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FAQ about Alumni Giving
This FAQ document on ethically counting gifts from alumni was developed by the CASE Commission on Alumni Relations in consultation with the CASE Commission on Philanthropy. It was approved by both commissions in October 2007.

Student Engagement & Philanthropy Month
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of samples from institutions that participated in CASE ASAP's Student Engagement and Philanthropy Month in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The collection is available to all CASE members and highlights dozens of programming ideas, including ways to engage students in thanking donors.

About the CASE Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines
The CASE Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines, developed by educational fundraising professionals from a broad range of institutions and organizations, provide a common set of definitions and procedures for reporting the results of fundraising activities at educational institutions. The standards and guidelines have evolved over 30 years to reflect changes in the profession.

Clarification to CASE Reporting Standards on Counting Issues
This document outlines clarification to the CASE Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines, 4th edition (CASE, 2009) as endorsed by the CASE Commission on Philanthropy in October 2011. Clarification is provided regarding counting donations in three categories: intellectual property and patents, conservation easements and corporate partnerships.

Naming
Good Question My institution would like to develop guidelines for naming opportunities. Does CASE have any samples of written policies?

Gift Agreements
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of gift agreements for a variety of types of gifts.

Stewardship Program Checklist
The CASE Stewardship Program Checklist, created in 2008 by the CASE commissions on alumni relations and philanthropy, is intended to help managers conduct internal self-assessments of stewardship programs. The checklist may be useful to both new and experienced managers as they assess their programs and may also be helpful in staff training and orientation. It is intended to be inclusive but not exhaustive, and not all items may apply to every institution.

Management Checklist for Development
The CASE Management Checklist for Development, created in 2005 and revised in 2013 by the CASE Commission on Philanthropy, is intended to help development managers conduct internal self-assessments of information and programs. It is not intended for use by external regulators or auditors. The checklist may be useful to both new and experienced managers as they assess their programs and may also be helpful in staff training and orientation. It is intended to be inclusive but not exhaustive, and not all items may apply to every institution. CASE also provides a Management Checklist for Institutionally Related Foundations and another for Stewardship Programs.

Donor Bill of Rights
The Donor Bill of Rights was developed by the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel (AAFRC), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and adopted in November 1993. It is a key document for fundraisers, advancement services professionals, and related disciplines.

Annual Conference for Donor Relations Professionals
Conference Develop strategies to advance your stewardship and donor relations program and gain a better awareness of new trends in this fast-growing profession.

CASE Advancement Conference in Middle East
Conference CASE Advancement Conference in Middle East

The CASE Europe Annual Conference
Conference The CASE Europe Annual Conference is Europe's biggest gathering of advancement professionals across the fields of alumni relations, communications, development, fundraising, marketing and external relations.

APAC19
Conference APAC is the annual signature event in Asia-Pacific for advancement professionals from educational institutions working in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing and communications.

Donor Relations 101
Conference This optional preconference workshop will get you up to speed on the basics of donor relations. Whether you are building from scratch or retrofitting an existing program, the right tools, used correctly, will help you build rewarding relationships with your donors.

Senior Leaders in Donor Relations
Conference This optional preconference workshop is for senior leaders and held in conjunction with the Annual Conference for Donor Relations Professionals.

CASE Management Institute
Conference Get the skills you needWe understand advancement shops in higher ed. That's why we've tailored the CASE Advancement Management Institute to address the needs of new managers. Experienced faculty will tackle topics including staff retention, team management and handling increased responsibilities.

CASE-NAIS Independent Schools Conference
Conference Raise your school's level of success. The CASE-NAIS Independent Schools Conference draws more than 1,000 advancement professionals from around the world in an effort to transform the future of advancement at independent schools.

Institute for Senior Advancement Services Professionals
Conference This annual gathering of senior advancement services leaders has been reimagined to better align with new realities. Technology and strategy are inextricably linked and those in the C suite must navigate between the two with increasing frequency and higher expectations.

New Vice Presidents Bootcamp
Conference The first year as a new vice president is exciting and challenging. The decisions you make about how to allocate your time, how you delegate responsibilities, the relationships you build and the early wins you and your team achieve, have enormous impact on the confidence of other senior leaders in your requests for resources and your capacity to contribute to institution-wide decision-making. The first year can have significant impact on your entire tenure in a senior leadership role. This conference will help you focus your time and effort for maximum success as well as adjust for mistakes made in this critical first year.

Annual Conference for Development Researchers
Conference Participants will walk away with a better understanding and appreciation for qualitative and quantitative prospect identification methods. Co-sponsored with AASP (Association for Advancement Services Professionals).

Study Tours
Seeking international perspectives in advancement? CASE Study Tours are designed as gateways to connect with and learn from experts in the field, as well as to gain deeper understanding of advancement operations of leading educational institutions and organizations.

Summit18
Conference Summit18

Development Communications
Development Communications

Gift Agreements & Donor Intent
Gift Agreements & Donor Intent

Barcoding
Barcoding

Endowment Administration
Endowment Administration

Tax Regulations
Tax Regulations

Conference for Community College Advancement
Conference Join colleagues from throughout North America for the Conference for Community College Advancement. This special conference will bring together professionals from all areas of advancement at community colleges—fundraising, alumni relations, marketing and communications, and government relations—for unparalleled programing, professional development and networking opportunities.

APAC18
Conference APAC is the annual signature event in Asia-Pacific for advancement professionals from educational institutions working in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing and communications.

The DRIVE/ CONFERENCE
Conference DRIVE/ is the preeminent event for professionals who are determined to be subject matter experts in the fields of data, reporting, information, analytics, modeling, visualization and beyond. Join us in Seattle on Feb. 27–28, 2018 to gain valuable insights and stay data driven

Voices
CURRENTS Article Advice on removing a donor name from a building; and why a deck of cards helps one development pro stay focused on making the impossible possible.

Vetting Vendors
CURRENTS Article Today, advancement services professionals are inundated with requests to consider products or accept meetings from companies ranging from startups to familiar names that have expanded their product lines. There are at least 20 different companies offering giving day, mobile giving, and annual fund services; dozens of email platform vendors; and several database companies. Advancement professionals say they're seeing more donor stewardship products to help them capitalize on engagement; more back-office solutions to synchronize or standardize data and sources, manage projects, or marry multiple platforms; and more cloud-based services that make advancement systems available anytime on any device.

How Do You Turn a Car Into a Chair?
CURRENTS Article An anonymous alumnus of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology auctioned off his 2015 McLaren P1—one of the world's fastest cars, which can reach speeds of 200 mph—for $2.39 million, a world-record for that model.

President's Perspective: Mind Your Langauge
CURRENTS Article I advocate looking at our work through different lenses—and no lens is more important than language in the context of culture and respect. When I worked in Wales, for example, I did my best to learn Welsh out of a respect and desire to engage with the community. As our work recruiting students, engaging alumni, and cultivating private philanthropy increasingly transcends borders, we have an opportunity to expand our personal horizons and knowledge of other languages and cultures. It not only will make us more effective (and marketable) as individuals; it will also help us build important bridges and show respect and genuine interest—key to relationship-building.

Donor Relations & Stewardship
Donor Relations & Stewardship

Annual Development Writing Workshop
Conference Designed for professionals who write for development, this conference gives you hands-on training to improve your fundraising results.

Voices:
CURRENTS Article Advice on handling an advancement colleague's inappropriate relationship with a donor; Colorado State's lessons on making a recipe video; and how to avoid errors in your database's list of deceased alumni.

5 Ways Board Members Can Support Fundraising
CURRENTS Article "I'm happy to do anything, except ask for money." Work in educational advancement long enough, and you'll probably hear those words from a foundation or governing board member. For some volunteers, asking for financial gifts produces anxiety—and most people are already dealing with pressure in their life. The last thing they need is more stress from a volunteer job. Discomfort with asking can be a major stumbling block for fundraising success. But the ask is only one step in a larger creative process that's intentionally managed to attract donor investment. Reluctant board members can still help our cause, even if they're not making an ask. Here's how to play to their strengths.

Getting Your Metrics System to Work for You
CURRENTS Article From 2012 to 2016, Reggie Bustinza and Joe Volin were tasked with tracking engagement for the nearly 37,000 alumni at Lewis University in Illinois. They got big results, and their system continues to live on after their time at the institution. Here they share their secrets for taking alumni metrics to the next level.

Donor Surveys
Sample Collection The CASE Library maintains this collection of donor survey samples for all members.

Gift Processing and Donor Records Workshop: Fall Session
Conference Gift Processing and Donor Records Workshop: Fall Session

Gift Processing and Donor Records Workshop: Spring Session
Conference Gift Processing and Donor Records Workshop: Spring Sessionon

Talking Shop: We’re All Ducks
CURRENTS Article Vu Le is the brains and comedic voice behind the Nonprofit with Balls blog. As an executive director of a nonprofit, Le often writes from the perspective of a grantee, producing no-nonsense articles such as “9 annoying nonprofit trends that need to die.” His Seattle-based organization, Rainier Valley Corps, trains people of color for nonprofit leadership positions, so he has lots to say about improving diversity.

Grand Gold Rush
CURRENTS Article Inspired design, storytelling, ingenuity, humor, and brevity were hallmarks of this year's CASE Circle of Excellence Awards Grand Gold winners, the highest prize bestowed by the program. Whether attracting international applicants with an ambitious contest, sharing advice through campus fun facts and pride points, demonstrating that campus quirks will garner attention and gifts, or redesigning a magazine in a way that makes class notes inviting and (gasp!) readable, institutions relied on research, knowledge, and creative skill to push boundaries and deliver inspired work—much of it produced in-house.

10 Reasons Why People Give (and 5 Reasons They Don't)
CURRENTS Article Generosity lights up the same part of your brain that responds to food and sex: Neuroscientists at the National Institutes of Health demonstrated this in a study using functional magnetic resonance imaging. When study participants acted equitably, they activated their brain's orbitofrontal cortex, which assesses rewards. Giving not only makes us feel good; it also makes us look good—and we're all concerned with what people think about us. Giving back can make you seem more responsible. Read on for additional reasons people give and to learn how research on generosity and behavioral economics can provide insights on how donors think.

Crazy, Super, Cool
CURRENTS Article With 2016 coming to a close, Currents wanted to reflect on this year’s amazing innovations at universities around the world. Our favorites include a pizza ATM, software to help you pronounce names, innovative helmets, windows made with wood, and microchips engraved with donor names sent into space.

