SS United States Conservancy Launches Innovative Fundraising Campaign

The homepage of Save the United States features animation and a detailed digital model of the ship.

Yesterday, the SS United States Conservancy launched a new fundraising campaign, Save the United States. The campaign uses innovative software that allows donors to purchase a virtual SS United States by the square inch. With this unique interface, a donor can purchase parts of the ship on the port-side, starboard-side, and the decks. Donors can login to the website using Facebook and begin purchasing sections of the ship. When they are finished, they can share their purchase with friends and family using the integrated social media tools.

The SS United States can be viewed from the starboard side, port side, and from the top. Donors can purchase parts of the ship from any of these perspectives.

Donors can change the perspective of the ship and can explore it by zooming into different levels. When zoomed in to the second level, donors can select a section with over 1200 inches available for purchase. In this view, donors may also see one of two icons. A anchor icon indicates a section where a donor has already purchased a part of the ship. A magnifying glass icon signifies that there is a “Explore Your Ship.” These facts can include wide variety of information or a story from a former passenger. Clicking on the magnifying glass brings up the fact or story with an accompanying picture. The Conservancy will continue to add new facts to the ship, so check back often to learn more about the SS United States.

When a donor zooms in to the third level, they can make their purchase. The donor can select the squares they wish to purchase, or they can have the computer select 50, 100, 250, or 500 squares.

Once zoomed in three times, you can select the inches you would like to purchase. Donations are $1 an inch and the right-hand column calculates your total and shows what rewards you have earned with your purchase.

Prices are set at only $1 per square inch, and as you add squares, you earn rewards and the ability to personalize your donation. By purchasing two squares, you can add a passport photo for everyone to see when they view the section you purchased. With a $3 donation, you can add a 140 character message with your photo. At the $5 level, you can add another photo in addition to your passport photo. With a $10 donation, you can expand your message from 140 characters to 2,000 characters. At the $20 level, you are allowed to customize the section you purchased by changing the color of the squares. At the $30 level, you also add a link to your personal website to your donation profile. And with a $50 or more donation, you get to choose a customized bade that will be placed on the section you purchased. The donor is responsible for paying the accompanying credit card transaction and percentage fees to ensure that 100% of the donation goes to the Conservancy.

In addition to accepting donations, the website also educates. An interactive timeline gives a full history of the ship, United States Lines, and the ships designer William Francis Gibbs.

The new website is about more than just fundraising. With the Explore Your Ship facts and a historical timeline, the website is a tool to educate the pubic about the SS United States. The timeline covers the history of the SS United States, United States Lines, and the ship’s designer, William Francis Gibbs.

The possibilities with this website are endless. It is truly a fun and affordable option to help save the SS United States. I have already made a purchase and intend to purchase a new section each month. This website offers a great opportunity for individuals, families, classrooms, and businesses to donate and own a part of a virtual SS United States. To introduce this new initiative, the SS United States Conservancy had created a video:

Save the United States is a fun and affordable way for donors to help save the SS United States. I have enjoyed exploring the website for past several days, and encourage everyone to take a look and take part in a new exciting way to preserve a piece of our nation’s history. As always, you can get the latest SS United States news by visiting the Conservancy’s website or by following them on FacebookYouTube, and Twitter.

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