Campus Improvement
Grant Program

The Home Depot tapped UWG to build affinity and increase preference among black consumers by leveraging community connection to education as an essential core value with their commitment to HBCUs. The Home Depot Retool Your School program is the only program of its kind in America providing grants for physical improvement to HBCU campuses.


Helping Local

With our AA target audience’s community sensibility top of mind, this platform promoted a strong and constant orientation toward something greater than themselves: “I should be doing more to help my local community.”

HBCUs have a special place in the hearts and minds of African Americans, whether they personally attended or not. This affinity comes from understanding the important role these institutions played in educating and providing opportunity for countless African Americans.


UWG created a program that played up to our audience’s core sensibility of community, and engaged institutions by addressing an issue that’s important to the national AA community — the rebuilding and modernization of HBCU campuses.

The Retool Your School program was developed to create a groundswell among HBCU students and supporters by getting them to participate and vote for their school to win a Home Depot grant that would be used for much-needed campus repair, restoration, and sustainable upgrade.

We developed content that created an emotional connection with our AA target. We also extended engagement beyond voting and the judging period to make a year-round platform through evergreen content amplification and distribution.


Created in 2010, we have seen the Retool Your School program scale exponentially in its eight years of existence. Since the program’s inception, out of the 107 HBCUs, the program has garnered the participation of more than 80% of the accredited historically black colleges and universities.

Additionally, over the past eight years, The Home Depot has generated 17.6MM votes through the website and social media, and disbursed 490 grants totaling $1.8MM. These funds have helped schools with meeting ADA compliance, landscaping, building extensions and enhancements, energy efficiency upgrades, restoration and walkways, signage, gardens, outdoor eco-classroom space and more.