Endowment Growth Stays Average, but Giving Continues to Rise in 2016
Article,  BriefCASE Article The rate of growth for endowments of U.S. colleges and universities maintained an average rate in 2016, according to the NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. The 805 U.S. institutions that participated collectively reported an average return of -1.9 percent for fiscal year 2016 compared with 2.4 percent for fiscal year 2015.

The Great Alumni Hunt Continues: Student Sleuths Track Down More Alumni
Article,  BriefCASE Article A collaborative effort between one institution and its foundation netted hundreds of newly found alumni and stronger communications between faculty and advancement staff.

How Well Do You Know Your Alumni?
CURRENTS Article Schools and universities are harvesting information alumni self-report or using behavioral analytics—how people react to content—to drive communications, engagement, and fundraising strategies. Social media insights allow institutions to identify prospects and volunteers and better understand existing ones. Much of the innovation is coming from companies with proprietary software, such as EverTrue, Cerkl, IBM, and QuadWrangle, as many colleges and universities lack the bandwidth to constantly monitor social media. But monitor they must. One recent survey found that 72 percent of people who complain to a company via Twitter expect a reply—within the hour.

Voices
CURRENTS Article Advice on endowment terms and a collection of tweets, quotations, advice, and more from the CASE Summit.

CASE Blog: Advancement Services Team Aids in Gifts and More
Article,  BriefCASE Article Creating an advancement services team of experts has helped one UK institution secure six-figure gifts and build some "fantastic relationships," writes an experienced practitioner and presenter at the CASE Development Services Conference, which takes place 5-6 October in Leeds.

Congreso CASE América Latina 2018
Conference Congreso CASE América Latina 2018

Instead of Best Practices, Define Next Practices
Advancement Weekly Article Organizations that want to be competitive employ best practices to keep them in the game. Yet, to truly dominate, organizations should adopt next practices, writes one workplace expert.

Giving Reports & Donor Honor Rolls
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of giving reports and donor honor rolls for all members. Reports that were recognized with a CASE Circle of Excellence Award are noted, and abstracts and judges' reports are linked when available.

Thanking Donors
CURRENTS Article Are You Still Mailing Form Letters? Seven smart ways to say thank you.

The World's Best Stewardship Ideas
CURRENTS Article There are only so many ways to say thank you, right? Wrong! Currents has collected innovative and creative ideas from around the world for thanking and recognizing donors, reporting the impact of their support, and cultivating them for future giving.

Recognizing Donors
CURRENTS Article Consultant Lynne Wester shows institutions new ways to engage their most influential donors.

Cultivating New Gifts
CURRENTS Article There are so many ways to give.

Reporting Impact
CURRENTS Article There's more than one way to tell a story. Here's how four institutions report to donors on how their gifts make a difference.

The Best of Advancement Talk
Podcast Jaime Porter from Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals talks about why she believes donor relations professionals should be responsible for gift monitoring. Also, learn about how to audit gift spending.

Donation Inflation
CURRENTS Article Many development leaders grouse that liberal arithmetic for determining fundraising totals is becoming more common and does not comply with CASE's Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines. No one CURRENTS contacted for this story wanted to charge specific institutions with promoting bogus totals, but everyone wanted to talk about what they feel is a scourge on the profession. They cited examples of practices that enable institutions to claim they're breaking fundraising records. Such practices pressure other institutions to keep up, detract from the mission of educational institutions, undermine the promise and joy of philanthropy, and damage the profession's reputation.

Loved, but Lost
CURRENTS Article Your lost alumni have become untethered, drifting away from their beloved campus, and you're not sure how to bring them back. Some don't update contact information when they relocate; others ignore your correspondence because they think you only want money. Still others might like to reconnect but don't know how or are too busy to realize they haven't heard from you. Search-and-rescue attempts aren't easy. Tight budgets don't help, nor do increasing numbers of graduates, many of whom hop jobs and locations early in their career. But even with these challenges, institutions are designing affordable, innovative campaigns for finding alumni who could become a valuable part of the college's mission. Here's what you can learn from them.

Outlook: Tackling Touchy Topics
CURRENTS Article For fundraisers, discussing touchy subjects is like mentioning politics at a family gathering: We are not there to debate but to foster positive feelings. We are told that when a donor raises a touchy topic we should not be drawn in—much less offer our own opinion—but listen respectfully and find a way to move on. But should "listen but don't engage" always be our default position? Should we not strive to understand what donors think, even if their worldview makes us uncomfortable? By inviting donors to clarify their views—and by responding with how we see the issue, through the ideals of our institution—we can deepen our awareness of each other's values and arrive at a common goal.

Outlook: Stop "Thasking"
CURRENTS Article Another institution's tactic isn't necessarily a best practice or even a good fit for your organization's needs. Yet bad stewardship ideas continue to resurface. Donors' needs are changing, and donor relations needs to evolve if we want to maximize stewardship to help boost fundraising, transform donor relations, and give donors what they truly want. We must take risks, challenge old assumptions, and use data to determine best and next practices.

Campaign Guidelines
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of campaign guidelines for all CASE members.

Office Space: Ghostwriting Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
CURRENTS Article Writing to key donors and prospects on behalf of institutional leaders is a high-stakes endeavor. Capturing the voice of the various university and development executives who sign the messages you write is challenging. It can be hard to find the right words or to strike the right tone, especially when apologies or condolences are part of the job. But you don't have to be a wordsmith to compose effective, strategic letters and emails. Here are some tips to help your writing.

To Boost Retention, Bring Stewardship to Life
Article,  BriefCASE Article To retain donors, it's up to institutions to rethink their stewardship plans, says a CASE expert speaker.

Report: Donor Retention Becoming Top Priority
Article,  BriefCASE Article Nonprofit communications professionals looking for benchmarking information—or even ideas about how to initiate discussions about difficult communications topics with staff or leadership—can find answers in the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trend Report.

Office Space: Time for a Better Annual Fund Process
CURRENTS Article As a technology enthusiast and longtime advancement services professional, Michael Pasqua developed a routine to reduce the time required to produce annual fund mailing lists.

The Great Alumni Hunt
Article,  Community College News Article By challenging teams of volunteers to a friendly competition, a California community college foundation reconnected with more than 1,100 alumni in just a month.

First Class
CURRENTS Article In 2015, CASE added the Platinum Categories to its Circle of Excellence awards to recognize the best-of-the-best practices in educational advancement publications, programs, and projects through a tournament-like competition in CASE's eight North American districts.

APAC17
Conference APAC is the annual signature event in Asia-Pacific for advancement professionals from educational institutions working in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing and communications.

Summit17
Conference Summit17

The Art of Thanking Volunteers Publicly
Article,  BriefCASE Article After that successful alumni tailgate or waffle breakfast, thanking the volunteers who made it a success is key. But a thank you note or email may be just the beginning of the volunteer recognition process, says a CASE faculty member.

Breaking Up with a Prospect
CURRENTS Article Dating tips can help fundraisers learn why, when, and how to break up with a hot prospect who has turned into a cold fish. Here are some practical steps for managing the relationship, from the infatuation stage to "where is this going?" based on my 30-plus years of fundraising and 15-plus years of dating experience.

CASE Europe Annual Conference 2018
Conference The CASE Europe Annual Conference is Europe's biggest gathering of advancement professionals across the fields of alumni relations, communications, development, fundraising, marketing and external relations.

CASE Europe Annual Conference 2017
Conference The CASE Europe Annual Conference is Europe's biggest gathering of advancement professionals across the fields of alumni relations, communications, development, fundraising, marketing and external relations.

CASE Europe Annual Conference 2016
Conference The CASE Europe Annual Conference is Europe's biggest gathering of advancement professionals across the fields of alumni relations, communications, development, fundraising, marketing and external relations.

CASE Europe Annual Conference 2019
Conference The CASE Europe Annual Conference is Europe's biggest gathering of advancement professionals across the fields of alumni relations, communications, development, fundraising, marketing and external relations.

First-Person ‘Humanizes’ Institutions in Case Statements
Article,  BriefCASE Article Development writers should make use of “we” and “our” when referring to their institution in a case statement, says a communications expert.

The Great Alumni Hunt
Article,  BriefCASE Article By challenging teams of volunteers to a friendly competition, a college reconnected with more than 1,100 alumni in just a month.

Donor Relations Pros Should Monitor Gift Spending
Article,  BriefCASE Article The donor relations office should have responsibility for monitoring the spending of gifts, says one experienced practitioner.

How to Ensure Gifts are Spent According to Donors' Wishes
Podcast Jaime Porter from Jefferson University and Hospitals talks about why she believes donor relations professionals should be responsible for gift monitoring Also, learn about how to audit gift spending.

Learn How to Write to Raise More Money, Grow Relationships
Article,  BriefCASE Article Development communications should engage readers and get to the point quickly, says an expert on persuasive writing.

Data Mining & Predictive Modeling
Data Mining & Predictive Modeling

Methods & Resources
Methods & Resources

Noncash Gifts
Noncash Gifts

Applications & Software
Applications & Software

Data Management
Data Management

Lost Alumni
Lost Alumni

System Selection & Implementation
System Selection & Implementation

Information Systems & Management
Information Systems & Management

Prospect Research & Management
Prospect Research & Management

Naming
Naming

Recognition
Recognition

CASE Standards & Guidelines
CASE Guidelines & Standards

Gift Accounting & Reporting
Gift Accounting & Reporting

Assessment & Benchmarking
Assessment & Benchmarking

Gift Clubs
Gift Clubs

The Benefits of Branching Out
CURRENTS Article Many institutions shy away from accepting real estate or convert the gift into cash by selling it. But at Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources, donated land is a gift that keeps giving. Since it started soliciting land gifts through its Bulldog Forest program in 2005, the college has received more than 28,000 acres from 26 families.

Talking Points: The Bandwidth Battle
CURRENTS Article Net neutrality will only become more important as new technologies transform education and the economy. Higher education institutions and libraries must remain vigilant and defend the need for an open and neutral Internet. We can do this individually or through our professional organizations and by reaching out to our members of Congress and the FCC. Preserving the free flow of information over the Internet is critical to our educational purpose and mission.

The Best of Advancement Talk
Podcast MKS Communication's Maura King Scully discusses what type of voice and point of view a development writer should employ in a case statement.

The Loyal Treatment
CURRENTS Article Higher education can learn important lessons from corporate loyalty programs. So what are their secrets? And how can you cash in on them?

