NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY CAMPAIGN LAUNCH

LAUNCHING TO MAKE THE WORLD BETTER

HIGHER EDUCATION

PURPOSE

It wasn’t their first campaign. Nor would it likely be their last. But it was Northwestern University’s most ambitious. With the launch of its $3.75 billion “We Will” campaign, Northwestern hoped to highlight their status as one of the country’s most elite universities. We helped the school create a series of events to showcase their breakthrough research and innovations, and inspire audiences to play a part in its promising future.

COMMUNITY

Alumni, donors, students, parents and friends of Northwestern University

APPROACH

It takes a while to reach a $3.75 billion goal, so we planned for the long haul. A series of events would launch the campaign, followed by a regional tour to keep the momentum going.

For the We Will launch, two daytime events rallied the school’s students, faculty and staff. Staging one on Northwestern’s campus and the other near its downtown Chicago medical school helped us reach the broadest possible audience. A hilarious video short starring Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert (both alums) encouraged campaign participation.

Wooing top donors, prospects and VIPs called for a more formal evening event. Interactive programming, student presentations and surprise appearances from Northwestern’s roster of celebrity alumni connected guests with the school’s impressive achievements, its continuing ambitions and its unique ability to—borrowing a key campaign phrase—“make the world better.”

IMPACT

All told, the two daytime events and the evening VIP program reached an audience of 1,700 people. Guests came away energized about Northwestern’s drive and mission, and confident in its ability to succeed. Promoting the We Will initiative continued through far-reaching regional programming. The campaign set records and received accolades—and today Northwestern is recognized among the top 10 most successful U.S. universities in fundraising.

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