National University Polyclinics

Most people believe that public universities are already "rich", or should be funded by the government. How do we change perceptions on the need for fundraising for high quality tertiary education to be financially sustainable?



The NUS Development Office wanted to enhance it fund raising profile to enhance educational programmes and infrastructure, research, as well as  support needy students

A “one-size-fits-all” approach did not gain sufficient traction with academics, executives, students, alumni members, and the corporate community. Compounding these difficulties is the growing pool of tertiary institutes competing for attention and funding.


Through in-depth focus group discussions, Activiste engaged multiple segments of NUS’s alumni gathering critical insight from audiences that had graduated between the 70s through to the 90s and even present day students. To supplement, we engaged with multiple stakeholders and held a brainstorming workshop to draw inputs from staff and professors across NUS to understand issues and barriers to engagement. Together with the working team, Activiste then developed a clear messaging strategy to help address the multiple segments of alumni; we collectively defined opportunities to engage existing students and showcase how a giving programme is actually making a difference to students in need. In consolidating our findings and recommendations, Activiste developed a comprehensive manual and visual system covering tone-of-voice and recommended messaging for different segments, a unique over-arching identity and a flexible secondary graphic that allowed the Development Office to showcase the numerous faculties and initiatives that are often running concurrently.


18 months after its launch, NUS Giving exceeded its targets and continues to make its presence felt . It also won a CASE Circle of Excellence Award in 2012 for branding.


"Kim demonstrated a good knowledge of NUS and the challenges facing the university in terms of the need to raise awareness for philanthropic support. She demonstrated creativity and an indepth knowledge of the elements…The NUS Giving communications system was rolled out across all our materials and was awarded a Bronze Medal at the 2012 CASE Circle of Excellence Awards"

Linda Davies
Head of Communications, Development Office, National University of Singapore