How I Closed the Biggest Gift of My Career
CURRENTS Article Five fundraisers share the dramatic inside stories of large gifts along with key insights from their experiences, from being creative to collaborating with colleagues.

A Creative Assist
CURRENTS Article When working with donors, it's important to connect with the heart and the mind.

Twists and TurnsToward a Gift
CURRENTS Article Alumnus Michael Lang wanted to give to an overlooked area that fit his passion.

Stewardship and the Second Gift
CURRENTS Article Barbara Samper would drive through Salinas Valley and see migrant workers in the field and think, "How can I help their children obtain a college education?"

A Friend to the End
CURRENTS Article In 2014, Foxcroft, an all-girls boarding/day school serving 157 students in grades 9-12, received a transformative gift of $40 million from Ruth Bedford, class of 1932.

Charitable Gift Law
Good Question Q: We are starting an international fundraising program and will be asking foreign alumni for gifts. Can donors in other countries receive tax benefits or deductions for gifts to our institution?

Raise the Profile of the Development Research Office
Article,  BriefCASE Article Development researchers can learn a valuable lesson from improv comedians when talking about their work with fundraisers, says a CASE faculty member.

How to Raise the Profile of the Development Research Office
Podcast Bond Lammey, from Bentz Whaley Flessner, shares how development researchers can improve communications with senior leaders and get their buy-in.

Summit for Leaders in Advancement
Summit for Leaders in Advancement 2016 NYC

What’s the Deal with Donor-Advised Funds?
CURRENTS Article Offering donor-advised funds can strengthen bonds with longtime donors interested in alternative giving vehicles, but they can put institutions in a tricky place in terms of how they relate to their supporters.

Odds and Ends: Investigating Inventiveness
CURRENTS Article Walter Isaacson on technology—and why smartphones won’t make us zombies

New Leadership: Meet CASE’s 9th President
CURRENTS Article Sue Cunningham will take the helm at CASE on March 9, 2015.

Outlook: Remaking Advancement, Google-Style
CURRENTS Article The standard set by Amazon, Apple, and others recognizes the value of providing a great experience. The widening gap between those experiences and what we offer—one-way communications that don't adapt to reader interests; standard appeals; stewardship that, except for top donors, ranges from one size fits all to awful—erodes loyalty and makes alumni less likely to respond when we make the ask. But a solution exists. It's as simple as creating a relationship in which alumni and donors stay with us because it is in their interest to do so, not just in ours. In which people think of the university as a source of knowledge that engages them, personally or professionally.

Big Question
CURRENTS Article Advancement professionals talk about how they describe their job.

Office Space: Reading the Tree Leaves
CURRENTS Article Genealogists use tactics that can benefit prospect researchers, and the more your institution understands about donors and their connections, the better positioned it is to effectively solicit gifts. Expanding upon donors' (or prospective donors') records can open the door to new prospects, provide pathways to better stewardship and engagement, offer more opportunities to tell an institution's story, and increase the likelihood of cultivating family gifts

Asia Pacific Advancement Conference 2015
Conference Asia Pacific Advancement Conference 2015

The Editor’s Dilemma: How Should You Cover Campaigns?
CURRENTS Article The development office wants stories in the alumni magazine about institutional campaigns and other fundraising efforts, but editors have a mandate to engage readers (and maintain their journalistic credibility). Several colleges and universities have effectively integrated these two interests in the magazine, and CURRENTS reveals the secrets to their success.

Raising the Profile of the Research Office
Article,  BriefCASE Article Prospect development professionals can influence change within their organizations by positioning the work they do with frontline gift officers, according to a presenter at the Annual Conference for Development Researchers.

Simple Donor Thank You Events Make Big Impact
Article,  BriefCASE Article Advancement practitioners at institutions celebrating Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day say it doesn’t take a huge investment to teach students the value of private giving—and they have high hopes about its returns.

Creative Cultivation that Doesn’t Break the Bank
Article,  BriefCASE Article Too often “stewardship” is defined by thank you notes, honor rolls of donors and black-tie dinners. But it is much broader: it’s whatever makes donors feel so good they want to give and give again, say presenters at the recent CASE-NAIS conference in Orlando, Fla.

Hiring and Managing a Prospect Development Team
Podcast Jon Thorsen from George Washington University discusses what managers should look for in employees when putting together a prospect development team. Also, learn how to judge the effectiveness of these teams.

Closing Remarks: Standards Issue
CURRENTS Article The science of fund raising requires development officers to measure and evaluate their efforts using rules, definitions, and standards that uniformly measure accomplishments. CASE’s Management and Reporting Standards are a valuable resource for doing so, especially for campaign accounting, crediting, and gift reporting. The author, a member of the committee that revised the M&RS, says standards enable fund raisers to communicate clearly with donors, colleagues, and other constituencies, and contends that fund raising never will be a true profession without the discipline of a common language and the rigor of clear standards.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Article,  Community College News Article Community colleges leaders should recognize the importance of using different engagement and cultivation strategies to reach and garner donations from different generations of alumni, says a leading alumni relations practitioner.

Outlook: Retention Is the New Acquisition
CURRENTS Article At most educational institutions more than 90 percent of all fundraising revenue comes from just under 10 percent of their donors. Many fundraisers mistakenly accept this as the new normal. Raising more money from fewer donors is not a sign of efficiency. It is a sign of poor donor stewardship. When institutions do not keep the donors they acquire, they sacrifice the future income those donors may have provided.

Endowment Reports
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of personalized and general endowment reports and endowment report surveys for all CASE members. Reports are arranged alphabetically by institution.

Endowment Policies
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of endowment policies for all CASE members. Policies are arranged alphabetically by institution.

Outlook: Thank You Isn’t Good Enough
CURRENTS Article Educational fundraisers should steward annual giving donors, showing exactly where the gifts go, like they do major donors.

Gift Acceptance Policies
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of gift acceptance policies from independent schools, colleges and universities.

Gift Acceptance Policies
Good Question We are revising our gift acceptance policy and are interested in reviewing samples from other institutions. Do you have any samples or best practices to share?

Office Space: Give Us All Your Data
CURRENTS Article This column takes the position that advancement services should manage the institution's database of record, not just the segments that pertain to alumni and development. This is the model currently used by Columbia College Chicago, where advancement services tracks relationships with all of the college's constituents, including alumni, parents, faculty, staff, donors, trustees, friends, and students.

Survey Shows Connection between Thanking Donors and Meeting Fundraising Goals
Article,  BriefCASE Article A survey of nearly 1,200 charitable organizations in the United States and Canada reveals that nearly 60 percent raised more contributions in 2012 than in 2011.

Encourage Spring Cleaning of Fundraising Databases
Advancement Weekly Article,  Article To ensure success in the year ahead, fundraising leaders should take time now to make sure their donor databases are "thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed," says a development expert.

Art Appreciation
CURRENTS Article The donor wall recognizing St. Martin's Episcopal School's recent capital campaign reflects its brand and visual identity system. In addition to featuring colors and shapes used in the independent school's communications, marketing, and fundraising materials, the donor wall also doubles as a piece of art that blends in with the building.

Mastering Donor Stewardship in the Digital Age
Article,  BriefCASE Article Advancement professionals at institutions must determine their donors’ wants and needs before using the latest digital communications tools in stewardship activities, says a CASE faculty member.

Using Digital Communications in Stewardship Activities
Podcast Hear what fundamentals UC-Davis' Angela Joens believes an institution should have in place before it uses the latest technology to steward donors and alumni. Also, hear why she believes donor relations offices should hire and mentor the next generation of advancement professionals.

Social Prospects
CURRENTS Article This brief article looks at how Cornell University is using the profile information its alumni provide in its social media communities to identify potential donors.

Thank-You Gifts Have Unwelcome Effect on Giving
Article,  BriefCASE Article New research shows that small gifts given in thanks for a donation actually reduce rather than enhance giving.

Fiscal Cliff Deal Preserves Charitable Deduction
Article,  BriefCASE Article On Jan. 2, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8), legislation that preserves the charitable deduction and extends the estate tax and IRA charitable rollover.

Making Strides
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how higher education institutions are working to keep their communications fresh and engaging through multiyear fundraising campaigns. It discusses how institutions are using websites and microsites, video, and traditional communication channels to engage and inform stakeholders and donors.

IRS Announces 2013 Inflation Adjustments for Insubstantial Benefit Limitations
Article,  BriefCASE Article The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance on inflation adjustments for 2013.

Outlook: A Matter of Trust
CURRENTS Article Stewardship is the entirety of what we do to demonstrate that our institutions are worthy of a donor's trust, a trust in our ability to make a difference in a life and society.

Going for Gold
CURRENTS Article The story profiles eight of the 2012 CASE Circle of Excellence Award grand gold and gold award winners.

Demonstrating the Difference
CURRENTS Article Stewardship and donor relations officers, as well as other advancement professionals, must increasingly be able to answer one big question: How do we know that what we're doing is working? Underlying this question is a desire, sparked by an evolution in the thinking of donors, to help donors understand the effects of their gifts.

Asia-Pacific Advancement Services Conference 2018
Conference This conference brings you world-class training designed specifically for Asia-Pacific based advancement services professionals.

Stewardship Publications
Sample Collection The Library curated and annotated websites where advancement colleagues have gathered and contributed stewardship materials.

Stewardship Videos
Sample Collection The Library compiled this collection of stewardship videos that were created to thank donors. The collection includes videos from independent schools, colleges and universities, including community colleges.

Stewardship Publications
Good Question I'm looking for samples of stewardship materials.

Anatomy of an Endowment Report
University of Georgia
This interactive guide walks through the components of the university's endowment reports sent each fall to donors and donor representatives of all endowed funds. Reports reflect the fiscal status and growth of each fund. They are developed by the Office of Donor Relations & Stewardship, which works closely with Financial Services to ensure accurate and timely reporting. The university's Report to Donors is also available.

Seeing Both Sides
CURRENTS Article Development officers who give to their employers or favorite charity see first-hand how well those nonprofits treat donors, and they learn from those experiences.

Dead Serious Campaign
CURRENTS Article Famous U.K. crime writers are involved in a series of fundraisers and publicity events for the University of Dundee's "Million for a Morgue" campaign.

The Naming Opportunities Plan and Donor Stewardship
Academic Impressions
Article In this August 2012 article, Vincent Duckworth provides insight into why a naming opportunities plan should be a critical part of an overall stewardship effort and one of four pieces to have in place before launching a campaign. Two articles linked from the bottom of the page, "Crafting a Naming Opportunities Plan" and "Naming Opportunities for Athletics: 4 Tips," provide additional information.

