Scribble Brings Soup-to-Nuts Marketing to Harvard Non-Profit

To Schepens Eye Research Institute, Scribble is Clear Choice

When Schepens Eye Research Institute launched its search for a marketing agency in 2008; it was at a crossroads. The 50 plus-year-old Harvard affiliate no longer had the capacity to manage its growing marketing program internally. Yet as a non-profit, it couldn’t afford a big jump in spending.

To address these challenges, Schepens’ director of business development Melanie Saunders collaborated with colleagues from her department and the corporate alliance group to evaluate marketing agencies. Everyone on the team brought an agency to the table. From the start, Scribble was the clear choice. “It wasn’t even a question. We were all sold,” says Saunders. “Unlike the other candidates that tried to hard sell us on what they thought we needed, Craig listened to what we said we needed. And he was able to respond quickly with some creative approaches to telling our story.”

Meeting Two Objectives With One Smart Solution

When Scribble came on board as Schepens’ marketing agency, the first item of business was to announce a major restructuring of the laboratories. Although the goal was to reach two distinct audiences—donors and corporate partners—the Schepens budget could support only one marketing program.

Cover of Sightings Publication

“As separate departments with different constituents, we struggled to reach agreement on what we needed, because we looked at things from different angles", says Saunders. “But Craig was able to get us all on the same page.” The most cost-effective solution for Schepens was to print one brochure promoting a message with broad appeal to both audiences. Each group could then package the brochure with a letter that spoke directly to its target recipients.

Says Saunders, “We were skeptical that we could afford a soup-to-nuts marketing company like Scribble. But Craig helps us stretch our dollar. He knows the questions to ask and how to get the best price. To a non-profit, that’s very important.”

Fundraising Campaign Gets Powerful Results

“The image and message Scribble created for our ad and brochure was very powerful,” says Saunders. “Our objective was to raise money to support research for AMD (age-related macular degeneration)—a condition that mostly affects seniors and is sometimes hard to present in an enticing way.”

“This campaign was so persuasive,” continues Sanders, “we had people calling us asking how to donate before we had the chance to follow up with them. Needless to say, we met our goal within our time window. Many of the doctors that work with us asked if they could send the brochure to their own patients.”

Scribble Makes Life Easier

In addition to meeting goals, Saunders is finding there are a lot of other advantages to working with Scribble. A big one is service. “Scribble makes my life easier,” says Saunders. “Craig limits the time I need to spend on any one marketing project and takes the headaches out of the process. And I feel that Craig genuinely cares about what we do.”

As for the quality of the work, the president of Schepens told Saunders that the most recent issue of the Institute’s donor publication—the first that Scribble had designed and produced—was the best he’d seen. “When we work with Scribble, I honestly can’t wait to see the projects when they come off the press,” says Saunders.