Math for America

Growing a bigger, better recruiting machine


Growing participation in programs often requires a new, creative, and systematic approach to marketing and advertising.

Math for America needed marketing to reach and engage more candidates for their fellowships.

Math for America offers valuable fellowships for public school STEM teachers. Fellows receive a generous stipend, get to hone their skills, collaborate with peers, and access leadership opportunities. As their enrollment goals grew, their standard promotional materials weren’t bringing enough qualified teachers in the door.

A little research can go a long way.

We wanted to find out what barriers might be holding back qualified teachers from applying to Math For America’s fellowships, and which benefits would be most motivating. Big Duck went right to the source.

Turning insights into advertising

Big Duck surveyed Math for America’s past fellows and discovered that, while the stipend got their attention, what they valued most was the opportunity to connect with their fellow professionals and deepen their practice. We created a campaign concept built on this insight—Practice What You Teach—calling on teachers to challenge and motivate themselves the same way they challenge and motivate their students.

Next, we integrated the concept into a suite of digital, advertising, and printed assets that would capture a teacher’s attention. We made it easier to begin and complete their application process to ensure qualified candidates didn’t get lost along the way, and helped the Math for America team weave key marketing concepts (like the ladder of engagement) into their advertising strategy and promotional materials.

MFA campaign materials
In all campaign materials, the Practice What You Teach concept came to life with photos of real New York City STEM teachers.
Their new website was engineered to be responsive and optimized for mobile platforms.
Their new website was engineered to be responsive and optimized for mobile platforms.
MFA campaign concept
A campaign concept and call to action challenging teachers, who regularly motivate students, to do the same for themselves.

Creative + Strategy = Strong campaign

Practice What You Teach ads ran in print, digital, and on subways throughout New York City. A clear landing page, friendly email series, and strategically segmented collateral helped make applying to programs intuitive and compelling for future recruits.

The sum of our work speaks volumes

Math for America’s fellowship programs went from being under enrolled to over enrolled during the first year of this campaign—including a 358%(!) increase in applications for their Master Teacher Fellowship. The campaign recruited over 5,000 teachers in 5 years and helped deepen their communications team’s capacity to strategically manage a growing evergreen marketing program, setting them up to launch and run future campaigns in-house.


Increase in applications for the Master Teacher Fellowship after one year

The Practice What You Teach campaign helped us build a strong, ongoing pipeline of possible fellows who see themselves in these ads. Meeting our recruitment goals went from a challenge to a given in less than three years.

— Megan Roberts, Executive Director, New York Program, Math for America

It’s the teacher’s job to motivate the student. It’s Big Duck’s job to motivate your audiences to take action. Let’s talk campaigns.