Case Study

RPI Capital Campaign

A Strategic Approach with Multiple Touchpoints

Launching a capital campaign is an important undertaking for an institution and it is imperative that the communications are strategic and impactful. We partnered with Mark Sheehy Creative and the Office of Strategic Relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to develop a brand that captured the culture of RPI and a suite of communications that would allow the college’s advancement officers to connect with prospective donors.

As with all of our projects, we started with an in-depth kick-off meeting with key stakeholders to understand the priorities of the campaign and the culture of the school and prospective donors. With the name, “Transformative: Campaign for Global Change,” we created a brand that was energetic, forward-looking, and warmly professional. We modified the Rensselaer red to be bolder and incorporated it and the school’s shield throughout the campaign materials.

We engaged the school’s advancement team to better understand their outreach process and where there was room for improvement. The suite of communications we developed begins with an email introducing the campaign. Recipients can click through to the website, Transformative.RPI.edu, to learn about outcomes and read first person stories illustrating the priorities of the campaign. The pairing of statistics and personal narratives gives a balance of qualitative and quantitative data—a compelling approach for the RPI audience.

To build on the power of storytelling, the website features a video that brings the campaign to life with energetic music, confident narrative, and inspirational visuals. The video also premiered at EMPAC the evening of the campaign launch.

A practical function on the website is the campaign initiatives feature. During our intake meeting, we discovered that the advancement team relied heavily on one-sheet communications delivered in a folder. We moved this content to the website to allow the advancement officers to pivot seamlessly in a meeting and share targeted information in an interactive digital environment.

Naturally, we never forget the power of a high-quality printed piece. As part of the suite we developed an engaging and informative case statement. The dynamic cover unwraps, revealing outcomes from the previous campaign, and the case statement sits inside like a gift. The storytelling continues with additional profiles, persuasive statistics, and powerful portrait photography.

From the first outreach to the final communication from an advancement officer, the brand for “Transformative: Campaign for Global Change,” is bold, progressive, and warmly professional.

Transformative: Campaign for Global Change

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is at a pivotal moment in its history. Under the visionary leadership of President Shirley Jackson and the guidance provided by the Rensselaer Plan for 2024, the Institute launched a capital campaign to move the college to the next level. Transformative: Campaign for Global Change is focused on improving student access, empowering world-class faculty, and building the third century campus. The brand and communications we developed connect with their audience with engaging stories and quantitative outcomes.

Contributors

Mark McCarty

Mountain View

Anne Hobday

 

Partners

Mark Sheehy Creative

Rogue FX