The opportunity of a lifetime

Imagine getting accepted to the college of your dreams, then realizing you don’t have the money to pay for tuition. Typically, students in this position apply for student loans which take years or even decades to pay off. But in 2008, Vanderbilt joined a growing number of universities that replaced its student loans with grants and scholarships. This program, called Opportunity Vanderbilt, guaranteed to cover the tuition needs of every single undergraduate. But making this promise would not be cheap. And Vanderbilt needed to raise some money.

  • Client: Vanderbilt University
  • Agency: Stonecastle
  • Type: Non-profits, Education
  • Deliverable: Fundraising Video
  • Services: Creative Strategy, Video Production, Scriptwriting

The Project

family walks on campus at vanderbilt university
student visits with friends on the quad at vanderbilt university
woman walks in chapel at vanderbilt university

The challenge


The alumni development team at Vanderbilt University approached Stonecastle to create a fundraising video that did more than just explain the Opportunity Vanderbilt program. They knew they had a powerful story to tell, but they needed help structuring all the elements into a video that captured the imaginations of would-be students and donors.

Our solution


When you create a fundraising video, you have to find that balance between delivering pure information and creating an emotional experience. It can’t be all one or the other; a successful video must speak to both the head and the heart. For Vanderbilt, we developed a story structure that gave us room to play on both sides of the emotional spectrum.