Event fundraising

Call to Lead Event, Alumni Search Panel Wins CASE Awards

A weekend event for Call to lead donors and volunteers and a newly revamped alumni research panel were honored with awards from the Washington-based Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

The Circle of Excellence awards recognize outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing.

The 2022 winners “show how advancement strengthens teaching and learning, drives institutional progress, and helps communities thrive,” said Sue Cunningham, CEO and President of CASE.

Celebrate the impact of donors and volunteers

The Call to Lead campaign “Hard Hat Weekend” received a silver award in the special events category. Held last October, the event aimed to express gratitude to campaign donors and volunteers and to illustrate their collective and lasting impact.

The weekend included tours of seven new or renovated buildings, conversations with leaders, faculty, alumni and students about campaign achievements and remaining priorities, and a gala dinner, where the milestone of 3 billion dollar campaign was announced and celebrated.

CASE judges agreed that ‘helmet’ events can be difficult to organize well and felt that Dartmouth managed to create an engaging, interactive and impactful event.

“Not only were they able to demonstrate physical impact, but they engaged the community in their efforts and stimulated new donors 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 has been transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advancement officials had regularly polled the Forum on a range of Dartmouth-related topics, but during the pandemic they turned to the group to inform immediate decisions related to critical issues. The success of two pandemic-related surveys has propelled changes to the Forum, which has become an essential strategic planning tool for alumni engagement and fundraising, including the Call to Lead campaign.

This success has also increased Advancement’s use of data. Now, survey results are incorporated into the planning stages of new initiatives and shared across the division.

At a time when some institutions are reducing their use of polls, the approach and response are impressive, said the judges, who also appreciated the outreach from alumni and the data generated by the effort.