Marketing Lessons from Madison Avenue
Article,  Community College News Article Community colleges shouldn't be afraid to adopt some of the marketing tactics of corporate advertising firms, says a team of marketing experts from Ohio.

Fundraising Fundamentals, Section 10.4
Article This section of Fundraising Fundamentals on gift agreements explains the reasons for having an agreement, when one should be considered and elements to include.

Use of Technology for Development and Alumni/Constituent Relations among CASE Members, 2012
Report This research explores the role of "advancement-enabling" technology in helping institutions meet their development and alumni relations goals. The report also looks at trends since the first study was conducted in 2010 and offers advice for dealing with technology-related advancement challenges. Isurus Market Research and Consulting analyzed the data for CASE and Ellucian, which fielded the survey.

Infographics
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of education institutions' infographics and data visualizations used to convey advancement-related data and stories.

Infographics
Good Question Does CASE have resources that discuss best practices for designing infographics? What about examples of infographics created for advancement purposes?

Getting LinkedIn with Lost Alumni
Article,  Community College News Article A Pennsylvania community college more than tripled its alumni mailing directory in less than two years using the social network LinkedIn.

The Brain Trust
CURRENTS Article Historically, advancement services' responsibilities have been to keep donor and alumni records current, process gifts, and send out receipts. Advancement services has taken on more duties in recent years as institutions change the way they collect, analyze, report, and use data for strategic purposes.

HMRC "Clarifies" Gift Aid Guidelines for UK Charities
Article,  BriefCASE Article HM Revenue & Customs has updated its recently revised gift aid guidelines following numerous queries for further information about the changes.

Upward Bound
CURRENTS Article With the economy slowly mending, a number of colleges, universities, and independent schools are launching their biggest, longest-lasting, or first-ever campaigns. Campaigns that have recently launched are part of an evolution in which campaigns have become more donor-centric.

Benchmarking Investments in Advancement: Results of the Inaugural CASE Advancement Investment Metrics Study
White Paper The Advancement Investment Metrics Study, or AIMS, benchmarked investments and staffing in each of the advancement disciplines (advancement services, alumni relations, communications and marketing, fundraising, and advancement management) as well as the return on the investment in fundraising specifically. This CASE white paper reports on the study's results by institution type, campaign status and other factors. The formulas and definitions used in the study are also included.

Experts Discuss Improving ROI and Performance in Fundraising
Article,  BriefCASE Article Identifying prospects is not the biggest challenge most fundraising offices face today. Instead, the biggest challenge is in determining how to organize efforts to cultivate those prospects to fill the short- and long-term giving pipeline. That’s according to three data mining experts who recently presented at a CASE Online Speaker Series.

Best Practices for Prospect Research in Higher Education Fundraising, 2nd Edition
WealthEngine
Report This free report outlines ten best practices, details six cases studies on institutions of varying sizes and fundraising backgrounds, provides advice from industry experts and includes a special section on the use of social media, as well as sample worksheets and planning documents. (Free registration required to download report.)

New Best Practices in Prospect Research
Article,  BriefCASE Article If done effectively, prospect research has the potential to substantially improve the fundraising efforts of higher education institutions. A new report, based on an analysis of survey data from a cross-section of institutions in the United States, identifies 10 of the best practices used by high-performing fundraising programs.

CASE Europe: Ethical Principles Behind the Acceptance of Gifts
Best Practice CASE Europe staff developed these 10 principles in collaboration with the Ross Group and the 1994 Group of Development Directors in September 2011.

Commission on Philanthropy Approves Clarifications to Reporting Standards
Article,  BriefCASE Article The CASE Commission on Philanthropy has approved several clarifications to the CASE Reporting Standards and Management Guidelines for Educational Fundraising, 4th Edition.

Crème de la Crème
CURRENTS Article In 2011, 268 bronze, silver, gold, and grand gold Circle of Excellence awards went to 171 colleges, universities, independent schools, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. Eight of those grand gold and gold award winners are profiled here.

Out of Thin Air, an Alumni Database
Article,  Community College News Article When the Northwest Technical College Foundation was established in 2005, it had a problem. The small Bemidji, Minn., institution and its predecessor colleges had never kept track of alumni data in their 40-year history. In 2009, the foundation set about the tall task of compiling its very first alumni database. And it found a significant number of alumni by asking local businesses for help in the search process.

Champions. Friends. Acquaintances. Donor Motivation Defined: A Lifestyle Segmentation Study Focused on the Attitudes, Motivations and Giving Behaviors of Alumni
Converge Consulting in alliance with CASE
White Paper Which alumni are most likely to become donors? This October 2011 white paper, the first in a series of three, explores the results of a study on the relation of alumni attitudes to the motivation to give.

Out of Focus
CURRENTS Article For years, development officers have cultivated prospective donors by listening to their deepest desires. Now, development officers' work increasingly involves devising a strategy for aligning the donor's desires with the mission, goals, and needs of their institution.

Donor-Centered Thank You Letters: Your First Step to the Next Gift
Article In this blog post, Penelope Burk, author of Donor-Centered Fundraising, offers 20 characteristics of great thank you letters based on her research with donors.

Donors Optimistic About 2011 Giving
Article,  BriefCASE Article Fundraisers have the power to increase donor retention and gift value by communicating measurable results of giving, reports a new survey on donor giving in North America.

Name That Office
CURRENTS Article DePaul University's music faculty have the opportunity to name an office in their new building.

The Science Behind Alumni Engagement
CURRENTS Article As part of an effort to double fundraising over the next 10 years, the University of Waterloo surveyed its alumni and purchased external data to determine how to move potential leaders into a more active role with the university.

Outlook: The Gift Grid
CURRENTS Article Henry E. Riggs, president emeritus of Harvey Mudd College and Keck Graduate Institute, argues that gifts exist along a utility continuum, from gifts of high utility, or great benefit, to gifts of negative utility.

The Naming Game
CURRENTS Article The practice of naming gifts is commonplace at most educational institutions today, but naming opportunities and policies vary considerably from institution to institution. This article examines the ins and outs of naming gifts, including how development professionals can determine price points and what elements a naming agreement should include.

Naming Policies & Opportunities
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of links to naming policies and opportunities posted on school, college and university websites. Members who need help pricing opportunities can use the collection to review named gift amounts at a variety of institutions.

New Brief Provides Guidance on Privacy, Student Records
Article,  BriefCASE Article Alumni relations practitioners, admissions professionals and others who use electronic student record systems now have a one-stop source for information and guidance on guarding student privacy in school data.

Gift Fees
Good Question Our institution is about to begin charging gift fees. Do you have examples of how other institutions are communicating about this fee to their different audiences?

Donors Demand More Accountability from Nonprofits, Survey Says
Article,  BriefCASE Article A global survey on the state of the nonprofit industry reveals that donors worldwide are demanding more accountability of nonprofits.

Rising Above
CURRENTS Article This article highlights eight of the 2010 Circle of Excellence Award winners. Each year the awards recognize the best programs and products in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, marketing, and fundraising.

Map Quest
CURRENTS Article Wealth and philanthropy are undergoing a dramatic global shift, and fundraisers at educational institutions must respond by looking beyond their national borders for prospective donors. In this article, consultant Jay Frost provides tips on how to do successful international prospect research using Sherpa guides, database screening, etc.

Donor Relations and Stewardship Defined
Association of Donor Relations Professionals
Article In November 2010, ADRP published these definitions of donor relations and its four elements: gift acceptance and management, acknowledgment, donor recognition and reporting.

A Lot of Creativity
CURRENTS Article To help potential donors visualize a new building, the Tuality/Oregon Health & Science Center had a blueprint drawn on the parking lot where the building was to go up. Standing signs labeled the rooms that already had benefactors, and "Your Name Here" signs informed the crowd about opportunities to make significant gifts.

UK Universities Thank Donors during Donor Pin Week
Article,  BriefCASE Article Several universities across the United Kingdom are working together in an effort to expand an innovative fundraising initiative that uses special lapel pins to inspire giving and thank donors.

Cultivating Lifelong Donors: Stewardship and the Fundraising Pyramid
Blackbaud
White Paper Written by Frank Barry, Lawrence Henze, David Lamb and Katherine Swank as part of the Blackbaud Desktop Reference Series, this free 60-page book explains the fundraising pyramid and the importance of stewarding donors and building relationships throughout the donor lifecycle.

A Piece of History
CURRENTS Article One college crafts donor recognition gifts from wood salvaged from a historic building.

¿Cómo desarrollar los artículos correctos?
CURRENTS Article Michael Kiser de Virginia Tech analiza la forma en que logró que las comunicaciones de desarrollo centraran su atención en índices que no fueran las cifras. Ahora, su oficina escribe sobre los resultados de las campañas y vincula sus mensajes con los objetivos estratégicos de la universidad. Por ejemplo, en lugar de escribir un artículo cuando la universidad recibe una donación importante, espera hasta que el dinero de esa donación se haya utilizado para construir las nuevas instalaciones y escribe sobre lo que éstas significan para la escuela. Los lectores externos no sólo consideran que estos artículos son más interesantes, estos artículos también le brindan al público interno una mejor idea de lo que se logra con la recaudación de fondos.

Use of Technology for Development and Alumni Relations among CASE Members
White Paper This research explores the role of "advancement-enabling" technology in helping institutions meet their development and alumni relations goals. It includes data on how technology is being used, barriers to effective use of technology, and strategies for effective deployment of technology. The report is based on data provided by 357 advancement staff in higher education institutions and independent schools. Isurus Market Research and Consulting analyzed the data for CASE and SunGard Higher Education, which fielded the survey.

Outlook: Saying What We Mean
CURRENTS Article The retired vice president of the University of Wisconsin Foundation pens this opinion column on the dark side of some of the most common development phrases. Does anyone really want to describe their best friend as "low-hanging fruit"? Ick!

Developing the Right Stories
CURRENTS Article Michael Kiser of Virginia Tech discusses how he successfully shifted the focus of development communications away from numbers. Instead, his office now writes about campaign outcomes and ties its messages to the university's strategic aims. For example, instead of writing a story when the university receives a major gift, he waits until the money from that gift has been used to build a new facility and writes about what that new facility has meant for the school. Not only do external audiences find these stories more interesting, but such stories give internal audiences a better understanding of what fundraising does.

