Excellence Awards

CASE Excellence Communication and Program Awards

CASE District I annually honors individuals and schools with its Excellence Awards for producing innovative work in the fields of fundraising, alumni relations, stewardship, special events, advancement services, and communications. This year we have introduced three new categories, Writing, Storytelling, and Low-Cost Projects, and simplified the entry form.

CASE District I is also proud to partner with CASE International to offer Platinum awards in several fields, recognizing the “best of the best” programs and practices in educational advancement.

Unless otherwise stated in the category description, eligible materials must have been produced between June 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017. Ongoing programs are not subject to these date restrictions.

Entries for the CASE DI Excellence Awards must be completed and submitted by Friday, September 15th.

CREATIVE EXCELLENCE (A new category for all professionals – fundraisers, alumni relationship building, marketers, communicators)

Excellence in Writing

This category recognizes excellence in writing for any purpose, including institutional magazines, press releases, case statements, newsletters or other publications in print or digital form. It may cover any subject matter but must have appeared in a medium published by your institution between July 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017. Work by freelance, staff, and non-staff writers may be submitted here. Please submit four print copies or PDFs.

>> Submit Entry for the Excellence in Writing Category

Excellence in Storytelling

This category is open to submissions that exemplify the best storytelling for any purpose (fundraising, brand building, admissions) and for any channel (print, digital, video). Examples include student or alumni profiles, faculty stories, donor stories, stories of impact, and how the university has impacted individuals or groups. Submissions may be print, digital, video, or social media. Please include four print copies, attach PDFs, or provide a URL.

>> Submit Entry for the Excellence in Storytelling Category

Low-Cost Programming

This category recognizes low-cost, high-impact efforts in fundraising, alumni relations, marketing, communication or admission. This category is great for the less-resourced staff to demonstrate their ability to innovate. Efforts that use only in-house or available resources or for little investment an extremely high return on investment will be considered. Submissions may be print, digital, video, or social media. Please include four print copies, attach PDFs, or provide a URL.

>> Submit Entry for the Low-Cost Programming Category

Breakthrough Social Media

This category recognizes best practices using social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat to promote your institution’s programming to targeted audiences, whether to alumni, donors, parents, prospective students, media or opinion leaders relations and fundraising. Programs may be ongoing or new in 2016-2017 but must show evidence of a successful reach and engagement. 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 evidence of success.

>> Submit Entry for the Breakthrough Social Media Category

Impactful Web Microsites

Websites created for an impact, whether attracting students, donors or for communicating about a specific program. For example, a microsite built for a special event, specific program, class, 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Impactful Web Microsites Category

Magazines, circ. under 50,000

Special and general interest magazines published at least twice a year for a variety of potential audiences, including alumni, donors, and corporate, government and thought leaders. Each entry will be reviewed for the following criteria:

  • Overall magazine
  • Design
  • Photography
  • Writing

Submit two different issues with four copies of each issue. Mailing address will follow in the entry form. 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Magazines, circ. under 50,000 Category

Magazines, circ. 50,000 and above

Special and general interest magazines published at least twice a year, including alumni, donors, and corporate, government and thought leaders. Each entry will be reviewed for the following criteria:

  • Overall magazine
  • Design
  • Photography
  • Writing

Submit two different issues with four copies of each issue. Mailing address will follow in the entry form. 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Magazines, circ. 50,000 and above Category

Newspapers/Newsletters

News publications for external or internal audiences, published at least twice a year. Publications primary medium should be print. Submit four print copies of at least two different issues, maximum of four, and upload 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Newspapers/Newsletters Category

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 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Special-Purpose Publications Category

FUNDRAISING AND ALUMNI EXCELLENCE PROGRAM

Alumni Relations Programming for All Constituencies

Specific programming for your various individual constituencies, i.e., class activities, generational or non-traditional groups, affinity groups, minority or other diverse constituencies, students,  parent/grandparents and international audiences. These programs do not need to occur annually.

>> Submit Entry for the Alumni Relations Programming for All Constituencies Category

Annual Giving Programs

Broad-based programs to obtain and renew donors through continuous fundraising appeals made throughout the year and provide ongoing financial support to the institution’s operating budget. Submissions should focus on the entirety of the program and not a specific solicitation or event.

>> Submit Entry for the Annual Giving Programs Category

Donor Stewardship Programs

Donor Stewardship Programs aim to build confidence and continued support of donors through regular communication, appropriate recognition, expressions of appreciation, and other activities and events. Submissions should highlight the best of the overall programming and not a specific event or communication.

>> Submit Entry for the Donor Stewardship Category

Special Events

Individual or multiple 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, inaugurations, and fundraising events.

>> Submit Entry for the Special Events Category

New Alumni Relations Program Initiatives

This category looks to highlight alumni relations programs or special initiatives that have started over the past two years. This could include event series, affinity groups, young alumni programming, regional events or other activities.

