St. Edmund Hall
St. Edmund Hall: Building an accessible future for an Oxford college
Teddy Hall, as it is affectionately referred to, is one of the forty colleges that make up the University of Oxford. It faces not only the challenge of ensuring that its £10m per year operation is fully funded via a combination of tuition fees, trading and philanthropy, but also to make visionary new investments in its estate, cohort of academics and student support so that it continues to provide a truly inspirational education experience. After setting a new college-wide strategy in 2019, Philanthropy Company was commissioned in Autumn 2021 to advise on the construction of a new £50m fundraising campaign, the Hall’s first in recent memory.
We worked to provide an assessment of the College’s potential and readiness to launch a successful campaign. Our feasibility study covered aspects such as identifying the priority projects that needed funding and their relative appeal to donors; how sizeable and primed the prospect pool of alumni and others appeared to be; the capabilities of the core development team and wider volunteer network and what style and tone should be adopted as part of the communications strategy. We undertook a mix of desk research and stakeholder interviews, before providing our recommendations to the Principal and Fellows.
During the project, the College was required to hire a new Development Director and we both provided interim support and masterminded the recruitment process, in conjunction with an Executive search firm.
In April 2022, ‘HALLmarks’ was launched to alumni and supporters, both at an in-college dinner and via a series of digital global presentations. The innovative campaign identity was generated by Philanthropy Company and was designed to amplify the core characteristics of the Hall and how each of them was embodied in the priorities that needed funding. HALLmarks is likely to run for approximately five years and the suite of communication tools – microsite, video, artists impressions and brochures – has enabled the Development team, featuring the new Development Director, to engage proactively with their prospects.
“We are really grateful for Philanthropy Company’s ability to identify the essence of our special institution and how this can shine through to donor prospects as part of an innovative campaign that marries the contemporary and historical. HALLmarks has an ability to really galvanise our staff, fellows, students and alumni and help us reach our strategic goals.”