This is where it happens


Sarah Lawrence came to Hyperakt looking for a new approach to their annual fundraising campaign, aiming to increase the dollar amount of annual funds, participation rate among prospective givers, and ensure perpetual giving from donors into the future. The Fund for Sarah Lawrence (FSL) is a integral part of sustaining and growing one of the country’s top universities.

Hyperakt and the Sarah Lawrence team worked side-by-side to understand the barriers to fundraising, uncover insights from their target audiences, develop a new and exciting creative campaign, and recommend an impactful outreach strategy.


Our approach focused on crafting a compelling story that got to the heart of what drives Sarah Lawrence's identity and their alumni's desire to give back. We started with a review of all of SLC's existing fundraising content, noting the strengths and opportunities for improvement. We conducted user interviews with alumni, and parents of students/alums to get a sense of how they defined their Sarah Lawrence experience and their attitudes towards giving (in general and to SLC).

The first step in repositioning SLC’s capital campaign was to understand who we were trying to reach. The audience evolution funnel visualizes our intentions for reaching various types of donors. We hypothesized that increasing awareness around university events, as well as engaging users online and via social media, would increase engagement with the campaign and, ideally, lead to higher donations.


We created user personas based on our interviews to bring our insights to life and gain a better understanding of the motivations of giving to SLC, and what challenges may get in the way.

Based on our user research, we developed initial messaging for each persona and facilitated a brainstorm with the client to develop additional messages. From there, we took the insights from our client workshops and user personas to create messaging that encapsulated the Sarah Lawrence experience and the school's unique, inter-disciplinary pedagogy.

Art Direction

The messaging laid the foundation for illustrations. Hyperakt developed a stylistic approach made up of interesting juxtapositions that conveyed a sense of exuberance. We worked with illustrator Jon Han to achieve the abstract, painterly, compositions that paralleled SLC's progressive curriculum. Below you can see the how content progressed from original ideation to the finished product.