Print External Audience Tabloids and Newsletters: University of California, Berkeley - Silver Medal

Category 21A: Print External Audience Tabloids and Newsletters
University of California, Berkeley, Promise of Berkeley

Contact: Mary Keegan, development communications director, 2080 Addison St., Berkeley, CA 94720-4200, Phone: (510) 643-6428, e-mail:

To gear up for the public launch of a campus-wide fundraising campaign in the fall of 2008, our Promise of Berkeley tabloid newsletter was re-engineered into a mini-magazine with the first issue produced in winter 2005. The size took advantage of the same lower mail rates as the tabloid. While we retained the same size as the eight-page tabloid, the new format gave us greater flexibility with editorial content and design. Another benefit is that the publication size and content is very distinctive from our alumni magazine published by the independent alumni association.

The content was refocused to cover stories about Berkeley that can inspire giving as well as stories about the impact of private giving on the campus. The content also moved from longer pieces to short stories and blurbs that respond to people’s short attention spans and lack of time to read in-depth articles. The graphic design and colors of the piece are intentionally designed to be dynamic, bold and fresh.

The content was revitalized to include:

  • News briefs
  • People/human interest stories
  • Opinion pieces and interviews
  • Articles highlighting teaching and learning, research, and public service
  • Regular columns and features

The circulation was expanded to 100,000+ to include a broader base of alumni, donors, and parents. The publication is currently being published three times a year but will increase to quarterly with the launch of the campaign. Issues are theme-based around campus initiatives such as undergraduate and graduate education, research, faculty excellence, and the arts and humanities.

The publication is also intended to be used to thank and welcome new donors. New donors receive their first issue with a “thank you wrap”. We also segment and “personalize” the content with special laser printed messages next to the recipient address such as notice of upcoming events.


  • To strengthen the affiliation of alumni and other donor groups by acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of alumni, parents, and friends to UC Berkeley’s excellence and by showcasing the contributions that the Berkeley’s faculty and students make to the world.
  • To steward donors at all levels and build donor participation and commitment by showing that “there’s a lot going on at Berkeley — and you are part of it.”
  • To welcome donors to the Berkeley community
    • “Wraps” for first-time donors
  • To provide the summary of annual giving for the fiscal year
    • Charts on giving totals, etc.
    • Highlights of major gifts for the year
  • To provide a publication that we can build on for the next campaign


Frequency: 3 issues per year/ 4 issues per year beginning Fall 2008
Distribution: Approx. 100,000
Format: 32 pages plus cover, 10”x 6” with a saddle stitched binding
Production value: 4-color, web press
Budget: $40,000 printing and mailing; 44 cents per unit


Prospects rated 1-8
Donors of $100+ anytime past 3 years
Cal Fund 5+consecutive year donors of $50+
Faculty and emeriti faculty
BIW members
$25,000+ donors anytime in past five years
Graduates of Last Decade of $10,000+ anytime in past five years
Cumulative lifetime donors of $100K+
Parent, class campaign volunteers
Select affiliation codes
Regional program prospects

Audience Feedback: Audience feedback regarding the Promise of Berkeley has been overwhelmingly positive. Many readers have comments on the greatly improved design and the crispness of the writing. Sample letters include the following:

  • Your recent publication (fall 2006) is the best I have seen for many years. The layout, colors, and information are excellent. Your articles are well chosen and well written. Your publication will certainly ensure that my contribution will increase.
  • I want to commend you on your fine publication. It is attractive, the articles are interesting, and it motivates me to support Cal. I appreciate you keeping the articles short and readable... I remember the format of the publications I received several years ago and they simply did not have the same impact. Great job!
  • Your publication, "The Promise of Berkeley" is excellent. The variety of content, concise yet very informative writing, and graphics are top notch. I feel connected to what's going on at Cal with very little effort. I can't think of any way you can improve the publication. I look forward to receiving and reading the next issue.

Staffing: The current editorial and design staff have been absorbed the workload of this new publication with some help from free-lancer writers. It is anticipated that additional editorial and design staff will be added for the campaign when the frequency of the publication increases.