Creative Video for Fundraising Success


  • Strengthened the school’s brand identity by creating an emotional connection with current families
  • Increased parent donations to the Severn Annual Fund
  • Increased traffic to giving pages by 50%

Big Video, Short on Time

The Severn School development office approached me about creating a video to kick off the Annual Fund campaign with under a month to complete and zero budget to spend — I had to think and act quickly. The first segment of the campaign was targeted toward current parents so with the start of the school year underway and a full schedule of other communications projects in the queue, my challenge was to create a unique product in a short amount of time that would resonate with each of Severn’s families.

Use What You’ve Got

Without time to script, storyboard, shoot and edit a narrative video, I needed to use existing footage that I had gathered throughout the previous year — bits and pieces from other projects — and rely on powerful voice-over to shape the story. I created a script that answers the following questions while making a strong emotional connection to Severn’s parent audience:
  • What is the Severn Annual Fund
  • Why is it important for the school community
  • What are the core tenets of the Severn community?
  • How does a Severn education benefit its students?

I enlisted a current student and teacher for the voice-over to further connect Severn’s audience with the content.

Although the footage for the video was a collection of “leftovers,” I intentionally chose each shot to connect with a different segment of our parent audience and to showcase the core values of Severn School. The video visually represents Severn’s mission of character, conduct, and scholarship while highlighting the camaraderie and mentorship that makes a Severn education so special.

Your team continues to do a wonderful job with video messaging. There’s so much heart in them. It truly makes me teary-eyed to be a part of someplace so special.

— Severn School parent