Three sessions we're focused on Day 1 of CASE Summit

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In just two short weeks, advancement and engagement leadership from educational institutions around the world will meet in San Francisco to talk about key trends and the next generation in advancement

In preparing for the conference, QuadWrangle identified a handful of sessions on Day 1 that really speak to a couple of significant shifts in industry best practice: MarComm as the de facto top of the engagement and fundraising funnel and the implications of that reality for organizational structure.

Two that we're specifically looking forward to are head to head in the first set of concurrent sessions so we'll have to split our team up to cover both sessions.

Bob Brock of Educational Marketing Group and Rob Zinkan of Indiana University are discussing "Marketing: The Emergent Imperative, the Inherent Risks." They've called out the ever expanding $1.4BN annual ad spend in higher ed and we'd take that a step further by pointing out that, last year, higher ed advancement spent a total of $2.4BN on MarComm writ large. That's a lot of money. And, if we think about throughput, declining donor participation would tell us all that lead generation spend isn't quite working out.

If you aren't measuring MarComm as the key top of your funnel all the way through giving and other, deeper forms of engagement, you're probably wasting a lot of money. That's why at QuadWrangle we link every touch point to a donor flow to report what works and what doesn't.

Next door to that session, John Lippincott and Tom Mitchell from the University of Florida are discussing "Coordinated Communications for Comprehensive Campaigns." This is right in line with the session from Brock and Zinkan. Coordination leads to measurement which leads to results. It's not enough to have a great message - that message has to find donors across web, mobile, email, mail, SMS, Social, phone and events. It has to morph to maximize resonance with the audience based on the channel and who's there.

Here's a bit of how we do that just in email and everything has to align.

Finally on Day 1 is the association leadership blockbuster, "Alignment for Alumni Engagement: Evolving Organizational Approaches" with Paula Bonner from the University of Wisconsin Foundation, Joe Irwin of Georgia Tech, Julie Sina from UCLA, and Sterly Wilder of Duke University.

To me, this session, navigating how alumni associations are related to, marrying, and becoming a part of foundations and development orgs, speaks directly to the two sessions mentioned above. Marketing, communications and engagement are, in every way, the start of every donor pathway. The more directly those efforts are all linked, measured and strategically planned, the most successful all of them will be.

But the funnel isn't a straight line. For example, in the QuadWrangle system, if a donor makes a gift to the swim team, they'll automatically receive more swim team news and swim meet announcements in their various feeds across web, mobile and email from QuadWrangle. Why? Because automated stewardship matters and it's part of the engagement:giving continuum.

Drop us a line if you'd like to chat in advance, during or after Summit. See you in the city by the Bay!