Fundraising Campaign

Forward Together


I had the opportunity to work on this campaign from conceptualizing the title and tag lines to organizing the media rich launch event. We aimed to inspire our donors with authentic stories of our student’s perseverance and success. We gathered interviews, photos and video of these stories and built our campaign launch media on that foundation. I designed the campaign brand style guide, as well as, invitations, storybooks, event signage, event swag and website. The campaign went on to exceed it’s original goal of $50M and raised a total of $55,035,210 for student success.

Campaign Storybooks

The storybook is one of the most important collateral pieces in the campaign because it breaks down and defines each pillar of the campaign. It explains each of the nine funding priorities and why they were chosen as focal points. It brought to life the stories of directly affected students, alumni and faculty. It was distributed to launch event attendees and throughout the five-year campaign.

It has three major, color coded sections: “preparing tomorrow’s leaders,” “building great communities,” and “solving critical issues.” Each story included portraits of either students, donors, alumni or faculty, as well as, quotes by the portrait subjects and statistical data stating clearly the need for funding.

The pattern on the outside is composed of the three words chosen to describe the major themes and funding focuses of the campaign: “preparing,” “building,” and “solving.” Peppered throughout the word pattern are pops of holographic foil. This attracts the eye to read each word and to tie in the campaign color palette of blue, orange and green, while surrounded by the CSUSM blue. The outside cover, coated in soft-touch varnish, gives it a pleasant tactile feel.

Campaign Launch Invitations

These invitations were mailed to over 1,000 people to kick-off the university’s five year capital campaign. The same word pattern, holographic foil and soft touch coating used on the front cover tie-in with the storybooks.

The invite used a “peek-a-boo” die-cut to reveal a play on words within the CSUSM initials. The first panel of the card only reveals the “U” in “CSUSM.” Then the second panel reveals only the “US” in “CSUSM.” When the card is fully opened it reveals, “Forward Together, CSUSM.” The card implies that each individual that received an invitation was needed to make the campaign work, that each individual invited should join the team and work towards the causes of CSUSM, to “prepare tomorrow’s leaders,” “build great communities,” and “solve critical issues.”

The invite was mailed in a matte black #9 envelope with a bright blue label to stand-out and to seem more intriguing than the rest of the mail an invitee may have received the same day. The black also made the holographic words pop and reveal more dramatically.

Launch Event Signage

The Campaign Launch Event was attended by hundreds of donors, faculty and alumni of CSUSM. The event was designed to inform and inspire prospective donors and to motivate and propel into action those already invested, like the CSUSM Foundation Board.

Before the guests sat at their tables for the program, they mingled at a cocktail reception. Everything at the event imbued school spirit! Splashes of Cougar blue light shone up on the walls and students dressed in a uniform of blue and white greeted the guests. As guests walked through the foyer to the ballroom, an installation of large falcon board signs, measuring about 3′ x 8′ surrounded them.

Each of these double-sided, falcon board signs displayed graphics, photos and stories from the campaign storybook. They stood throughout the room much like an art exhibit. Guests sipped their beverages and read about the success stories of our students and the specific goals of the fundraising event. It made an excellent conversation piece and ramped up the excitement for the presentation they all were about to see.

The program featured three large video screens mounted on a stage behind presenters. The video screens mirrored the same graphics and photos as the storybooks and signage. Every piece of collateral at the event cohered and delivered the message of the campaign.

Brand Style Guide
Magazine Layout