From the Nominator
To mark the conclusion of UCSF: The Campaign, UC San Francisco staged Saturday Night Stories, a virtual event for top donors that spotlighted deeply personal storytelling by a diverse lineup of UCSF scientists and care providers.
This approach built on an immensely popular series of science-focused events, but “flipped the script” to focus on the human dramas behind the breakthroughs. The program offered something uniquely appealing to donors at a time many were experiencing virtual-event burnout. It also allowed us to strike a tone of hopeful authenticity amid the global pandemic, when a traditional, celebratory campaign event would have been inappropriate. We carefully staged and produced the event to balance intimate, reflective moments with a varied and propulsive pace, with brief interstitial videos including a tribute to pandemic first responders, an animated science explainer, a touching patient story, and more.
We achieved exceptional attendance rates with beautiful and intriguing print and digital invitations, direct donor outreach, and a teaser video. We concluded the program with a dozen small meet-and-greet Zoom rooms where donors could engage with the storytellers, other faculty members, and campus leadership. And finally, we followed up with attendees with a limited-series storytelling podcast featuring additional first-person stories.
From the Judges
Great virtual event idea, with impressive use of staff and faculty experiences. The stories shared were really touching and well-executed.