Webster University

Building a Higher-Ed Philanthropy Brand

Webster University Empower Impact Report cover

Webster University’s approach to education is inviting and personal, a differentiator reflected in their admissions and recruitment pieces. The Advancement Department was ready to build on that approach and create a unique position to encourage long-term engagement and giving.  


When Webster University came to us, they wanted to create clear and compelling communications with donors whether they were reporting on the financial performance of their annual gifts, inviting them to an event or requesting their support in other ways. Through discussions with the donor communications team, we realized that the best way to show impact was not only by highlighting the people that make up their Webster community, but also creating pieces that spoke directly to the individual donor.


Over the course of two years and several different pieces, we evolved the philanthropy materials to have a look, feel and voice of their own. Recognizing that the audience for fundraising was much different than the audience for recruitment led us to develop a voice and tone that was less inspirational and more aspirational. Messaging around giving back and shared experiences lead the way for a complementary visual design to signal something different.

Webster Impact Report Cover Design

A Distinct Voice

We know that the universities that are successful at fundraising and turning their alums into donors have distinct brand voices – and speak directly to donors. Through Webster’s donor publications, we built on their existing identity, while beginning to speak to donors in a different, more engaging way. Complementary brand colors and typography, along with stories of donors, students and alumni helped set these pieces apart and gave them a different kind of emotional connection.

Webster Impact Report Design Spread 1
Webster Impact Report Design Spread 2
Webster Impact Report Design Spread 3
Webster University Individual Icons used in Impact Report
Webster University Scholarship variable data sheet

Connecting Through Data

Webster University highlights print piece

Connecting With Alumni

When a beloved dean announced his retirement, the Advancement Department knew that they would have the attention of alumni who had become disconnected from the school. We worked together to create a mailing to evoke great memories of student performances, share the needs of the school and give alumni several ways to get involved and give back.

Webster University Leigh Gerdine Opening Night event invite


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