Emory University’s Blue Pig Campaign

Exhibited by
November 05, 2015
Medium of Communication
Social Media
Target Audience
Students, Parents, Alumni
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

Here’s a fun and creative way to engage students and educate them about the importance of giving back to their university or college. This campaign was presented at IWITOT at the AFP International Conference 2015 in Baltimore.

Summary / objectives

An integrated campaign to improve undergraduate donations to Emory University’s Annual Fund using social media (Facebook and Twitter) for outreach to Emory students and to boost undergraduate giving to the Class Gift Campaign.


Creating a culture of philanthropy begins well before students graduate from Emory College. Student giving at Emory goes back to 1985 when the first Senior Class Gift Campaign was started. The Blue Pig arrived on campus in the autumn of 2007 and has served as the mascot of the Class Gift Campaigns ever since.

At the beginning of freshman year all students are given a plastic blue piggy-bank (aka the Blue Pig) with messages about the importance of giving even small amounts to Emory and asked to fill it with spare change. Periodically throughout each semester ‘piggy round-ups’ occur. Students are encouraged to bring their blue pig, donate their change, relax and, more often than not, enjoy pizza, ice cream, or hot chocolate.

Emory has also staged a ‘pignapping’ by buying an ad in the student newspaper, publishing a ransom note on Facebook and distributing posters throughout the campus. They ‘demanded’ a ransom of $3,500 by the end of the semester for the Blue Pig’s release. The money raised would bring back the pig and provide students with stipends for textbooks.

The Blue Pig campaign includes an educational component ‘Operation: Emory’ that educates students on the importance of their gift to the university and the direct benefits to students themselves. It also seeks to address many of the barriers students may raise about giving money to a school they are already paying tuition to attend.


In 2009, in the first seven months of the campaign student giving had reached $12,915 compared with the same period the pervious year. Overall, student giving increased from 2.9 per cent to 12.7 per cent. The annual fund saw a 154 per cent increase in the number of gifts from undergraduate students.