Excellence Awards

CASE Excellence Communication and Program Awards

CASE District I annually bestows its Excellence Awards on individuals and schools doing innovative work in the fields of special events, fundraising, stewardship, volunteer engagement, alumni relations, student alumni initiatives, advancement services, and communications.

CASE District I is proud to partner with CASE International to introduce the Platinum Categories, recognizing the “best of the best” programs and practices in educational advancement.

For consideration, all Program Award entries must have occurred between June 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014 

PROGRAM AWARDS

Alumni Relations Programming for Special Constituencies

Alumni Relations Programming for Special Constituencies
Specific programming for your various individual constituencies, e.g., class activities, generational or non-traditional groups, minority or other diverse constituencies, parent/grandparents and international audiences. These programs do not need to occur annually.

Annual Alumni Relations Programs

Programming conducted annually to all or large groups of your constituents, e.g. clubs/chapters, homecomings/reunions, alumni education, career services, awards/recognition and travel programs.

Annual Giving Programs

Broad-based programs to obtain and/or renew donors through continuous fundraising appeals made throughout the year to provide ongoing financial support to the institution’s operating budget.

Campaign Programs

Organized initiatives that take place over a specific (finite) period of time to raise substantial funds to finance major projects or needs of an institution including academic priorities, financial aid, renovation, endowment,  and construction.

Donor Stewardship Programs

Programs that aim to build confidence and continued support of donors through such means as regular communication, appropriate recognition, expressions of appreciation and other activities.

Individual Special Events

Individual activities centered around special occasions, which may include but are not limited to; anniversaries, public meetings, homecoming and reunions, education programs, exhibitions, alumni events, building dedications, and fundraising events.

New Alumni Relations Program Initiatives

Programs started over the past two years.

Student Alumni Initiatives and Programs

Activities and programs of student alumni associations and similar student organizations linked to the alumni office.

Volunteer Engagement and Leadership

Programs that provide meaningful involvement to alumni volunteers, e.g. alumni boards, strategic planning, reunion, and alumni financial support/stewardship.

Overall Operations Advancement Services

Encompasses the entirety of the advancement services area within the institution.

Principal, Major, or Special Giving Programs

Specific programs to secure gifts that are for a designated purpose and/or are sufficient in size to fund significant initiatives. A principal, major or special giving program might create a new, permanent endowment or add to an existing one, provide operating support for new programs and initiatives, or capital support for facilities and equipment. Planned Giving (deferred giving) programs and initiatives would also qualify in this subcategory.

Yearlong Special Events

Multiple activities centered on a theme, such as an anniversary, inauguration, or fundraising campaign that are spaced out over a year’s time.

For consideration, all Communication Award entries materials must have been published between September 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014

COMMUNICATIONS: OTHER

Article of the Year, colleges/universities

Articles may cover any subject matter but must have appeared in a print or online periodical published by your institution. Articles by freelance, staff, and non-staff writers may be submitted here. Speech summaries, question-and-answer stories and materials reprinted from other sources are not eligible. One article constitutes a single entry.

Upload a PDF of it as it appeared in the publication; submit a URL link to online articles. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Article of the Year, independent schools

Articles may cover any subject matter but must have appeared in a print or online periodical published by your institution. Articles by freelance, staff, and non-staff writers may be submitted here. Speech summaries, question-and-answer stories and materials reprinted from other sources are not eligible. One article constitutes a single entry.

Upload a PDF of it as it appeared in the publication; submit a URL link to online articles. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

COMMUNICATIONS: DIGITAL

Online news sites and newsletters, colleges/universities

Multi-page/layered news sites and online newsletters, published at least weekly, aimed at internal or external audiences.

Submit the URLs of four different issues for viewing online. Websites that cannot be accessed using the submitted URLs will be disqualified. All sites must be accessible to the public.

Online news sites and newsletters, independent schools

Multi-page/layered news sites and online newsletters, published at least monthly, aimed at internal or external audiences.

Submit the URLs of two different issues for viewing online. Websites that cannot be accessed using the submitted URLs will be disqualified. All sites must be accessible to the public.

