Redesigning the Case for Support
An effective campaign or fundraising effort by a higher education institution stems from its case and case statement, commonly referred to as a case for support. The foundation for any development campaign of higher education institutions include these elements. Traditionally, a case is a quick, 90 second or less speech explaining why prospective donors should support the organization. The case statement or case for support expands upon the case in a visual and verbal way. For the majority of higher education institutions, this involves hard-copy communications, newsletters, email communications or even a downloadable 30-40 page PDF outlining the campaign’s goals and vision (including what the money will be used for). The case statement also highlights alumni that have already given to the institution and presents a call for action to other alumni to give back
Recently, Villanova launched a For the Greater Great Campaign that aims to pool $600 million for its endowment, academic and programmatic priorities, facilities, and annual fund over the course of the campaign. What makes Villanova different from other higher education institutions is the new interpretation of its case statement. Not only does Villanova offer a traditional case statement on its website, but the university provides a new type of case statement, a digital case statement.
Villanova’s digital case statement is less than four minutes in length, highlighting the university’s formula for success and presenting the campaign and its monetary goals for each element of the campaign: Endowment, Academic and Programmatic Priorities, Facilities and Annual Fund. Villanova presents its case well and offers a great call for action at the end. As creative as the digital case statement is, however, it would be beneficial for the university to link the location where alumni can donate to the campaign.
Image from Digital Case Statement
With the increasing number of millennials transitioning into alumni, institutions like Villanova should embrace their recent alumni’s experiences by using social media and the Internet. Utilizing a digital case for support may be more appealing to younger alumni as reading through a 30-40 page case for support takes up a lot more time than a short video providing the same goals, vision and call for action. Higher education institutions have been releasing promotional videos explaining why alumni should donate to their school and what students are currently achieving due to their donations. A digital case statement, however, is something new and unique. Not only can this digital case statement be uploaded onto the institution’s website, but alumni can receive the case statement via email and social media outlets.
Moving forward, other institutions should consider following in Villanova’s footsteps by supplementing the traditional case statement with a digital one. Just remember, the digital case statement is not the same as a campaign launch video and should not replace it. The digital case statement is a supplement to enhance the campaign and development program of the institution.
For more information on Alumni Monitor and our research on alumni outreach and engagement, please contact Dana Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at alumnimonitor.corporateinsight.com.