Research Within Reach
CURRENTS Article Kevin MacDonell's "CoolData" blog focuses on predictive modeling in higher ed fundraising and the process of determining which variables to look at and which are most predictive.

Performance Management Maturity Model: Raising the Bar of Fundraising Performance
White Paper Higher education development professionals face increasing demand for greater levels of success. Finding a solution to increasing output and improving performance in an environment filled with short-term presidents, persistent turnover, greater competition and higher board expectations is foremost in development leaders' minds. The Performance Management Maturity Model provides a prescriptive solution to raising the bar of performance. This internally focused methodology can set you on a path to new levels of organizational output and improved staff productivity and morale.

Incremente sus relaciones
CURRENTS Article El procurador de fondos debe estar enfocado en ver la manera de mejorar e incrementar las relación con sus donantes.

Effective Storytelling Can Build Support, Increase Giving
Article,  BriefCASE Article Good, old-fashioned storytelling makes for compelling copy in educational websites and marketing campaigns and can lead to increased interest and support from targeted audiences. That's according to an expert on communications for nonprofits and a recent presenter of a CASE Online Speaker Series.

Take Five Steps to Better Donor Relations
Article,  BriefCASE Article A recent article in Fundraising Success magazine offers five lessons for building great donor relationships.

Match Points: St. John's University Uses Employer Find to Identify Matching Gift Prospects
HEP Development Services
Article This May 2010 article describes how St. John's University used Employer Find to update alumni records and identify potential matching gift prospects.

Office Space: Growing Your Relationships
CURRENTS Article Instead of focusing on the bottom line, fundraisers should really be looking at how their relationships have grown.

Recruit Top Leaders to Cultivate Culture of Philanthropy, Stewardship
Article,  BriefCASE Article Imagine achieving a culture of philanthropy and stewardship at your institution in just three years. Impossible? Not according to fundraising expert and CASE Online Speaker Series presenter Karen Osborne, who says a strong commitment from top leaders and a well-defined plan for change can make it a reality.

Adjusting Your Gaze
CURRENTS Article In an interview with CURRENTS, predictive-modeling expert Peter Wylie discusses his work, including his latest analysis of lifetime giving at a broad range of higher education institutions.

Getting the Full Picture
CURRENTS Article At independent schools, community and small colleges, and large universities alike, CRM is widely used at both ends of an individual’s education experience—during the recruitment and admissions process and throughout the years that follow departure from school. To a much lesser degree, CRM is beginning to be deployed as the student matriculates and advances through school.

Advance Work: Bagged Another One
CURRENTS Article Northeastern University is transforming used vinyl banners into thank-you gifts for donors in the form of tote and messenger bags.

Charting the Progress
CURRENTS Article This chart includes vendor-supplied information on advancement database systems for an at-a-glance look at what is available.

Community Colleges: Growing Individual Giving with Effective Prospect Research
WealthEngine
White Paper This January 2010 white paper explores the extent to which prospect research is used by community colleges, particularly in the area of individual giving. Free registration is required to download the paper.

Steering Through Stewardship
CURRENTS Article Stewardship should not be an afterthought in a healthy advancement operation. This article describes how stewardship can be an organizing principle, directing the essential activities of trust building, relationship management, and message delivery.

Study Reveals Top Strategies for Better Prospecting
Article,  BriefCASE Article A new study identifies eight best practices in prospect research based on high-performing fundraising programs at 61 institutions in the United States.

Little Lapel Pin Makes Big Statement
Article,  BriefCASE Article An innovative fundraising initiative that provides lapel pins to top donors is catching on at a growing number of universities in the United Kingdom.

True Friends
CURRENTS Article Today's donors want deep connections with institutions that matter to them and share their values. If an institution engages constituents just to ask for money, it may miss out on true friendship with donors who want to be more involved.

Advancement Achievers
CURRENTS Article Profiles of selected 2002 Circle of Excellence winners

Tech Support: Laptops Required Here?
CURRENTS Article Advancement officers can be important partners in forming and implementing a laptop policy

Tech Support: Scheduling in Cyberspace
CURRENTS Article The pros and cons of online calendars

CASE Benchmarking Toolkit
The CASE Benchmarking Toolkit is a state-of-the-art survey tool that helps advancement professionals benchmark activities, staffing, budgets and other aspects of their programs with peer institutions. The toolkit allows peer communities of practice to design and conduct their own surveys, review results and instantly download charts directly into reports. The toolkit is available to advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing or related professionals at CASE member institutions.

Records Retention Policies
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of records retention and destruction policies for all CASE membes.

Filing and Recordkeeping Requirements
Excerpt In this excerpt from Advancement Services: A Foundation for Fundraising, 2nd ed. (CASE, 2007), author Amy J. Phillips discusses IRS requirements and recordkeeping issues and practices.

Reconciling Advancement Services and Accounting: Five Principles to Help Explain the Relationship and End the Confusion
Article First published as Chapter 20 of Advancement Services: Research and Technology Support for Fund Raising (CASE, 1999), this article discusses differences between how the development or advancement services office and the business/finance office count and report gift income.

Office Space: Sweeping the Data Clouds Away
CURRENTS Article Managing an unwieldy data system can be overwhelming, but by prioritizing projects and assessing processes, the database can become a friend rather than a foe.

Stewardship: The Webb Schools - Bronze Award
Best Practice A goal of The Webb Schools' 2007 annual giving program was to do a better job of stewarding constituents in a creative and cost-effective way. Staff implemented two new online strategies: an e-newsletter for class agents that provided current news to share with classmates, and a flash movie for reunion classes. Staff also redesigned an existing holiday greeting to omit the solicitation and serve simply as a greeting and thank you. These three strategies spread goodwill among constituents, motivated class agents and increased annual giving totals. As of December 31, dollars raised and number of donors reached an all-time high.

Advance Work: A New Level of the Name Game
CURRENTS Article When Tri-State University in Indiana wanted to change its name, it honored the Trine family in doing so. The institution is now Trine University.

Winning Ideas
CURRENTS Article This article gives in-depth profiles of eight of the 2008 CASE Circle of Excellence Award winners. These winners were chosen to represent a wide range of types of institution as well as each aspect of advancement: fundraising, alumni relations, communications and marketing, and advancement services.

Newer Digital Tools Bridge Data Divide
Article,  BriefCASE Article The latest constituent relationship management technology is transforming the ability of advancement professionals to capture and analyze information about donors, both on campus and on the road.

Advance Work: Cracking the Code
CURRENTS Article Keying in 300 pledge cards after a phonathon was an all-day activity until Mississippi's Delta State University started tracking alumni by barcode and using a scanner.

Advance Work: Feeling Flush
CURRENTS Article When the ATLAS Institute opened at the University of Colorado at Boulder campus, there were plenty of naming opportunities available. One local venture capitalist had a slightly unorthodox venue in mind for his name.

Hidden Treasures
CURRENTS Article Sometimes the best information you have on the best potential donors is right under your nose. Some prospect researchers are sniffing out their best donors by using data mining techniques, and they've discovered some interesting things.

Closing Remarks: Those Enormous Endowments
CURRENTS Article The endowments of the richest U.S. colleges and universities are big and becoming enormous. The author posits that U.S. higher education is losing its way and proposes a way to rectify the disparity between rich and and not-so-rich institutions.

A Battle of Wills
CURRENTS Article When donors--particularly big donors--come forward with a gift, it's in everyone's best interest to document the terms that come along with it. Recent high-profile donor-intent legal battles are prompting some college and university officials to reexamine their policies and procedures.

Advance Work: Repeat Performance
CURRENTS Article The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reestablishes the Bell Ringers Society to honor donors.

Other Programs: Rollins College - Silver Medal
Best Practice The advancement services department at Rollins College is primarily responsible for the technical training of employees within the Division of Institutional Advancement. During the fall of 2006, staff saw an increased demand for SCT Banner and Nolij Web training and developed a Training on Demand program featuring custom Web videos.

Research Services: University of Colorado Foundation - Bronze Medal
Best Practice Staff of the University of Colorado Foundation conducted an audit of all projects to identify aspects of their work that could be automated. They spent a great deal of time producing "biographies" of current and prospective donors who attend athletic and other social events, which were used primarily by the university president and chancellors, the foundation president and their spouses who attend these events. Automating the biography function has exponentially benefited the organization and its fundraising operation.

Principal, Major, and Special Giving Programs: Berry College - Silver Medal
Best Practice Berry College set a campaign goal to add 172 new members to the Berry Heritage Society, a recognition society for those who make planned gift provisions in their will. As Berry entered the campaign's final year (FY 2005-06), 42 new members were needed to reach the goal. An initiative to overhaul the entire planned giving program was launched. The "Leave a Legacy" initiative resulted in comprehensive program improvements and 45 new Heritage Society members.

Donor Relations/Customer Service: University of California, Berkeley - Gold Medal
Best Practice Endowment financial reporting in the decentralized fundraising environment at the University of California, Berkeley, led to several business problems. The solution had three principal components: 1) the development of business practices for maintaining linkages between funds and people and for recording opt-out situations, 2) the formation of a multi-disciplinary team to develop a data model that would bring disparate data into one place, and 3) the decision to outsource the preparation and mailing of reports to a vendor with variable printing capabilities. It also had an overarching "mass-customization" philosophy that relied on using technology to tackle the issue of scale.

Donor Relations/Customer Service: Oakland University - Bronze Medal
Best Practice The goals and objectives of "The One Stop Endowment Shop" are to decrease the time necessary to obtain information on endowments and named funds, along with housing the data centrally so the entire university can take advantage of it for business purposes. The reporting tool was created to be user-friendly for the end-user who may not know much about creating reports or about relational databases.

Donor Relations/Customer Service: St. Edwards University - Bronze Medal
Best Practice An embodiment of university-wide collaboration, St. Edward’s Office of University Advancement’s Activity Reports contain meaningful financial and anecdotal information that is gleaned from a variety of sources. The Activity Reports are an important stewardship tool that provides donors with a comprehensive understanding of how their financial support specifically and positively impacts the entire St. Edward’s community.

Donor Relations/Customer Service: University of California, Irvine - Gold Medal
Best Practice With the idea that "Our best prospects are our well-stewarded previous donors," the UC Irvine Office of Stewardship created an automated Stewardship Planning and Checklist System. It ensures that major donors are being well-stewarded, and no donor is left behind.

