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Advancement Organizational Structure

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Similar Strides
CURRENTS Article In 2015, when University of Connecticut trustees voted to sever financial ties with the institution's alumni association, asking the foundation to take over alumni work, UConn president Susan Herbst hailed the decision as a bold move toward "enhancing outreach and engagement with our alumni." Herbst said that UConn's new consolidated model was similar to those increasingly adopted by many colleges and universities. UConn has not been alone over the past few years in reshuffling advancement, ostensibly to cut overlapping costs, unify institutional messaging, and improve alumni engagement. From Indiana's Purdue University to Oregon's Portland State University, foundations that have historically received gifts and managed investments have been absorbing their institution's development shop. However, the mergers of long-standing, independent alumni groups with their foundation have raised concerns among alumni relations pros who fear that their work is misunderstood and undervalued. Some industry leaders question whether the major "fixes" will offer significant long-term savings—and whether they will inflict long-term damage.

Are You Leaving Money on the Table?
CURRENTS Article Frontline fundraisers tend to work in silos, and we leave a lot of gift money on the table. Let's banish planned giving from our vocabulary and embrace gift planning.

Warning! Internal Politics! Proceed at your own risk
CURRENTS Article To manage change successfully off campus, advancement professionals—particularly communicators and marketers—need to get everyone moving in the same direction on campus. Here are some thoughts on everything from grappling with academy-specific problems and people to addressing political challenges the way you'd take on a grassroots campaign.

Liberal Arts & Alliances
CURRENTS Article Arts and sciences colleges tend to be the largest on campus, but the extensive donor base doesn't usually translate into the biggest gifts. Colleges and their donor bases are not identical. This means that liberal arts colleges need to take a unique approach to alumni engagement and development. The strategy also requires new talent management policies and cross-college collaboration.

Debating the Merits of Integrated Advancement
Article,  BriefCASE Article Collaboration across advancement disciplines is essential, says one leader in the field. But could full integration of these disciplines do more harm than good? That subject is up for debate at an upcoming CASE Europe event.

Outlook: Merge Ahead
CURRENTS Article During the next 10 to 15 years, 25 percent of the lowest-ranked colleges and universities will either merge or disappear. Mergers are daunting, but dealing with one or another major office shake-up is not impossible if you prepare by adding change management and executive intelligence to your skill set.

Big Marketers on Campus
CURRENTS Article A growing cadre of high-level marketing professionals is moving from the private sector to higher education. Many of these recent arrivals are assuming new cabinet-level positions, reflecting not only the growing acceptance of marketing in higher education but a rising emphasis on sophisticated market research as institutions strive to differentiate themselves in a tough environment—and at a time when the cost and the value of a college degree face unprecedented scrutiny.

Office Space: Let’s Stay Together
CURRENTS Article In January 2013, Maine's Thomas College moved career services from student affairs and placed it in alumni relations, under advancement's umbrella. This article details the impetus for the move and how the college managed the transition.

Taking the Lifelong View
CURRENTS Article This article discusses the heretical and holistic approach that Indiana University East took in reorganizing its advancement operation, which now includes the campus life office, to align with the engagement lifecycle. The result is a division that rid itself of traditional advancement silos and developed an operating structure that would shepherd its audiences—prospective students, current students, alumni, and donors—through the transition points between lifecycle stages and communicate and engage them with a consistent strategy and customer service-based approach.

Fundraising Fundamentals, Section 8.1
Article The section from Fundraising Fundamentals discusses basic principles for development office structure.

Fundraising Fundamentals, Section 3.1
Article This section from Fundraising Fundamentals discusses reporting lines and organisational structure for fundraising staff and institutional leaders.

Outlook: Advancement's Faulty Foundation
CURRENTS Article Andrew W. Reeher, CEO of Reeher LLC, offers advice on how colleges and universities can make better investments of time and money in their fundraising operations.

United by Goals
CURRENTS Article This article looks at the importance of communications and marketing being an integral part of the integrated advancement team and the benefits that can result from such an arrangement.

Organizational Charts
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of advancement organizational charts for many types of institutions.

Organizational Charts
Good Question My institution is restructuring its advancement offices. Does CASE have any sample organizational charts that I can review?

Examples of Higher Ed Organizational Charts
Sample Collection This collection on the SimpsonScarborough website includes organizational charts for units such as university advancement, communications, external relations, public affairs and others found in more than 25 U.S. institutions.

