Yale University

  • Capital campaign launch event - staging

  • Capital campaign launch event - campaign presentation

  • Capital campaign roadshow - Los Angeles event

  • Capital campaign roadshow- Los Angeles staging

  • Post-event shared experience - Los Angeles

  • Capital campaign launch event - building the narrative arc of Yale's impact around the world

Project Description

Background
  • Private, coeducational Ivy League research university located in New Haven, Connecticut.
Challenge
  • The university conceived the “Yale Tomorrow” campaign to create new opportunities across every school, program, and collection.
  • With a five-year timeline and a $3 billion goal, the campaign would be the largest and most ambitious in Yale’s history.
  • Leadership recognized the critical importance of launching the public campaign in a way that would inspire philanthropic urgency and emotional engagement.
  • The growth of Yale’s endowment relied not only on investment gains but also on ongoing gifts.
Approach
  • Conducted intensive listening sessions with key campaign stakeholders, including campaign leadership and development staff, to understand priorities and vision for the campaign.
  • Conducted listening sessions with donors and alumni to understand the underlying emotional reasons for and barriers to their philanthropic support.
  • Developed a narrative arc and traveled worldwide to find the best examples of Yale’s impact on the world.
  • Developed and produced Yale’s capital campaign launch event and shared experience with VIPs to successfully communicate Yale’s vision that a donation would have a profound impact on every area of the university, for many generations to come.
  • Recruited Sam Waterston, actor and Yale graduate, to host and MC the event.
  • Designed and produced all technical and staging aspects of the campaign launch event.
Results
  • Response to the launch event was highly positive and exceeded expectations for alumni engagement and giving.
  • The launch event was so successful that Yale asked EdwardsCo to restage the event in multiple venues across the country, as well as to create and produce the campaign’s closing and celebration event.
  • The Yale Tomorrow campaign broke its extended goal of $3.5 billion in less than five years, raising a total of $3.88 billion despite the Great Recession.
  • More than 110,000 alumni, parents, friends, corporations, and foundations contributed to the Yale Tomorrow campaign.

Project Details

Client: Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Tags: Capital Campaign Communications, Creative Development and Design, Execution

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