Donor Relations/Customer Service: Tufts University - Silver Medal
Best Practice Tufts University's Office of Advancement Communications and Donor Relations created a new type of honor roll that would be a warm thank you for philanthropy and demonstrate the value of donor gifts. In making this decision, the team was following the sentiment of an emerging nationwide stewardship trend that providing information on the impact of giving is more valuable to donors than a published list of names.

Information Systems: McMaster University - Silver Medal
Best Practice When McMaster University decided to embark on its most ambitious fundraising campaign ever--a comprehensive campaign that would more than double the amount to be raised each year in 2006-2009--it needed to expand performance management and benchmarks for fundraisers beyond the number of completed visits. Stakeholders collaborated to create a Performance Management Report based on data in the institution's Advance C/S database.

Gift/Bio Administration, Compliance, and Ethics: University of Colorado Foundation - Bronze Medal
Best Practice The University of Colorado implemented electronic desktop deposit and electronic transmittal logging for staff processing gifts at multiple campuses and the foundation. The project resulted in improved donor satisfaction, increased operational efficiency and improved audit controls.

Stewardship: Carleton University - Bronze Medal
Best Practice In early 2006, Carleton University's Department of University Advancement was asked to develop a comprehensive stewardship plan for members of the Henry Marshall Tory Society. Existing stewardship efforts tended to be ad hoc and lacked the structure of a detailed program that could be repeated year after year. The resulting stewardship plan included a number of components through which the university’s most generous donors would be appropriately recognized for their support and provided the highest level of accountability.

Stewardship: University of California, Irvine - Silver Medal
Best Practice With the idea that "Our best prospects are our well-stewarded previous donors," the UC Irvine Office of Stewardship created an automated Stewardship Planning and Checklist System. It ensures that major donors are being well-stewarded, and no donor is left behind.

Sweet Smell of Success
CURRENTS Article The 2007 CASE Circle of Excellence grand gold and gold medal winners profiled in this article have taken their advancement publications, events, and programs to a higher level. These featured winners, however, are a small sample of the 319 winners from 195 institutions.

Be Your Donor Day
Katya Andresen for Network for Good
Article Make a contribution to your organization to see how the process works from the donor's perspective and whether customer service and stewardship are handled well. You might identify problems or issues you don't realize your donors face.

Going Fourth
CURRENTS Article Advancement services, known as the fourth leg of the advancement stool, is about more than gift processing. Advancement services staff funnel massive alumni and prospect data into information that development offices can use to cultivate and steward donors. The more that each operation knows how the other works, the more successful the institution will be in raising funds.

What Is "A" Transaction?
CURRENTS Article Development officers count the total number of gift transactions as part of their performance measures. However, a single transaction can take a few minutes or days or even weeks. It depends on whether it's just a check or a mysterious transfer of stock.

Advance Work: Here We Are
CURRENTS Article Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts in England found the perfect way to get alumni to update their address and job information: offer them the chance of some free publicity.

Do Not Disturb
CURRENTS Article Facts can be taken out of context and used in unwelcome ways. This is the crux of the problem of privacy and the prospect researcher.

Away They Go?
CURRENTS Article Donor fatigue is real, even if your institution hasn't experienced it yet. Development officers talk about how they define the issue and keep it from becoming a problem.

Ethics Case Study: The Beneficent Bigot
CURRENTS Article This is part of CURRENTS yearlong series of ethics case studies that present scenarios that raise ethical questions and responses from advancement professionals who offer their insights and opinion. This case study features a conflict about whether an institution should keep money from a longtime major donor whose views on race have cast the campus in a negative light.

Messaging Donors
CURRENTS Article Generic mass mailings won't receive the response rates you seek. Your fundraising messages have to resonate with donors personally. Just make sure you know your donors well. This article describes some simple, affordable tools you can use to target your communications efforts.

IRS Rules and Regulations: What You Need to Know to Stay Out of Trouble
Alison L. Paul
Excerpt This chapter from John Taylor's Advancement Services: A Foundation for Fund Raising, 2nd ed. (CASE, 2007), discusses IRS rules and regulations for a variety of gift types, as well as filing and recordkeeping requirements for advancement services operations.

A League of Their Own
CURRENTS Article The 2006 Circle of Excellence award winners profiled in this article are hitting it out of the park. This article describes a few of the grand gold and gold medal award winners.

A Question of Ethics
CURRENTS Article As part of its year of ethics, CASE supports and promotes ethical standards for the advancement profession. This article presents a typical fundraising scenario, followed by responses from several members of the CASE Commission on Philanthropy.

Protecting Donor Anonymity
CURRENTS Article When donors make anonymous gifts, they often wish to protect more than their name. They want to protect their privacy. But sometimes a donor's right to privacy is in conflict with state public disclosure laws. In this article for major gift officers and other development professionals, an attorney and director of planned giving tells how to work with professional advisors and donors' counsel to ensure anonymity and save the gift from being withdrawn because of privacy concerns.

In Plain Sight
CURRENTS Article Accountability involves many policies and procedures. The development professionals in this article talk about what accountability means in their institutions and what they do to ensure it through acknowledgment, stewardship, and other approaches.

No Leaf Unturned
CURRENTS Article Research consultants helped the advancement team at University of Wisconsin-Superior think of their development efforts as a small business and showed them how to grow it, even with limited staff and resources.

Gifts Are in the Details
CURRENTS Article Advancement researchers are helping development officers not only identify prospects more efficiently, but also analyze fund-raising efforts for more successful campaigns.

Making the Big System Switch
CURRENTS Article Switching to a new advancement system can be a bear of a project. This article provides an overview of how to approach system implementation from its three basic phases: pre-implementation, implementation, and post-implementation.

The Pluto Principles
CURRENTS Article The quest for the planet Pluto teaches the need for persistence, research, strategic planning, and thinking out of the box--and why it's smart to sweat the small stuff. Astronomers discovered Pluto's existence by noticing wobbles in nearby planets. So if something in your development programs appears a bit off, it bears looking into. The discovery will be donors who want to make larger and more meaningful gifts.

AdvanceWork: With This Gift, I Thee Wed
CURRENTS Article Maryville College developed the Calvin Duncan Society, named for one of its loyal donors who attended when the college reopened after the Civil War, to encourage class gifts and annual giving. Society members receive silver bookmarks and other gifts when they reach certain milestones, such as five years of continuous participation.

Cream of the Crop
CURRENTS Article This article profiles a few of CASE's 2005 Circle of Excellence award winners in the fields of fund-rasing, special events, campaigns, marketing, alumni programs, stewardship, and advancement services operations.

AdvanceWork: How Do You Spell Relief?
CURRENTS Article Philanthropist Michael Zinman had a dream, albeit a quirky one: He wanted to fund a restroom renovation. When University of Pennsylvania officials decided to renovate the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, the library’s director of development and external affairs suspected Zinman, a former Penn donor, might be willing to support it. This article describes Zinman’s unusual gift to the project and his efforts to promote it. It also should remind development officers that, when it comes to soliciting gifts, it pays to keep an open mind (and a sense of humor).

Believe It or Not
CURRENTS Article If you've been in advancement for two years or 20 years, you've likely heard some tidbit of conventional wisdom that doesn't seem to hold true anymore. This lighthearted article takes a look at some of the truths and myths that circulate within and outside the profession and seeks to separate fact from fiction.

Special Delivery
CURRENTS Article Prospect researchers are tasked with searching for pertinent information about potential donors of all types, including those who might not already be known to the institution, so keeping up with technology is a professional imperative. This article discusses the various push technologies that are available to today’s researchers—including news alerts, Web page monitors, and RSS feeds—and the types of information these technologies can help them access.

Present and Accounted for
CURRENTS Article The new climate of accountability has left many institutions scrambling to demonstrate to donors that their gifts are valued, are doing what donors intended them to do, and are continuing to have an impact on the institution’s long-term success. This article chronicles the development of Donor Direct, an online endowment-stewardship tool developed by the University of Texas at Austin to reassure donors that their gifts are being managed properly. In addition to providing standard financial reporting, Donor Direct allows donors and their beneficiaries to connect directly online, building what UT Austin hopes will become lifelong relationships across generations of supporters.

AdvanceWork: Stuck in Neutral?
CURRENTS Article The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 altered the tax rules pertaining to charitable gifts of used vehicles. As of Jan. 1, 2005, donors can only claim the gross proceeds from the sale of their gift as a tax deduction, rather than its fair market value. This article explores the implications of this change both for donors and for the campus development officers who must process and steward such gifts.

AdvanceWork: Experience Nottingham
CURRENTS Article Keeping track of alumni after they’ve graduated can be difficult. Nottingham Trent University shifted the burden by organizing a contest that rewarded alumni who confirm or update their directory information. More than 4,300 alumni entered the contest, and one lucky winner walked away with a Nottingham weekend-for-two prize package that included a stay at a luxury hotel and tickets to several local attractions.

Inside Out
CURRENTS Article This chart, CURRENTS' sixth since 1986, lists 37 alumni/development database programs along with vendor, contact, pricing, platform, reporting, capacity, client, and access information for products targeting the education marketplace.

One Craft, Different Cultures
CURRENTS Article More alumni directors outside North America are reaching out to their alumni audiences to encourage lifelong relationships with alma mater. However, these alumni directors face unique challenges. In Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Australia, school and university alumni often don’t have the tradition of giving to alma mater that’s a given in the United States and Canada. The institutions might not have maintained close ties with alumni, and poor record keeping can hinder relationship-building efforts. Some institutions' goals for alumni relations include encouraging continuing education and career networking by alumni as well as fund raising. Campus alumni offices also can become resources for groups of alumni who are more connected to each other than to the institution.

All Hands on Deck
CURRENTS Article Turnover can create havoc in an advancement office, leading to holes in the institutional memory and breaking fragile links between donors and the institution. The advancement staff at the University of Massachusetts Lowell has reinvented its operations to create a team approach that strengthens long-term relationships and focuses staff members on securing cash gifts, especially major gifts. Using a structure of four interdisciplinary teams, advancement officers focus on offering relevant alumni programs and services, meeting face-to-face with donors, involving all staff members in gift cultivation, and maintaining an attitude of mutual respect across advancement.

Price Check
CURRENTS Article Many in development say measuring and reporting the cost of fund raising is a vital issue, while others contend it's overblown--that donors don't care about the return on investment of the money they contribute. This article explores why the cost of fund raising is so difficult to measure and compare among institutions, why it matters, and what factors campuses are counting in their expense totals.

