The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) announced that the College of the Holy Cross received a silver award in its District I Excellence contest. The College received the honor in the Annual Giving Programs category for the “Holy Cross Fund 2012: I Love HC” campaign.
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. Holy Cross will be honored, along with other award winners, at the CASE District I conference in Boston on January 30 – Feb. 1.
Last year, Holy Cross ranked #9 in the country in a U.S. News & World Report listing of “most-loved schools” by alumni. The Holy Cross Fund believed the College should have the number one spot, so they launched the “I Love HC” campaign to encourage donors from last year to return and to add 2,000 new donors, in an effort to reach a participation rate of 55 percent.
“In recent years approximately half of all gifts received came in during the final six weeks of the fiscal year. In an effort to frontload our donor activity and obtain 2,000 new alumni donors, we launched the mini-campaign,” explains Margaret Hayden Bramley, director of the Holy Cross Fund. “It was a great success; we exceeded the goal of 2,000 donors by 31 percent. In addition to these quantifiable results, many alumni were inspired to share the many reasons why they love Holy Cross, and how the “I Love HC” campaign brought back memories of their time on campus.”
While print pieces, emails, a microsite and decals were used in this mini-campaign, the ‘I Love HC’ video is what really stood out. It features the Holy Cross Crusader dancing with students and staff in many of the beloved places on campus. To date, the video has 18,351 views, the second most among all Holy Cross videos.
“Because no budget had been allocated for this project, we enlisted the support of Holy Cross’ student advertising agency to recruit students to participate in the video and to assist in filming, editing, and circulating the video through social media,” shares Erin Mooney Phipps, associate director of the Holy Cross Fund. “Our alumni are not accustomed to this kind of transactional incentive-based giving program, making the mini-campaign invoke nostalgia and remind alumni why they love Holy Cross.”
Bramley; Joyce O’Connor Davidson, director of development and alumni relations communications; and Christian Santillo, assistant director for web communications in public affair, will accept the award on behalf of the College. The video was produced by Bramley; Santillo; Amanda Corbett Beaver, associate director of the Holy Cross Fund; Lynn Caputo, assistant director of communications for alumni and development, and Harry Chiu ’12.
CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education. The CASE District I awards program recognizes the communications work of educational institutions located in the Northeast and parts of Canada.