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Embryo Creative’social video campaign and engagement strategy for the College of the Holy Cross raised $1.9 million from a record 6,226 donors in 43 hours. See how we engaged millennial alumni, inspired giving, and broke fundraising records.


Like many colleges and universities, Holy Cross wanted to increase participation from millennial graduates who were not responding to traditional fundraising appeals.


Embryo developed a social video campaign to convert recent alumni into first-time donors and encourage current students to participate in a giving campaign. The goal was set at 2,500 donations in 43 hours.


Our challenge was to develop a fun, attention-getting campaign that would be shared on social media and engage younger alumni who operate in a cluttered media environment.


We began by conducting research—speaking with supporters and staff—to gain a better understanding of alumni giving patterns and behavior. Using these insights, we developed a campaign strategy that guided our creative development. The result was a humorous meme-like campaign that featured the school mascot in an unconventional role asking audiences to join him and Give Purple.


The Give Purple campaign launched using several components—a teaser video, a pitch video, personal challenge videos featuring alumni, students and faculty, animated digital posters for on-campus signage and social media imagery. We also developed a comprehensive distrubtion plan for the campaign.


The campaign goal was achieved in 12 hours (2,500 individual gifts) and the stretch goal in less than 30 hours (4,300 individual gifts). In total, the campaign achieved 249% of its goal.


  • 6,226 individual gifts for a total of $1.9 million.
  • 11.6K Facebook views of the teaser video, plus several hundred likes and shares.
  • The highest donor participation in a short-term challenge by a liberal arts college.
  • The strongest participation by ‘01–‘15 Holy Cross alums in the last 15 years.
  • The first campaign using the GiveCampus online platform to receive donations from all 50 states.
  • At it’s peak, the campaign recieved an average of 3.88 donations per minute.