>> Submit Entry for the New Alumni Relations Program Initiatives Category

Alumni Volunteer and Engagement

Programs that provide an increase in meaningful engagement of alumni volunteers, i.e., mentoring programs, service projects, networking nights, or other volunteer groups.

>> Submit Entry for the Alumni Volunteer and Engagement Category

Fundraising Materials

Materials designed to promote giving, such as case statements, brochures, and campaign packages. 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Fundraising Materials Category

Digital Fundraising Materials

Digital materials designed to promote giving, such as case statements, brochures and campaign packages. No restrictions on format or color.  Primary distribution must be electronic. Please submit printouts of up to three samples of the electronic materials used in your program and upload PDFs with your submission. Where applicable, provide URLs (and passwords if needed) to view material. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

>> Submit Entry for the Digital Fundraising Materials Category

Video – Fundraising

This category recognizes the exemplary videos created primarily for the fundraising efforts. This could include annual giving, capital giving, endowment giving, or special projects. Please submit the URL of the video.

>> Submit Entry for the Video-Fundraising Category

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 onNOTE: 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Websites – Fundraising (annual, special campaign) Category

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONCOMMUNICATIONS

Online News Sites and Newsletters, Colleges/Universities

Multi-page/layered news sites and digital newsletters, published at least monthly, aimed at internal or external audiences. Primary distribution method must be electronic (please do not submit the digital version of a piece that is primarily distributed in print). If a website, please submit the URLs and any passwords needed) of four different issues for viewing online, otherwise, please attach PDFs of four issues. Websites that cannot be accessed using the submitted URLs will be disqualified.

>> Submit Entry for the Online News Sites and Newsletters, Colleges/Universities Category

Website - Institutional

Websites created on behalf of your institution as a whole. 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Website – Institutional Category

Advertising

Published ads prepared for insertion in magazines, newspapers, or other media including digital and online.Upload low-resolution PDF. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

>> Submit Entry for the Advertising Category

Annual Reports

Submissions must have been developed as annual reports, not as campaign or specialty publications. Submit two print samples and upload 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Annual Reports Category

Earned Media or Publicity Campaign

An engaging pitch or campaign that resulted in favorable media coverage for the institution, include press releases and collateral material and examples or listing of resulting coverage and other examples of potential impact of coverage in low-resolution PDF form.

>> Submit Entry for the Earned Media or Publicity Campaign Category

ADMISSIONS EXCELLENCE

Video – Admissions

This category recognizes the exemplary videos created primarily for the admissions and enrollment process. Please submit the URL of the video.

>> Submit Entry for the Video – Admissions Category

Website - Admissions

Websites created for use in the admissions and enrollment process. 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Website – Admissions Category

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 print package. Submit two print copies of the package. If applicable, submit digital components by uploading a PDF or providing a URL. Be sure to enclose a copy of your confirmation email with your entry.

>> Submit Entry for the Admissions Packages Category

Admissions Viewbooks

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

>> Submit Entry for the Admissions Viewbooks Category

INDEPENDENT SCHOOL EXCELLENCE

Independent School Magazines

Special and general interest magazines published at least twice a year, intended primarily for alumni/ae or other external audiences. Each entry will be reviewed for the following criteria:

  • Overall magazine
  • Design
  • Photography
  • Writing

Submit two different issues with four copies of each issue, 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Independent School Magazines Category

Independent School Viewbooks and/or Admissions Packages

Admissions recruiting publications. Submit two print copies of your materials, 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.

>> Submit Entry for the Independent School Viewbooks and/or Admissions Packages Category

PLATINUM AWARDS

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.

>> Submit Entry for the Alumni Relations Category

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.

>> Submit Entry for the Communications and Marketing Category

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.

>> Submit Entry for the Fundraising Category

Diversity Programs

Recognizes programs, projects and initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion in educational advancement hiring and retention; including student programming aimed at developing a diverse pipeline for the profession. Also eligible are programs designed to educate and support staff in engaging diverse constituents and those that contribute to an organizational climate committed to diversity.

Eligible programs may come from any area of institutional advancement (fundraising, alumni relations and communications and marketing, talent management/human resources).

>> Submit Entry for the Diversity Programs Category

Digital Communications

Recognizes programs, projects and initiatives utilizing digital communications within both new and established programming. Eligible programs may come from any area of institutional advancement (fundraising, alumni relations or communications and marketing). Programs may be on-going or new, but must have been in place long enough to have produced well-documented results. Each program constitutes a single entry. Submit your entry with attachments through our online entry process. Make sure URLs or other information listed on your entry form is correct.

>> Submit Entry for the Digital Communications Category

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.

>> Submit Entry for the Advancement Services Program Category

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.

>> Submit Entry for the Excellence in Photography Category

Best Articles of the Year

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.

>> Submit Entry for the Best Articles of the Year Category

2017 AWARD WINNERS

View the 2017 Excellence and Platinum Awards winners.

VIEW THE WINNERS