Raising £1.3 million for Marlborough College bursary scheme

Marlborough Difference

The Brief

The Marlborough College bursary team approached us to create a signature film for their campaign called The Marlborough Difference (a campaign all about the difference that bursary pupils make to the college as a whole). The campaign aimed to raise funds for bursary places, enabling children who couldn’t afford Marlborough’s fees to attend the college. They had already developed a creative campaign with a tagline, profiles of bursary pupils, and visual assets. So our task was to propose ideas for the signature film and additional films leading up to their Giving Day in March – a day dedicated to fundraising.

Our Creative Solution

We decided to create an interview-based film featuring various bursary recipients. To achieve an authentic and engaging style, we used specialised equipment called the EyeDirect. This allowed the director to conduct interviews where the pupils made direct eye contact with the camera, creating a unique effect that made viewers feel as if they were being personally addressed. We asked pupils the big question ‘Has the bursary scheme made a big difference to your life?’ – resulting in an authentic film that provoked an emotional response in the viewer . Additionally, we captured behind-the-scenes footage of the pupils entering the Memorial Hall, where the interviews took place. We also created some more offbeat energetic films where members of Marlborough College talk about the Giving Day itself and why the Giving Day is important and what to expect on the day. Captured in a single day of filming, one crew shot the main interview whilst the other team filmed around Marlborough College.

The Result

Marlborough College was thrilled with our exceptional execution of the idea. They used the film by premiering it at a prestigious VIP event on Fleet Street, generating an initial amount of funds for the bursary scheme. Leading up to the Giving Day, they showcased various films we had created, culminating in the main film on the designated day. The outcome was truly remarkable, as over 1,000 donors contributed a staggering £1.3 million. This achievement established the Giving Day as the most successful fundraising event organised by a school in the UK.

“There is no doubt in our minds that the films created by Small Films helped considerably to get us to this amazing total. Thank you so much for your help and assistance these past few months. It has been truly wonderful to work with you”. 

– Christian Propper, Associate Director, Marlborough Foundation






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