In April 2020, early in the coronavirus crisis, the development team at CBA, a private middle and high school in Albany, was wondering what to do about #BronationDay, a major annual fundraiser scheduled for the following month. Should they cancel it? Would it be unseemly to ask for money during a health crisis and an economic downturn? With the campus closed, what was there to celebrate anyway?
We suggested that a celebration was exactly what was needed. That resilience in the face of adversity was core to the school’s 171-year old brand. And rather than shrink from asking for support, CBA should encourage contributions as a way for people to signal solidarity.
An ambitious plan emerged. #BronationDay2020, all 16 hours of it, would be a live online interactive event created and produced by the CBA community itself.
The results were nothing short of spectacular. Donations poured in, averaging between one and two a minute. By day’s end, CBA had raised over $132,000 form 624 individual donors, easily beating its record of $110,000, set just the year before.