High Level Results for High Value Clients

Play Video about Fundraising Higher Ed: A Case Study with SUNY Cortland

Evidence in Numbers

The initial goal was $25 million and we raised $30.5 million (20% over our goal). We had over 13,000 donors to the campaign over a period of 5 years and we were able to reach 1,000 unique donors from the last campaign.

Energize your Fundraising Campaign with video

In 2019, SUNY Cortland kicked off their “All In” Campaign to support students and key university priorities. We helped launch the campaign with a series of videos dedicated to each of their five critical goals, or “buckets,” plus an overview video that encouraged alumni and other donors to make a gift.

Fast forward 5 years and the campaign surpassed their $25 Million goal by 20%. To celebrate the end of the “All In” campaign, we helped create an additional series of videos, including:

  • A Campaign Wrap-up video to thank donors and highlight how the funds are being used across the 5 buckets
  • An evergreen Why I Give video to remind donors of their impact and inspire new donors to contribute
  • A sizzle reel for the annual Cortaca football game that coincided with a giving challenge

Campaign Results

  • Raised $30.5 Million (20% over original goal of $25 Million)
  • Reached over 13,000 donors, including 1,000 new donors
  • Raised $285,000 during week-long Cortaca Challenge

“It was a great experience working with the White Knight team. What was very helpful was having the project managers involved every step of the way. We had some great feedback that we provided to the White Knight team that they took and ran with and really knocked it out of the park.”

Connecting with donors

I think there’s an emotional connection that folks have after they see the video and could entice them to continue their support and feel good about what they invested in here at SUNY Cortland.

Using Emotion to Drive Donations

There’s a lot of strategy that goes into a campaign as big as this one. A versatile approach was necessary to reach a wide range of donors and it was important to get alumni emotionally engaged.

We achieved this by evoking nostalgia with familiar imagery, tugging on heartstrings with stories of impact, and getting people excited with an energetic sizzle video.

Whether the donor felt tied to the athletic programs, wanted to fund a student scholarship, or felt some other connection to campus, each donor could feel confident their contribution was making an impact.


Catering to Donor's Interests

SUNY Cortland created 5 strategic buckets that donors could support. Within each bucket, donors could see how their dollar was being used and its impact on students. The most popular bucket was dedicated toward scholarships.

  • Strengthening student access and success: $13,703,322
  • Enriching our unique educational experience: $5,658,072 
  • Supporting academic programs and faculty: $1,996,266 
  • Nurturing SUNY’s healthiest, most athletic campus: $3,570,960 
  • Building a lifetime network: $1,099,862 

Watch the Videos

Check out all three videos created to celebrate the end of the campaign below, including the evergreen Why I Give video, the Campaign Wrap-up video, and the Cortaca sizzle reel!

Head over to Cortland’s YouTube channel to watch the videos we created to launch the “All In” Campaign in 2019.