U.K. universities collaborate with their governments to reach U.S. alumni
Many people conjure up images of whiskey, bagpipes, and men in kilts when they think of Scotland. Kate Perkins had a different vision in mind in August 2014 when she accepted her post as the second secretary for Scottish Affairs at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Nikki Sunstrum talks focus, inspiration, and superpowers
To Nikki Sunstrum, director of social media at the University of Michigan, social media channels shouldn't be viewed as "shiny" but rather as strategic communications platforms. Since Sunstrum joined U-M in January 2014, the university has become a leader in using Snapchat to engage with prospective and current students as well as young alumni. "If you're not going to put the most valuable content in that space, it's a missed opportunity," she says. Sunstrum will chair the 2017 CASE Social Media and Community Conference, which will be held March 13–15 in Los Angeles.
Advice from advancement’s newest and brightest about how to keep them thriving
How many times have you heard this: "I didn't plan on a career in advancement—I just fell into it"? Despite a growing need for fundraisers, recruiters are struggling to find talent. "The development profession is still a well-kept secret—and something we need to change," CASE President Sue Cunningham said during a recent CASE program. Degree programs in advancement remain rare (although notable ones include the U.K.'s University of Chichester's charity development degree and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University), and the field is frequently misunderstood.
New technologies eliminate guesswork with social and behavioral insights
In fall 2015, Boston University shared big news on its website and Facebook pages about its 100-year-old Castle. The building—formerly the president's home and now a venue for weddings and special events—would be converted into an alumni center. The posts generated more than 300 likes, shares, and comments.
Boosting alumni participation requires a tailored design
Educational institutions famously undervalue the annual fund, perceiving it merely as a means to unrestricted funds, according to Lori Yersh, senior advisor to the vice president of advancement and external relations at Concordia University in Canada and an annual giving expert who has consulted at more than 120 educational and health care institutions in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
Emotional connections are key to Michigan State University’s brand evolution
What's the essence of your institution's brand? When Heather Swain, Michigan State University's vice president for communications and brand strategy, presents on branding in higher education, she includes a slide displaying ice cream cones with various flavors of ice cream. Why? "Our job as marketers is to project our university's flavor out into the world," she says.