Telling the UNCF Story, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste”®

Since UNCF aired its first PSAs in 1972, hundreds of millions of Americans have seen UNCF’s PSAs and heard the motto created for the first campaign, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,”® and millions of individuals, foundations and companies have invested over three billion dollars in UNCF and its students..

Thanks to support from donors Altria Group, Time Warner, Inc., Doris and Donald Fisher Fund and The Walton Family Foundation, UNCF has just released a new, 21st century iteration of this iconic campaign. (Click on the image above for a preview.)  Entitled “Better Futures,” the new campaign frames support for UNCF and its students: not as charity but as an investment in students’ futures and—because when students get degrees we all benefit—in all our futures.

UNCF is all about the students, and the “Better Futures” campaign is no exception.  UNCF college students and college-bound high school students appear in PSAs to talk about how UNCF, by investing in their education, has changed their lives.

The “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”® PSAs alert Americans to UNCF’s need for resources to invest in better futures for its students. But it urges other kinds of investments as well: investments of time to support better education in every community, and investments of personal commitment to creating in the African American community a college-going culture, in which every part of the community guides young people through high school and college and to the better future that lies beyond.

And to drive home our next generation’s need for all kinds of investment, the “Better Futures” PSA campaign expands UNCF’s famous motto with a powerful call to action: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”™