Social Media, alumni and advancement programs

This category recognizes best practices using social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your institution’s programming in alumni relations and fundraising. Programs may be ongoing or new in 2012–2013 but must show evidence of a successful campaign. In your abstract, be sure to explain how your use of social media channels is innovative.

Upload PDFs and provide URLs (and passwords if needed) where applicable. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry. Entries in this category require documented evidence of success.

Social Media, student recruitment

This category recognizes best practices using social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your institution’s programming in student recruitment. Programs may be ongoing or new in 2012–2013 but must show evidence of a successful campaign. In your abstract, be sure to explain how your use of social media channels is innovative.

Upload PDFs and provide URLs (and passwords if needed) where applicable. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry. Entries in this category require documented evidence of success.

Video

Video created to promote your institution as a whole or any particular program or initiative, to any audience.

Submit URL. If video is no longer hosted on your website, submit on disk, one entry per disk. Please label disk and case for identification, and be sure your disk will play on any platform.

Web-based magazines

Magazines written and designed for the Web, published at least twice a year. Magazines may be targeted for any audience.

Submit the URLs of two different issues of your magazine for viewing online. Magazines that cannot be accessed using the submitted URLs will be disqualified.

Websites: admission

 Websites created for use in recruiting students. Judges will look only at multipage sites, so do not enter only your homepage for evaluation. In addition to the homepage URL, be sure to provide specific URLs for pages you’d like the judges to focus on.

NOTE: All sites/pages must be accessible to the judges. Intranets and password-protected sites may be entered but only if passwords or mirror sites are provided. Should an entry win, entrants must agree to provide access to the site for up to two years.

Websites: fundraising (annual, special campaign)

Websites created for use in fundraising efforts. In addition to the homepage URL, be sure to provide specific URLs for pages you’d like the judges to focus on

NOTE: All sites/pages must be accessible to the judges. Intranets and password-protected sites may be entered but only if passwords or mirror sites are provided. Should an entry win, entrants must agree to provide access to the site for up to two years

Websites: institutional

Websites created on behalf of your institution as a whole. Judges will look only at multipage sites, so do not enter only your homepage for evaluation. In addition to the homepage URL, be sure to provide specific URLs for pages you’d like the judges to focus on.

NOTE: All sites/pages must be accessible to the judges. Intranets and password-protected sites may be entered but only if passwords or mirror sites are provided. Should an entry win, entrants must agree to provide access to the site for up to two years.

Websites: special purpose

Websites created for a special purpose (not fundraising or admission). For example, a microsite built for a special event, for a class, for an academic lecture, etc. In addition to the homepage URL, be sure to provide specific URLs for pages you’d like the judges to focus on.

NOTE: All sites/pages must be accessible to the judges. Intranets and password-protected sites may be entered but only if passwords or mirror sites are provided. Should an entry win, entrants must agree to provide access to the site for up to two years.

COMMUNICATIONS: PRINT

Admissions packages

Related suite of admissions recruiting pieces that reinforce one another and share visual elements. Interactive elements may be included only if they were produced as part of the package.

Submit two print copies of the package and upload a low-resolution PDF of one publication representative of the work. If applicable, submit digital components on disk and/or provide a URL. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Admissions viewbooks

Individual admissions viewbooks or other primary recruiting publications.

Submit two print copies of your viewbook, and upload a low-resolution PDF. For very lengthy pieces, a PDF of cover with sample spreads is sufficient. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Advertising, exterior

Print posters, mass-transit advertising, and billboard ads.

Submit 8″x10″ color print and upload a high-resolution image. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Advertising, publications

Published ads prepared for insertion in magazines, newspapers, or other publications.

Submit on poster board with no more than a one-inch border. Include tear sheet or other proof of publication. Upload low-resolution PDF. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Annual reports

Annual reports developed as annual reports, not as campaign or specialty publications.

Submit two print samples and upload low-resolution PDF(s). For lengthy pieces, a PDF of the cover and sample spreads is sufficient. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Fundraising materials

Materials designed to promote giving, such as case statements, brochures, and campaign packages. No restrictions on format or color.

Submit two print samples and upload low-resolution PDF(s). For lengthy pieces, a PDF of sample covers/spreads is sufficient. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Independent school magazines

Special and general interest magazines published at least twice a year, intended primarily for alumni/ae or other external audiences.

