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Crushing Fundraising Goals: A Case Study with SUNY Cortland

Raised $30.5 Million

Surpassed Original Goal by 20%

Reached Over 13,000 donors



In 2019, SUNY Cortland kicked off their “All In” Campaign to support students and key university priorities. We helped launch the campaign with a series of videos dedicated to each of their five critical goals, or “buckets,” plus an overview video that encouraged alumni and other donors to make a gift.

Fast forward 5 years and the campaign surpassed their $25 Million goal by 20%. To celebrate the end of the “All In” campaign, we helped create an additional series of videos, including:

  • Campaign Wrap-up video to thank donors and highlight how the funds are being used across the 5 buckets
  • An evergreen Why I Give video to remind donors of their impact and inspire new donors to contribute
  • A sizzle reel for the annual Cortaca football game that coincided with a giving challenge


Higher Education


On-Site Video

Quotation marks.

The versatility that video has is super impactful. It’s a way to energize and get folks excited about your message and what you’re asking for their support of.

Watch the video to hear directly from our client – Rich Coyne, the Associate VP for Institutional Advancement at SUNY Cortland.


Our Approach

There’s a lot of strategy that goes into a campaign as big as this one. A versatile approach was necessary to reach a wide range of donors and it was important to get alumni emotionally engaged.

We achieved this by evoking nostalgia with familiar imagery, tugging on heartstrings with stories of impact, and getting people excited with an energetic sizzle video.

Whether the donor felt tied to the athletic programs, wanted to fund a student scholarship, or felt some other connection to campus, each donor could feel confident their contribution was making an impact.

Catering to Donor’s Interests

SUNY Cortland created 5 strategic buckets that donors could support. Within each bucket, donors could see how their dollar was being used and its impact on students. The most popular bucket was dedicated toward scholarships.

  • Strengthening student access and success: $13,703,322
  • Enriching our unique educational experience: $5,658,072 
  • Supporting academic programs and faculty: $1,996,266 
  • Nurturing SUNY’s healthiest, most athletic campus: $3,570,960 
  • Building a lifetime network: $1,099,862 

Check out all three videos created to celebrate the end of the campaign below, including the evergreen Why I Give video, the Campaign Wrap-up video, and the Cortaca sizzle reel! Head over to Cortland’s YouTube channel to watch the videos we created to launch the “All In” Campaign in 2019.



Not only did SUNY Cortland reach their fundraising goal, they surpassed it by a whopping twenty percent! They expanded their reach and gained a thousand new donors. And they raised an additional $285,000 at the end of their campaign during a week-long challenge.

Of course, the videos weren’t the only reason for the wide success of this campaign. The team at SUNY Cortland knows their stuff! But the videos played a key role in the overall strategy and made donors feel appreciated and excited about the future of SUNY Cortland.


  • Raised $30.5 Million (20% over original goal of $25 Million)
  • Reached over 13,000 donors, including 1,000 new donors
  • Raised $285,000 during week-long Cortaca Challenge