Winners at Heart
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 winners of CASE’s 2004 Circle of Excellence awards. The winning alumni relations programs offered creative ways to generate revenue, use technology, or support a campus cause. In the development categories, campuses showed how to use flash e-mail annual giving solicitations and speech-writing students to attract donors. Communications winners relied on humor, creativity, and unconventional publications. And top advancement services shops highlighted the importance of identifying top campus prospects, working as a team, and maintaining accurate data.

AdvanceWork: Where's the Beef?
CURRENTS Article An nfpSynergy study of donor frustrations with United Kingdom charities offers some lessons for education institutions to bear in mind as they communicate with their supporters. The report, titled “Disgusted or delighted,” suggests that UK donors are most concerned about how their gifts are being used. Respondents also cited frustrations with direct-mail appeals (61 percent) and telephone solicitations (43 percent).

Diamonds in the Rough
CURRENTS Article The practice of honoring donors for their support of an institution is a widely embraced tradition, although the manner in which such recognition occurs varies considerably. Today’s donors, the author writes, want something that is different, visually stunning, inspirational, and sophisticated. This article profiles some of the more unique types of on-site donor recognition installations available today, including Rockhurst High School, which hired VisionMark to build a donor recognition kiosk for the main lobby; Delaware County Community College, which commissioned ceramics sculptor Karen Singer to line a campus rotunda with custom-painted ceramic tiles honoring donors; Oregon State University, which worked with Presentation Design Group to develop suspended glass “donor blades” for the library; and the Solomon Schechter K-8 school system, which used Honorcraft to build a mixed-media wall sculpture of Noah’s Ark.

A Wealth of Knowledge
CURRENTS Article Fund raisers often fail to leverage the wealth of donor data they have at their fingertips, but the secrets to winning over their never-givers often lie in those numbers. Peter B. Wylie's 2004 CASE book "Data Mining for Fund Raisers" offers tips for data analysis to improve fund raising return on investment.

Standards Practice
CURRENTS Article Revisions to CASE's management and reporting standards clarify gift counting and reporting guidelines, address new gift types, and ensure greater consistency in reporting annual and campaign results, says CASE President Vance T. Peterson.

Mining for Gold
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 CASE Circle of Excellence 2003 winners. Member institution nominees were judged on the creativity of their alumni relations, communications, and development initiatives, including alumni publications, reunions, constituency giving, stewardship, and alumni relations programs. Profiled winners include Brigham Young University/University of Utah; Columbia College Chicago; Georgia Tech Alumni Association; Goucher College; Imperial College London; the Institute for Shipboard Education; Lehigh University Alumni Association; Monroe Community College Foundation; Pennsylvania State University; the University of Chicago; the University of Iowa Alumni Association; and the University of Miami.

Keeping Better Tabs
CURRENTS Article Taking a page from the commercial sector’s customer relationship management playbook, education institutions are developing alumni relationship-management systems that promise to revolutionize how alumni offices do business. This story highlights efforts by the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT, Harvard University, and the Iowa State University Alumni Association.

The Science of Attraction
CURRENTS Article Annual fund directors are starting to use market research to better understand what populations of donor prospects will respond to, target more accurately, and cut the cost of mail and telephone campaigns. This article covers what well-crafted focus groups and surveys can uncover and steps to doing research. Also included is a short article on how to get valid research results. This article is of interest to annual fund directors and advancement services staffs who work with development communications.

Goals and Assists
CURRENTS Article Prospect researchers and development officers must form a partnership to identify potential donors' ability, interest, and desire to give. This article provides three guidelines for building a productive relationship and includes a table showing the differences in the information that researchers and development officers are likely to uncover. This article is of interest to development officers and prospect researchers.

Name Dropping
CURRENTS Article Naming opportunities can create problems under many circumstances: when the donor becomes infamous, the donor can't fulfill the pledge, or the named structure is renovated or torn down. To deal with naming concerns, campuses develop un-naming policies, consider short-term naming opportunities, or handle the issues on a case-by-case basis. This article is of interest to fund raisers and advancement services professionals who handle major gifts, campaigns, and gift policies.

Special Event Production
CURRENTS Article A chart listing 15 special event management software programs, and providing information on vendors, contacts, price, servers, features, report templates, and clients, will be of interest to event planners and information technology staff.

A Symphony of Software
CURRENTS Article A chart listing 39 alumni and development database software programs, and providing vendor, contact, price, platform, reporting tool, capacity, and client information, will be of interest to advancement services and information technology staff.

Ultimate Presumption
CURRENTS Article When should you give up looking for lost alumni who might be deceased? Some campuses draw the line at 50 years after graduation, but others say 65 or even 100 years—and they don't rely solely on the Social Security Death Index for confirmation.

Tech Support: Diary of a Conversion
CURRENTS Article The author recounts her university’s experience with selecting and converting to a new alumni and donor records database just before the campus launched a major campaign. Her account of the decision-making, training, and implementation process should be of interest to all those who use records databases, particularly advancement services officers and those who manage technology or select and deal with software vendors.

AdvanceWork: Feelin' HOT! HOT! HOT!
CURRENTS Article New Mexico State hopes its pepper varieties will fetch a nice price.

AdvanceWork: What's in a Name?
CURRENTS Article The intricacies of introducing a new top gift club

AdvanceWork: Sign of the Times
CURRENTS Article In light of recent events, even customary mailings aren't above suspicion

Tech Support: Worth Every Penny
CURRENTS Article Prospect research online data services aren’t cheap, but they offer advantages over hunting through free online sources: They’re efficient and cost-effective, and they can inform you of news on your prospects faster than you might find it on your own. Hudson reviews three multidatabase services and five targeted services. She also discusses local and regional options that might be useful to prospect researchers.

Tech Support: On the Same Page
CURRENTS Article Intranets--one-stop online communication centers that bring together calendars, office discussion boards, and documents--can improve internal communications in advancement offices. Universities with large or decentralized advancement operations use intranets for coordinating scattered staff and projects, while smaller institutions may also find them helpful for sharing resources and managing schedules. The article offers advice on creating and maintaining an intranet.

Talking Points: The Endowment Mystique
CURRENTS Article News stories in the 1990s called attention to both high endowment growth and rising tuition costs. To many, it appears that higher education institutions are profiting, and some journalists, alumni, lawmakers, and others are calling for institutions to use more of their endowment earnings for tuition relief. This article outlines and clarifies four myths about endowments.

The Many Facets of Data Mining
CURRENTS Article Author Peter Wylie, a pioneer of data mining for education fund raising, says development officers often don't realize the value of the information in their databases. By asking them 10 basic questions about their data, he demonstrates how data mining can help them better target their appeals and prove a correlation between certain data and giving. He advocates for the creation of data analyst positions within advancement offices and argues that data mining and statistical modeling have applications for major gifts as well as annual giving.

Tech Support: Buy or Build?
CURRENTS Article Development offices have three major options for database software: designing a database in-house using basic database software, selecting a ready-to-use package designed specifically for fund-raising offices, or hiring a consultant to create a customized database. This article describes each option and offers advice on making the right choice for your office.

Outgrowing the Annual Fund
CURRENTS Article Top-level annual donors deserve special attention to maintain their commitment. It’s often best to manage these donors within the annual fund office, but with special cultivation and stewardship methods such as in-person solicitation visits, personal letters, special events, gift clubs, and volunteer opportunities on campus boards or committees. Strategies such as challenge gifts can encourage them to increase their annual donations, and some of them will eventually make major gifts.

AdvanceWork: On the Trail of Lost Alumni
CURRENTS Article Locating lost alumni takes time, money, and institutional commitment. Here are seven tips to make the task easier.

Tech Support: The Buzz on Bar Coding
CURRENTS Article Bar-code technology can help streamline gift processing by increasing data-entry speed and accuracy. Pederson describes types of bar-code software and explains how the equipment fits into an office computer setup.

Talking Points: Grants Today, Gifts Tomorrow
CURRENTS Article To determine how student aid affects giving after graduation, researchers at Vanderbilt University analyzed factors that influence young alumni giving. Data on 2,822 graduates over eight years showed that receiving a need-based scholarship raised a graduate’s likelihood of giving by 12 percent, while need-based loans reduced the probability by the same degree. The amount of aid had no effect.

AdvanceWork: What's in a Name?
CURRENTS Article Six different ways campuses define the term "alumni"

Charting a Course for Donor Stewardship
CURRENTS Article To develop consistency in gift stewardship among its many divisions, Virginia Tech created a stewardship manual outlining practices, policies, and expectations for the entire institution. Development officers conducted an internal audit and performed external benchmarking, then set goals and developed strategies to meet them. The resulting manual includes a mission statement, gift acknowledgement standards, donor recognition standards, and reporting standards.

The Rationale for Donor Relations
CURRENTS Article It’s the job of the donor relations professional to assure donors that their gifts will be used as they intend, and to do so in a way that motivates donors to give more. Institutions that realize that donor relations equals donor cultivation invest time and resources in this task. Barden describes the strategic use of the three main tools of donor relations: acknowledgement, recognition, and reporting.

Write-Minded: Making Things Right
CURRENTS Article When your institution makes a mistake that offends a donor, a well-written apology letter can soothe tension and restore trust. Even in embarrassing circumstances, an apology can also provide an opportunity to connect with a constituent and to demonstrate the responsibility and integrity of the institution and its people. Sincerity, responsibility, sensitivity, and a positive attitude are vital. Sarver provides suggestions for wording and advice on following up.

AdvanceWork: Count the Ways
CURRENTS Article ANU's three-tiered communications strategy is a thing of poetry.

The Reference Shelf
CURRENTS Article A list of directories, who's who books, research guides, and periodicals useful to prospect researchers searching for information about European prospects.

Finding Sunken Treasure
CURRENTS Article Prospect research is still a brand-new field in Europe. The article describes the biggest hurdles that researchers face there—ranging from privacy legislation to linguistic differences—and describes the resources and research techniques that he has found to be most useful.

AdvanceWork: Thanks, but New Thanks
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Tech Support: Special Delivery
CURRENTS Article Push technology, a means of retrieving online data by subscribing to services that send desired information directly to your computer, can enable advancement officers to request updates on donor prospects, to track what's going on in specific industries, or to monitor institutional mentions in the media. Most push services require online registration, but many are free or low-cost. The article lists five sites providing push technology services useful to advancement officers.

