OHO Dartmouth College

Reimagining the Giving Experience

In order to reach the Call to Lead campaign's ambitious $3 billion fundraising goal, the OHO and Dartmouth teams set out to reimagine the capital campaign site from the ground up, taking cues from crowd-source fundraising sites, leading editorial sites, and e-commerce.

  • Higher Education
  • Website Redesign
  • Content Strategy


  • Strategy
  • User Experience
  • Visual Design
  • Content Strategy
  • CMS Development

Surpassing Fundraising Benchmarks

As part of the campaign, Dartmouth sought to expand its donor base, increase participation and significantly increase the dollar amount of gift-giving online. Dartmouth more than achieved its goal. The online gifts from the website far exceeded national benchmarks for online donations from individuals with revenue per website visitor up over 36x the national average.


Current Amount Raised

The campaign is 77% to goal, with 88,322 participants donating $2,293,971,167 out of the total goal of $3,000,000,000, including bequest intentions

Average Online Gift

Average Non-Profit

$147 (CY 2018)

Annual Fund Site

$386 (FY 2019)

Call to Lead Site

$1219 (FY 2019)

Revenue Per Visitor

Average Non-Profit

$.83 (CY 2018)

Call to Lead Site

$36.66 (FY 2019)

Focus on the Online Donor Experience

We employed two strategies to reach the small, online donor – engage with rich stories and borrow user experience inspiration from crowdfunding sites such Kickstarter and GoFundMe. The site structure and stories helps users discover giving opportunities that speak to their unique interests and connect with their passions.

The Dartmouth Call to Lead campaign site displayed on a laptop

Using Digital Storytelling to Connect to Donor Motivations

Compelling short-form and long-form giving stories from members of the Dartmouth community drives home the impact of contributing to prospective donors.

  • A Dartmouth giving story page
  • A Dartmouth giving story page
  • A Dartmouth giving story page
  • A Dartmouth giving story page
A tile grid of Dartmouth giving stories

88,300+ Donors

The "Why I Give" section allows donors to share their stories and encourages visitors to join the giving community.

Finding Personal Giving Opportunities

To help prospective donors filter through the over 150 opportunities to support, we crafted a three-tier taxonomy that allows users to find causes that resonate with their personal giving priorities and passions. We showed how each opportunity leveled up to one of the three major campaign priorities.

A collage of giving opportunity sections
The focus your gift section of the Dartmouth Call to Lead campaign site featured on a mobile device

Collaborative Effort

On-site brainstorming meetings with the Dartmouth team helped us define the vision for the site and leverage Dartmouth’s extensive preliminary market research to deliver a best-in-class capital campaign site.

A giving opportunity page
A wireframe image

E-commerce Experience

The site is structured around content and stories. Each item offers an "add to cart" call to action. The site encourages prospective donors to browse and "shop" the site. This strategy increased overall donations.

A progress bar
A wireframe of the progress bar

Animated Progress Bars

Select giving opportunities include progress bars to indicate donations to date, via an integration with iModules.

A checkerboard on the Dartmouth campaign site
a checkerboard wireframe

Stories Tied to Giving Priorities

To make the giving priorities tangible, transmedia stories were associated with each priority via the CMS.

Giving opportunity cards
Giving opportunity card wireframe

Stay Longer

Our strategy was to engage prospects and extend their site visits by showing the donor prospect personalized content.

The OHO team were great partners on this project. Their creative and flexible approach gave us a site that allows us to tell the stories of our community, demonstrating the impact of their support and tying those stories to the opportunities to give.

Ann Root Keith Chief Operating Officer - Dartmouth College Advancement