Submit two different issues, and, if you are able, upload the entire magazine as a PDF. If not, you can upload covers/spreads. Submitted magazines must be the same submitted as PDFs. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Independent school viewbooks

Primary admissions recruiting publications.

Submit two print copies of your viewbook, and upload a low-resolution PDF. For very lengthy pieces, a PDF of cover with sample spreads is sufficient. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Magazines, circ. 25,000 and above

Special and general interest magazines published at least twice a year, intended primarily for alumni/ae or other external audiences. In each circulation subcategory, separate awards will be given for:
• Best overall magazine
• Best design
• Best writing

Submit two different issues, and, if you are able, upload the entire magazine as a PDF. If not, you can upload covers/spreads. Submitted magazines must be the same submitted as PDFs. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Magazines, circ. under 25,000

Special and general interest magazines published at least twice a year, intended primarily for alumni/ae or other external audiences. In each circulation subcategory, separate awards will be given for:
• Best overall magazine
• Best design
• Best writing

Submit two different issues, and, if you are able, upload the entire magazine as a PDF. If not, you can upload covers/spreads. Submitted magazines must be the same submitted as PDFs. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Newspapers/newsletters

News publications for external or internal audiences, published at least twice a year.

Submit print copies of at least two different issues, maximum of four, and upload low-resolution PDFs. For very lengthy entries, PDFs of front pages with sample inside spreads is sufficient. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Publication packages

Related suite of items that reinforce one another, share visual elements, and are intended to achieve specific goals (i.e., re-branding initiative or promotion of a major event). Capital campaign pieces with shared elements should be entered in the Fundraising Materials category.

Submit two print samples of each element and a low-resolution PDF of one representative publication in the package. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

Special-purpose publications

One-time publications created to build institutional reputation or promote or describe a particular program, facility, or event; or any one-time publication created for a purpose not covered by other categories. PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED ON AN ANNUAL OR OTHER REGULAR BASIS DO NOT QUALIFY.

Submit two print samples and upload a low-resolution PDF. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

PLATINUM AWARDS

Best Practices in Alumni Relations

Recognizes exemplary programs, projects and initiatives in alumni relations that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources, achieve significant results and/or utilize innovative practices. These may include a new twist to alumni programming; engaging emerging constituents with a goal toward improving diversity and inclusion; integrating multi-media into reunions and other alumni events; or innovative ways to engage or re-engage alumni.

Best Practices in Communications and Marketing

Recognizes exemplary programs, projects and initiatives in communications and marketing that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources, achieve significant results and/or utilize innovative practices. Entries can address projects in a variety of areas, including public relations, media relations, internal communications, crisis communications, branding and integrated marketing.

Best Practices in Fundraising

Recognizes exemplary programs, projects and initiatives in fundraising that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources, achieve significant results and/or utilize innovative practices. These may include putting a new twist on a senior gift program, getting grandparents to give, increasing corporate sponsorship and creative approaches to major giving. Entries can be in any area of fundraising and development. Best practices related to campaigns should be entered in the Best Practices in Fundraising Campaigns category.

Best Practices in Fundraising Campaigns

Recognizes creative strategies, programs and initiatives in fundraising campaigns that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources and achieve significant results. Note that judges will be evaluating innovative strategies, programs and initiatives helped contribute to the success of a fundraising campaign. Judges will not be evaluating the overall campaign and whether your institution met its goal.

Best Practices in Advancement Services Programs

Recognizes exemplary programs, projects and initiatives in advancement services that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources, achieve significant results and/or utilize innovative practices. Entries can be in any area of advancement services including information systems, gift reporting and prospect research.

Excellence in Photography

Recognizes the best black-and-white and/or color photography produced by a single staff or freelance photographer for use in an institutional publication or periodical or for some institutional purpose such as on a website, an exhibition, or advertising. An entry includes a portfolio of 5-10 representative photographs.

Best Articles of the Year

Recognizes outstanding articles published in a print or online periodical (magazine or newsletter) between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. Your article may cover any subject matter but must have appeared in a periodical published by your institution. Articles by freelance, staff, and non-staff writers may be submitted here. Speech summaries, question and answer stories and materials reprinted from other sources are not eligible.