A Wrap on CASE Summit: Concepts, People, + Change


As ever, CASE Summit was well attended by some of advancement's and education's foremost leadership with a goal towards forging new and deeper industry relationships, discovering new approaches to growth, and evaluating what the future of advancement and, indeed, education itself will be. On the Virgin America flight home to Boston, I thought I'd spend a few minutes putting a wrap on the event in our own QuadWrangle way.

For day 2 and the short and final day 3, we again passed all the event's tweets through our natural language engine:

Again, it was about the people. Charlene Li spoke on this last morning about the nature of leadership - that it's about culture and humanity - so no wonder Janet Napolitano, Eric Snoek, Andrew Careaga, Anthony Greenwald, David Leebron, Lawrence Bonchek, Daniel Lugo, Vanessa, Nemetchek, Peter Barber and others were featured in the natural language analysis of those tweets.

A number of folks are already looking ahead to CASE Summit 2018 as we are.

What will change in the year ahead? It's hard to predict the future, but I'll venture a few guesses:

  • Senior advancement leadership will become data wonks: Historically, in this, our very human-to-human space, data was a descriptor of work being done and less a tool of empowerment. Based on this week's conversations, this is an audience of burgeoning data scientists. It was fascinating to talk with folks about their data efforts, how they view analytics, and where they're truly innovating to increase engagement and support for their institutions.
  • More engagement orgs will fold into development orgs: This has been an evolving story over the past 3-5 years - that engagement needs to more implicitly drive giving. I couldn't agree more with this evolution. I liken the classic separation of engagement and giving to a corporate revenue organization requiring that marketing and sales teams don't talk to each other. There are innumerable differences, of course. For example, while Nike would love to get me to make two purchases a year forever, I am in a segment that will soon age out to light sports apparel purchasing. Donors? It's lifetime. It's a monopoly in its own right to connect with your alumni. Engagement cannot, I stress be inherently about fundraising. That defeats the purpose. It can, however, be more dynamically linked. And it needs to be intelligently linked. If I read a lot about my alma mater's swim team, shouldn't I be asked to give to swimming? Of course. That is where engagement truly drives giving - by being a personal, value-add extension of engagement. How can an appeal be seen as a favor to a donor? Through personalization and that, folks, is exactly what engagement is able to inform.

What other theories on the year ahead might you have? Favorite ideas from Summit?

We'll see you all in NYC next year. But, between now and then, keep up here and drop us a line at getisaac@quadwrangle.com.

Read more CASE Summit stories here.