding to better serve their needs on the web and the new WordPress campaign site. Placing a spotlight on URI’s accomplishments, we organized the vast array of resources for the new site using five pillars — Student Access, The URI Learning Experience, Transformative Faculty Leadership, Innovative and Distinctive Programs, and Strategic Opportunities — with related stories tagged both by pillar and by URI's 11 individual colleges. Viewers can now use those pillars to easily engage with information and personal impact stories that illustrate specific strengths, offerings, and opportunities along with compelling calls to action for getting involved, volunteering, providing support at a range of levels targeted to a specific area of choice, and more.
In addition, we were very intentional about structuring the architecture in a way that addresses the need for alumni, faculty, and other internal stakeholders to have school-specific and program-specific content prominently displayed.
While this project was initially intended to support a traditional launch event, the COVID-19 pandemic required revisions that turned the site into the central asset for a virtual campaign launch with related branded collateral materials.
Going forward, some of the more unique elements of this site, including a modern take on a real-time "fundraising thermometer" widget, can be repurposed in other ways to easily communicate quick visual bits of digestible data to visitors. The site can now also smartly accommodate URIFAE's growing content collection over time in a way that meets the needs of their wide variety of audiences, and encourages both new and ongoing financial support to sustain their initiatives over time.