La comunicación es de Marte, las admisiones son de Venus
CURRENTS Article A pesar de que ambas divisiones trabajan para alcanzar el mismo objetivo, parecerían estar a varios sistemas solares de distancia.

Communications Is from Mars, Admissions Is from Venus
CURRENTS Article Communications and admissions marketing both work toward bettering the institution, though they go about it in completely different ways. Can the two departments collaborate better to integrate these two areas?

Repair Required
CURRENTS Article Managing internal communications can be a challenge. But the way that communications are set up internally really gives the external world a clear picture of your institution's brand and message.

Open-Door Policy
CURRENTS Article When alumni and development officers work together and share many tasks and responsibilities, they can help their campuses attract much-needed resources and enhance the bottom line. Although many senior advancement officers might be reluctant to fully commit to such integrated efforts, the advantages are becoming too numerous and powerful to overlook. Alumni relations professionals are in the best position to identify new donors. What’s more, integrated initiatives result in better services for millions of alumni donors. Campus leaders can integrate their advancement operations by building multidepartmental teams for specific tasks, celebrating major successes with all advancement officers, and relying on a single advancement mission and vision.

A New Breed
CURRENTS Article This article examines the complex and often convoluted relationships between admissions and advancement. It describes how marketing is the place where all areas of advancement find common ground and how, for a long time, marketing had its place within the distinct silos in admissions and advancement. Now, however, institutions are developing more comprehensive structures that combine recruitment and advancement in the interest of adopting a true integrated marketing mindset.

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.

Buddy Systems?
CURRENTS Article University systems exist because together the institutions that comprise them are stronger and better positioned than they would be as rivals. Competition among campuses within systems exists, of course, and advancement structures vary, but the benefits of the collaboration that occurs far outweigh whatever tensions arise. This article examines system advancement models at the University of Texas, the State University of New York, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Maryland systems.

Manager's Portfolio: Achieving Fabled Service
CURRENTS Article Like Nordstrom and other companies famous for customer service, alumni associations should infuse quality constituent service into everything they do. This column features examples from the University of Michigan Alumni Association, which has created a customer relations staff.

Closing Remarks: A Unified Front
CURRENTS Article Collaboration strengthens all of advancement

Two Approaches, One Goal
CURRENTS Article Know the inherent strengths of both centralized and decentralized advancement structures

Rethinking Our Craft
CURRENTS Article Stone, former president of the Stanford Alumni Association, describes the multiyear process that led to the merger of the alumni association into the university, in sharp contrast to the association’s century-old tradition of independence. His key points: (1) Institutions must “own” their alumni relations responsibilities, and (2) alumni relations requires an entire institution’s commitment to lifelong relationships. Stone also offers advice to alumni relations officers on their role and responsibilities.

Campaign Strategies: Orchestrating a Harmonious Campaign
CURRENTS Article To coordinate a comprehensive campaign within a heavily decentralized organizational structure, University of Virginia officials developed a complex but flexible collaboration model that addressed the development needs of the institution’s 26 separate units. The central development office provided support and services at varying levels for the different units and worked to develop trust and respect.

Finding the Perfect Fit
CURRENTS Article Five ways to structure the communications office

End Notes: A Declaration of Interdependence
CURRENTS Article In 1998, after 106 years of independence, the Stanford Alumni Association became an official division of Stanford University. The change followed three years of study, extensive negotiations, and a vote by SAA members. In an interview, association president Bill Stone explains that SAA and Stanford leaders decided a merger would provide better access and increased resources.

The Day We Closed the News Bureau
CURRENTS Article In April 1996, the Indiana University news bureau closed and the Office of Communications and Marketing was opened as the first step in adopting an integrated marketing approach for the university. Simpson outlines how this change occurred. A supportive president, a willing staff and ongoing internal communications efforts are credited with making this change a success. Recognizing that the university was not reaching all constituencies through the media, staff adopted a more active role in setting goals, and conducting research to enhance the institution's image. Meetings with legislators, alumni and business leaders indicated that while their image of the university was good, there were lots of misperceptions about the tuition costs. These meetings also indicated that many important audiences were not being reached.

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Org Charts

The Library has compiled a collection of resources about advancement organizational structures.

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