Turning warm, nostalgic sentiments into cold, hard cash.

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Founded in 1769, Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university located in Hanover, New Hampshire. With its illustrious history (it was the only American university that didn’t close for the Revolutionary War), extensive programs of athletics, libraries, labs and arts, world-class faculty and a centuries-long policy of providing generous financial aid to ensure that the best students can always afford to attend Dartmouth, it’s an expensive school to operate. And in 2012, Dartmouth found itself in need of a significant infusion of donations from alumni.

Research conducted by Brodeur Partners* showed that Dartmouth alumni have an emotional attachment to the school that exceeds that of graduates of other Ivy League institutions. 43% consider their years at Dartmouth a transformative experience and 41% would recommend Dartmouth to young people deciding where to attend college.

The same research showed that wealthy donors who were already making solid contributions would be the easiest to persuade to dig even deeper.

Create messaging that would evoke the transformative experience of each alumnus’ time at Dartmouth, the feeling of being part of “a special breed” and the unique character of the place itself. Then, offer donors the opportunity to influence significantly the perpetuation of all that’s uniquely Dartmouth.

Since the program was launched, alumni donations have increased at all levels, with the greatest growth happening in the mid-five-figure segment, exactly where the communications were aimed.

* Dartmouth College is a client of Brodeur Partners, a Boston-based communications firm with offices across the U.S. and around the world. The Crafton Group worked as a subcontractor on this project, conceiving, creating and producing the marketing communications campaign.