Franklin College Institutional Advancement team earns national recognition

Franklin College announced its Institutional Advancement (IA) team has been awarded two gold 2022 Circle of Excellence Awards by The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the national organization for advancement professionals. From 4,510 global entries, only 173 gold awards were given.

The first gold award was in recognition of the college’s Automating Alumni Engagement Metrics Reporting entry which focused on its work tracking engagement in ways beyond simply alumni giving percentage. Using its customer relations management system. Raiser’s Edge NXT, the IA team identified and began tracking a variety of engagement opportunities. From there, they focused on how best to report on this information. Over 100 queries were developed in Raiser’s Edge to supply the information necessary for the Alumni Engagement Metrics (AEM) survey. Then, with the recent partnership between Microsoft and Blackbaud, they leveraged Power BI, Power Automate and Blackbaud’s SKY API to pull data from multiple sources and create an interactive, real-time dashboard containing the AEM data. This has saved valuable staff hours from previous manual updates and allowed for a deeper examination of data across dimensions such as gender, ethnicity, geography, class years and more.

The CASE judges noted: “This submission is an innovative way of measuring engagement tied to the CASE Alumni Engagement Metrics. A substantive entry supporting data and analytics that has much value to others looking to establish their own metrics and visualizations.”

Franklin College’s IA team received one of only 173 gold awards given out of 4,510 global entries. (Photo courtesy of Franklin College’s Facebook page)

The second gold award was in recognition of #GRIZTuesday, Not Your Average #GivingTuesday entry which focused on the transition from a traditional golf outing fundraiser in 2020 (due to COVID-19) to an online day of giving, a unique and successful option to continue to support the college’s student-athletes. #GRIZTuesday is a 24-hour giving challenge and a celebration of all things Franklin College athletics. It is designed as an exciting and inspiring virtual gathering of constituencies in support of the college’s student-athlete experience. The campaign is the successful result of partnership between IA and the coaching staff. The inaugural #GRIZTuesday campaign in 2020 raised $179,912 from a total of 1,283 donors. That compares to $82,089 raised in the previous year’s traditional golf outing.

The CASE judges noted: “This event was not just a pivot to an online fundraiser. #GrizTuesday was created from scratch to replace an expensive event. The advancement team worked hand-in-hand with the athletics director, demonstrating cross-team cooperation and excellent stakeholder management. Moving to a day of giving created a more inclusive event, decreased costs and highlighted the importance of students’ work in the community.”

Franklin College President Kerry N. Prather praised the division for its excellent work. “It is rewarding to see Franklin College honored nationally for these unique and successful efforts, but it is even more impressive to realize how each is helping to move the institution forward in significant ways. Congratulations to Vice President Dana Cummings and her colleagues in the Division of Institutional Advancement on these well-earned and deserved awards. We are very proud of you and grateful for your successful work on behalf of Franklin College.”