A Message to the CASE Community
A Message to the CASE Community:
These past months have challenged all of us. We have heard from many of you about the difficulties your institutions are facing, and the uncertainty you are experiencing.
During this time, CASE has been working tirelessly to provide the resources that are of most benefit to you. We have launched new online service, including almost 60 ToGathers—our new online forums to connect members around topics of interest—that have reached more than 3,500 people. We converted our in-person conferences to online formats, serving nearly 2,500 participants in 11 conferences, and garnered great response. Our library has received and responded to numerous requests and prepared new subject guides and sample collections. We have lobbied the US government for relief on behalf of the charitable and education sectors; published online Currents and CASE newsletters and blogs; and added other direct outreach to members. We also continued other major initiatives, including the revision of CASE Reporting Standards and Management Guidelines and AMAtlas core metrics and cohort work. We have published the CASE-Ross Survey on Fundraising in the UK and Ireland, delivered 300 custom reports to members based on VSE data, and will soon release the CASE-Council for Canadian Advancement of Education Fundraising Survey.
Throughout, we have guided our actions by three clear objectives: providing relevant services to you, our members; caring for the well-being of CASE staff; and building a sustainable business model. We now anticipate that our revenues will be significantly lower than anticipated in the FY21 budget that was approved in March. In light of this, we have made a number of carefully considered decisions to align our revenues and expenditures—based in large part on the thoughtful advice of our Trustee Pandemic Task Force, the CASE Board of Trustees, and many valued volunteers and members along the way.
Knowing that our revenue picture is much different, our most recent decisions include requiring each staff member to take two unpaid leave days per month from 1 July through 31 December 2020. To implement this policy, all CASE offices around the globe will be closed the first and third Friday of each month through December, 2020. CASE staff will not be working on those days and we will not be conducting any CASE business. Limited exceptions will be made to accommodate the delivery of already-scheduled conferences. We chose this approach as the most compassionate of the alternatives.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing education to transform lives and society. We have reached many more members through our online offerings since March that we originally could have imagined; our efforts to serve you have strengthened and we are dedicated to continuing to provide you with exceptional service.
The entire association has made significant adjustments to bring us to this point, and for that I am profoundly grateful. We will update this memo with details regarding customer service concerns before our first scheduled office closure on 3 July 2020.
I thank you for understanding and welcome your thoughts on how CASE can best serve you. Please reach out with any questions you may have about our actions and plans by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you safe and well,
About the author(s)
Sue Cunningham is president and CEO of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), which supports more than 3,600 schools, colleges and universities worldwide in developing their alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing operations in order to advance their institutions. As CASE president and CEO, she provides strategic and operational leadership for one of the largest associations of education-related institutions in the world with members in more than 80 countries. She became president of CASE in March, 2015.
Cunningham engaged CASE and thousands of its volunteers in a comprehensive strategic planning process resulting in Reimagining CASE: 2017- 2021, an ambitious and comprehensive framework for serving CASE’s members and championing education worldwide. This volunteer and member engagement extends into a comprehensive effort to refine CASE’s governance structure to more effectively support CASE’s global reach and service to members.
Under her leadership CASE acquired the Voluntary Support of Education survey and created AMAtlas. CASE has reinvigorated its global advocacy agenda and is engaged in reviews of the curriculum across all advancement disciplines and an update of CASE’s management and reporting standards and guidelines, which operate as the industry-leading set of standards. She is most proud of CASE’s efforts to diversify the advancement professions and CASE’s commitment to talent management, within the organization and across CASE’s membership.
Cunningham serves on the steering committee of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat, is a member of the Council of Higher Education Management Associations, the International Women’s Foundation, and serves on the fundraising committee for the Aurora Foundation.
Prior to CASE, she served as vice-principal for advancement at the University of Melbourne and as the director of development for the University of Oxford. She served as director of development at Christ Church, Oxford, and as director of external relations at St. Andrews University.
She is an honorary fellow of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a recipient of the CASE Europe Distinguished Service Award, and is a CASE Crystal Apple Award recipient. She holds a master’s degree from Oxford University and a bachelor’s degree in performing arts from Middlesex University.