Weitzman School of Design

Lead By Design

The Situation

The Weitzman School of Design (formerly PennDesign) at the University of Pennsylvania focuses on creating leaders in the fields of urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, fine arts, and historic preservation. Untuck was approached by PennDesign to create a targeted, engaging, and integrated capital campaign to raise funds and amass support for the School of Design. The school wanted to reach a variety of individuals and groups identified as existing or potential donors or campaign supporters. A successful campaign for PennDesign would enhance existing facilities or build anew, expand the endowment to support the best and most diverse students and faculty, fuel wide-spread community engagement, tap into foreign donor pools by leveraging its strong international reputation, and engage students to volunteer and support the campaign beyond financial giving.

Our Approach

After extensive resource gathering and research, we directed our efforts into developing the strategy and communications plan to drive the campaign. Our team conducted interviews with faculty and staff to uncover details about projects, programs, and fellowships and identified key stories featuring people of impact. We defined our audience, developed a targeted messaging platform (internal and external), and created the brand identity using these school-focused campaign goals. The resulting campaign encourages PennDesign constituents to fund a new group of forward-facing leaders and thinkers to shape the cities of our future and design a better world.

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Facing Forward

PennDesign has a story to tell that's fueled by its past, inspired by its current stable of talented students and faculty, and positioned to transform the future of our world. Their story is about progress and impact on urban areas, from the preservation of cultural and historical monuments and artifacts to improving transportation systems and the built environment. It's about always facing forward and leading through action. This is the impetus of the PennDesign Campaign, its messaging and its visual identity. Upward and forward, leading by design.

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Tailor the Conversation

How does one reach a deep and varied donor base to inspire them to give? Through numerous conversations with the PennDesign development and communications teams around tactical approaches that would best solve this challenge, we developed a highly modular system—a case statement book, folder, and individual fact sheets—for maximum flexibility and customization. This approach afforded development officers the flexibility to strategically tailor each package around the motivation of each individual donor.

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Reaching Donors Everywhere

Considering PennDesign's vast international network, it was vital to build the campaign case across digital touchpoints from social media to email marketing to a dedicated campaign website. By drawing on the deep pool of stories that demonstrate the far-reaching and diverse nature of PennDesign's impact, we were able to focus the integrated effort around this engaging and unique content, bringing it boldly to the forefront.

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This project won an AIGA Philadelphia Design Award.

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