Rhodes Trust

The Challenge

The world’s oldest and most prestigious scholarship was ready to broaden their impact for the next 120 years. But as they prepared to reinforce their commitment to igniting the power of brilliant scholars and new supporters from around the world, they had to also grapple with their founder’s—Cecil Rhodes—colonialist history in sub-Saharan Africa.


  • Campaigns
  • Creative
  • Video

The Insight

As a part of our strategic process, we developed audience personas centered around shared aspirations rather than on physical or geographic attributes. This fundamentally shifted how Rhodes saw their myriad potential donors–as united by desires as opposed to being differentiated by identities.

The Journey

Mission Minded was selected because of our ability to facilitate honest conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Our DEI advisor led a training for the Rhodes team on asset-based framing, and we urged the client to “name the thing,” meaning rather than attempt to avoid discussion of their history, to acknowledge it and from there, to build an inclusive new legacy.

That is our history. We cannot undo it. But we can and will continue to elevate the people of the world with all the power Cecil Rhodes appropriated.

Together we built a campaign strategy, messages, design, and video that accurately paint a picture of who the Rhodes Trust is today and the value of global collaboration, inviting donors to fight the world’s fight and support the solutions that only globally-minded scholars can lead.

The Impact

The campaign theme Exponential Potential is explosive and radiant, showing the unique impact that happens when convening un-like-minded but like-hearted scholars. After being launched by former President Clinton at the Trust’s 120th anniversary event, the organization is now on pace to meet and exceed its £200M goal.

The Mission Minded team listened carefully, challenged us to think deeply and creatively, and helped bring the best out of our vision for our campaign and our future.

Dr. Elizabeth Kiss as Warden (CEO) of The Rhodes Trust at Oxford University

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