A weekend-long event for Call to Lead donors and volunteers and a newly revamped alumni research panel have been recognized with awards from the Washington-based Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
The Circle of Excellence Awards highlight outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising, and marketing.
The 2022 recipients “showcase how advancement empowers teaching and learning, ignites institutional progress, and helps communities thrive,” said CASE CEO and President Sue Cunningham.
Celebrating the Impact of Donors and Volunteers
The Call to Lead campaign’s “Hard Hat Weekend” received a Silver award in the special events category. Held last October, the event was designed to express gratitude to the campaign’s donors and volunteers and illustrate their collective, enduring impact.
The weekend featured tours of seven new or renovated buildings, conversations with leadership, faculty, alumni, and students about campaign achievements and remaining priorities, and a gala dinner, where the campaign’s $3 billion milestone was announced and celebrated.
The CASE judges agreed that “hard hat” events can be challenging to pull off well and felt Dartmouth had succeeded at creating an engaging, interactive, and impactful event.
“Not only were they able to demonstrate the impact physically, but they engaged the community in their efforts and spurred new donor dollars to the campaign,” they wrote.
A New Approach to Surveys
The Moosilauke Forum—an alumni research panel—received a Bronze award in the advancement services category. The Forum was transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advancement officials had regularly surveyed the Forum on a range of Dartmouth-related topics, but during the pandemic turned to the group to inform immediate decisions related to critical issues. The success of two pandemic-related surveys propelled changes to the Forum, which became a vital tool for strategic planning for alumni engagement and fundraising, including the Call to Lead campaign.
That success also elevated Advancement’s use of data. Now, survey insights are incorporated into the planning stages of new initiatives and shared throughout the division.
At a time when some institutions are reducing their survey usage, the approach and response are impressive, said the judges, who also appreciated the outreach to alumni and the data that effort generated.