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Changing the Game

Mercersburg Academy

Can a history-making gift become a cause for more giving?

Mercersburg Academy found itself facing unexpected opportunity, and sought a partner to help make the most of it. The school wanted to make a splash with news of an alumna’s $100 million gift — one of the largest ever to an independent school — and leverage that announcement to launch a $300 million campaign. This pivotal moment called for careful positioning: using the donor’s gift to inspire others and showcase the school’s special qualities without intimidating smaller donors.

Our long-range media planning developed multiple angles for a cross-section of outlets, from national news services to local TV stations. Collateral and multimedia work began with key-message development, focusing on impact. Next came a campaign theme, Daring to Lead; a graphic identity; and planning. We created a suite of materials that included a “mini-case” brochure, a campaign video, and short, thematic videos. The campaign gained traction online through a microsite and social media: more than 590 outlets covered the announcement and Mercersburg’s website had a record number of hits on the day of the launch.

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