Write-Minded: Oscar-Worthy Words
CURRENTS Article Drafting correspondence for another person to send requires a sensitivity to the nuances of personal style, an understanding of context, and the ability to set aside one's own persona. To create realistic letters, ghostwriters should get to know the person for whom they're writing and should also understand the sender's relationship to the recipient.

AdvanceWork: Seek and Ye Shall Find
CURRENTS Article This article covers five tips for tracking down lost alumni.

Software Update 2000
CURRENTS Article A detailed chart provides information on available alumni-development database systems and software vendors, based on data from the consulting firm Grenzebach Glier & Associates.

What's In the Cards?
CURRENTS Article Professionals who work with advancement information systems offer predictions for the field in the next five years. They foresee: 1) easier access to development systems, particularly via the Web; 2) integration of small, separate systems into single, large databases; 3) personalized entry points and reports; 4) improved automation that will anticipate what users want and help them get it.

Did You Say A Billion?
CURRENTS Article Campus communicators must be able to explain, openly and realistically, the need for institutions to seek megagifts and amass multimillion-dollar endowments. The article describes how to address typical questions on these topics from such constituents as faculty, students, taxpayers, trustees, prospective donors, foundation officers, alumni, and reporters.

AdvanceWork: Receipting Year-End Gifts
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

Tech Support: Software Smarts
CURRENTS Article To choose the right software for an advancement office, institutional computer services professionals should follow these steps: 1) Meet with the program's intended user to learn about needs, expectations, skill, budget, and other factors. 2) Collect information from e-mail lists, Web sites, colleagues, and software manufacturers. 3) Test a demonstration copy of the program. 4) Make the purchase, including a maintenance agreement. 5) Set ground rules on what the user should and can expect from you.

AdvanceWork: Take It or Leave It?
CURRENTS Article Legal Issues: What to consider when accepting gifts of foreign real estate

AdvanceWork: Deutsche Marks to Dollars
CURRENTS Article John H. Taylor responds to the question of counting gifts received in foreign currencies.

Write-Minded: Global Vision
CURRENTS Article Cultural, historical, linguistic, and legislative factors affect how people interpret what you write. When writing for an international advancement audience, keep in mind these possible sources of confusion: 1) terminology, because the same word can mean different things in different countries; 2) titles, which vary within and between countries; 3) idioms and jargon, which can be hard for people from other cultures to understand; 4) differences in educational and legal systems; 5) sweeping generalizations, which can be offensive or inaccurate; and 6) references to location and money.

Write-Minded: Everyone's a Critic
CURRENTS Article Collins provides advice on responding to letters from angry donors. When donors request a change that can't be made, make sure you let them know you are not simply dismissing their opinion. Keep a calm and rational institutional voice. Avoid being defensive or combative. When you finish the letter, let it sit overnight so you can give a second look with a fresh perspective.

Tech Support: Putting Paper in Its Place
CURRENTS Article Document imaging (the electronic storage of paper files) can help control paper clutter. Ley summarizes what he learned from establishing such a system for managing development records at Southern Methodist University. He recommends involving computer services personnel, gift records and prospect research staffers, and other development officers and administrators who will use the material.

AdvanceWork: Giving Through Umbrella Agencies
CURRENTS Article John H. Taylor responds to a question about sending a receipt or acknowledgement to donors who give through the United Way.

AdvanceWork: A Doggone Dilemma
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Read the Writing on the Wall (Street)
CURRENTS Article Certain business activities create deadlines for tax-favorable giving for owners, insiders, or major stockholders. Development officers need to monitor their prospects' holdings for these deadlines and to encourage gifts at advantageous times. Individuals who might merit extra attention include public company insiders, intrapreneurs, and private company owners and executives. The article describes how to identify and respond to two important types of deadline-oriented developments: mergers and initial public offerings. A sidebar provides a guide to related business terms.

AdvanceWork: Return to Donor?
CURRENTS Article Legal rights of unhappy contributors

AdvanceWork: On This Date in History
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

Write-Minded: Noteworthy Thank-yous
CURRENTS Article Writing thank-you notes to donors is simple if you remember the basics. When thanking someone for a significant gift, make it sound believable, and be specific and personal. For small gifts, take a more realistic view of the gift's impact. To ensure that your best supporters always feel appreciated, write notes that recognize their ongoing commitment. Be sure to fact-check and proofread.

Tech Support: Protect Your Computer from Viruses
CURRENTS Article Computer viruses can destroy software and stored data. The first line of defense is to make regular backups of vital data and to invest in an antivirus program. Goldsborough, a technology columnist and author, summarizes the potential risk of common computer uses and tells how to distinguish between a legitimate virus warning and a hoax.

Manager's Portfolio: Dogs Watching Television
CURRENTS Article Development head Helm describes lessons he learned after overseeing a database conversion at Colby College. He notes that the characteristics that make a good development officer -- such as optimism, outward orientation, a generalist background, diplomacy, and the ability to delegate -- can interfere with effective technology management. He offers some suggestions on managing technology: 1) Establish a good relationship with the information services staff. 2) Invest in training. 3) View technology as an operating cost, not a capital investment. 4) Value and nurture technology gurus.

AdvanceWork: All Access Required?
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

Great Catches
CURRENTS Article A creative approach to fund-raising appeals involves identifying and targeting unconventional prospect segments. Examples include first-time donors (University of Michigan), constituents who have requested no solicitations (Syracuse University), disillusioned older alumni (Stanford), donors whose gift level has "plateaued" (Wheaton College), alumni with ties to particular extracurricular activities (Mesa Community College, University of North Alabama), residents of certain states (Iowa State University), concertgoers (Baldwin-Wallace College), and grandparents (Reed College). These institutions relied on information they already had in their databases, collected useful new information, and sought new prospects.

Model Behavior
CURRENTS Article Statistical modeling can make fund-raising efforts more productive by predicting which groups of donors are most likely to respond to appeals. The process, which involves segmenting donors based on behavior and traits, makes solicitations more cost-effective, produces a high return from a minimal investment, and shows its worth quickly. Statistical modeling requires input from a fund-raising expert (usually the annual fund director) and both a computer expert and a statistician (who may be consultants or campus employees). Wylie, a fund-raising consultant, describes the modeling process and provides examples. In a sidebar, he answers common questions about statistical modeling.

AdvanceWork: A Stock Answer
CURRENTS Article AdvanceWork: A Stock Answer

Eternal Gratitude
CURRENTS Article Effective planned-gift recognition and stewardship can prevent donors from changing revocable gifts and help cultivate future planned and outright gifts. An initial problem is identifying planned-gift donors, who sometimes do not wish to make their plans known. Once you do identify them, you can thank them with personal visits, letters, or phone calls; by maintaining personal contact; by developing a planned-gift recognition society; by offering token thank-you gifts; by conducting special events for planned-gift donors; and by naming them in publications. For donors of life-income gifts, mail checks with a personal cover letter and conduct periodic "customer satisfaction" surveys. Endowment givers should receive annual letters from the beneficiaries of their gifts and be invited to annual endowment appreciation events.

AdvanceWork: Double-Checking?
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

Write-Minded: In Time of Sorrow
CURRENTS Article When a donor dies, writing a sympathy letter is a difficult but required part of the development officer's job. Take care that your words are in proportion to your actual relationship with the donor. Be sincere, not effusive. Refer to the donor's connection with the campus. Acknowledge past generosity by talking about the people and programs the donor supported in a way that illustrates how his or her memory will live on at the institution.

Tech Support: Recipe for a Successful Conversion
CURRENTS Article Transferring old data into a new alumni-development database involves three major steps, each of which requires the right selection of workers, as follows: 1) Map the fields in the old system with corresponding fields in the new one. Involve a staff member who knows the data, a person who knows the technical details of the new system, and the programmer who will do the work. 2) Program the conversion so data flows into the new system's formats. This requires a skilled programmer, possibly from an outside source. 3) Test the new system. Everyone who uses the system can help, including fund raisers, alumni officers, data-entry staff and receptionists.

Up Where They Belong
CURRENTS Article Donor recognition societies, also called gift clubs, are a time-honored technique for encouraging regular giving, but they require careful administration. To ensure that gift clubs are effective, officials need to determine where to best set club levels, how and when to count gifts, and how to reward donors within legal parameters set by the IRS. The answers to these questions depend on the specific goals the institution is trying to achieve with its club system. A sidebar discusses how to choose gift club names.

Their Names in Lights
CURRENTS Article When designing web sites to recognize donors, remember these tips from University of Pennsylvania pros: 1) keep the design simple, such as using a photograph of a donor with a few simple words; 2) feature volunteers as the subjects of your first recognition pages; 3) remember to get permission to use any copyighted materials before posting the information on your site; and 4) seek advice from donors about why gifts are made.

Your Noncash Gift Questions Answered
CURRENTS Article Duke University director of alumni and development records Taylor creates and answers some sample questions that address some common concerns about noncash gifts. He tackles questions such as on what date do gifts of stock become the property of the institution; how to value gifts of art; whether gifts should be valued at the retail or wholesale price; how to value gifts of advertising; and how to value gifts that have no history of valuation. A list of guides on noncash gifts is included.

Learning the Ropes
CURRENTS Article Kelly reviews the use of several common models of the fund-raising process and discusses the value of using her five-step process of research, objectives, programming, evaluation, and stewardship (ROPES). Each of these components is described in detail. This article is adapted from chapter 10 of Dr. Kelly's book, "Effective Fund-Raising Management".

End Notes: Psst! Want a Match?
CURRENTS Article As institutions struggle to increase their numbers of matching gifts, staff need to be aware that over-zealous donors may go to great lengths to have their gifts matched. Staff must adhere to the matching gift guidelines established by participating companies, and be mindful of whether to recognize the gift as coming from the employee or the company, among other issues. Several problem areas related to the acceptance and recording of matching gifts are described.

In Advance: Technology vs. Reality
CURRENTS Article The real deal on eight common misconceptions about hardware and software

Having Double Trouble?
CURRENTS Article If matching gift programs are to succeed, colleges and universities must institute procedures that make it clear which donor gifts are eligible for matches and make it easy to go after them. First, it is important to spread the word about your matching gift program, using volunteers if necessary. Other ways to announce your matching gift program include: 1) highlighting potential matching gift donors before a phonathon and training callers to ask for employer information; 2) sending information with pledge reminders; 3) mailing leaflets, such as those available through CASE; and 4) promoting the program in donor newsletters. Another approach is to focus on several companies that employ large numbers of your alumni and establishing a corporate agent program.

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