The Challenge

Georgia State University was preparing to launch a fundraising initiative designed to support its distinctive mission of student success and propel the University forward. Knowing that a successful campaign relies on strong, coordinated efforts from all internal stakeholders, the University sought to improve its advancement communications capabilities and to then focus on developing distinctive communications positioning and messaging for its colleges and units. Georgia State engaged GG+A to conduct a strategic communications review, assist with campaign visioning, run priority-setting workshops with Deans of schools and units, and provide input on the campaign case for support.

Our Approach

GG+A began a systematic review of current operations at Georgia State, analyzing a range of material and data provided by Development and Alumni Affairs and conducting one-on-one interviews with internal stakeholders, both within Development and Alumni Affairs and across the University, including University Communications. Our findings revealed opportunities for organizational changes to enhance leadership among staff and improvements to messaging that would help to better capture the University’s distinctive narrative about student success and transforming Atlanta.

GG+A worked with deans and administrators to emphasize the University’s points of distinctiveness and impact in ways that would resonate with donors.  Through a series of workshops, we helped define specific philanthropic priorities within the University’s campaign vision. By coordinating the strategic messages of the staff, administrators, and leadership, the University would be well-positioned to showcase its momentum in order to garner philanthropic support.

The Results

Georgia State University launched its $300 million Burning Bright campaign publicly in October 2015 and raised $230 million just 13 months later.