Dream Comes True

Drexel University

When Drexel University embarked on their Dream It. Do It. Drexel. A Campaign for the Future, they had a well-defined vision of their goal – to carry on the legacy of Anthony J. Drexel and create the modern urban university of the 21st century. Theirs was a broad perspective that embraced the entire institution, touching every school and college within the university.

From the outset of the campaign, they wanted a partner who could work closely with Institutional Advancement on a university-wide level. They sought a communications firm that could bring a fresh perspective to the campaign, a firm that was experienced in institutional fundraising. With that goal in mind, they selected MSK Partners.

As the primary communications firm for the campaign, we became intimately acquainted with the schools and colleges that make up Drexel University. We learned the hopes and goals for each of them. Through extensive interviews with alumni, students, faculty and board members, we discovered the stories for each of these individual entities within the university and their meaning to Drexel as a whole.

From this base of institutional knowledge, we were able to develop the messaging and design that would carry the campaign throughout its duration. Working collaboratively with Institutional Advancement, print and digital communication was created to deliver the campaign message to potential donors and internal stakeholders.

The results of the campaign speak directly to the effectiveness of those efforts and the tireless work of the University team. The campaign not only reached its goal of $400 million a year ahead of schedule, it exceeded that goal by $55 million.

More than 17,500 first-time donors made gifts during the campaign, which garnered 67 gifts of $1 million or more. Three benefactors made contributions in excess of $25 million. During the campaign, activity by Drexel’s alumni also increased, with attendance at annual events climbing by 71 percent and social media engagement jumping by 225 percent. The campaign concluded with three times as many alumni volunteering at the University.

Of course, the campaign also achieved its ultimate goal of helping to create the modern urban university of the 21st century. We’re grateful for having played a role in this campaign and helping to shape the Drexel University of the future.

“Bringing in an outside firm with so much experience in institutional advancement really added to the depth of our team. MSK Partners quickly and seamlessly integrated themselves into our efforts and created the materials that became our tools for success. From my experience, MSK has the ability to work within a complex organization, partnering effectively with numerous deans and academic leadership - each with diverse concerns and ideas needing to be heard - and then being able to unify all of the input to create a cohesive brand positioning.”

Kristen DeVries, former Campaign Director, Drexel University