Awards Competition Categories

Special Recognition Awards

These awards were established by the District III Board to recognize specific achievements not otherwise captured in the awards program. Please submit a written statement of no more than 1000 words explaining why you believe your nominee is worthy of recognition and email it to the appropriate judging coordinator. The entry fee is waived for these awards. 

Submission deadline is July 28, 2017.

Bill Franklin Volunteer of the Year Award

The Bill Franklin Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes the vital role of volunteers in institutional advancement. A volunteer is any non-staff person who assists in advancing the institution through programs such as fundraising, alumni relations, and student recruitment. Volunteers may not be nominated posthumously. Institutions may nominate only one individual per year. Nominees are judged on their overall volunteer contributions and the long-term effect of such on the institution. Nominees may be trustees; they may be, but need not be, alumni.

Judging Coordinator: Jay Dowd, The Citadel Foundation

Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Award

The Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Award recognizes an advancement professional who displays leadership in fostering inclusion and diversity within the profession, on their campus and/or within the surrounding community.

Recipients will possess the following criteria:

  • A demonstrated and sustained passion for the advancement of diversity
  • A demonstrated and sustained contribution to the state of diversity at their institution and community
  • A demonstrated and sustained commitment to the progression, career advancement and promotion of diverse new leaders in the profession
  • Achievements in support of diversity plan goals and/or demonstrated diversity improvement effort.

Judging Coordinator: Marcus Burgess, Florida Memorial University

Mentor of the Year Award

The Mentor of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has made an impact on other advancement professionals through their mentorship. Candidates should be nominated by a mentee who has benefited directly from the personal and professional leadership of the mentor. There are no specific requirements for years of service or scope of the relationship; we define a mentor simply as an individual who has provided guidance and support to a professional colleague in one or more of the following areas: sponsorship, coaching, protection, exposure/visibility, support, acceptance and confirmation. The entry fee is waived for this award.

Judging Coordinator: Jay Dowd, The Citadel Foundation


Awards Competition Entry Instructions

 

To enter the awards competition, select from the categories below, and click the link. Each category has a unique entry link. All entries must be submitted online.  In select categories, three copies of supporting materials may be mailed directly to the judging coordinator and is noted below the category title.   To submit an award, 75 percent of the combined planning, research, creative, testing, execution, and evaluation phases must have been completed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

Submission deadline is November 15, 2017.

 

CASE National Platinum Awards

The CASE Platinum Awards recognize best practices throughout the advancement profession nationwide. Institutions enter via their district competition only, with up to two winners advancing to the national stage of the competition. The entry fee for these categories is $125, which covers both stages of the competition (regardless of if your entry is advanced to the second stage).

Alumni Relations

Recognizes exemplary programs, projects and initiatives in alumni relations that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources, achieve significant results and/or utilize innovative practices. These may include a new twist to alumni programming; engaging emerging constituents with a goal toward improving diversity and inclusion; integrating multi-media into reunions and other alumni events; or innovative ways to engage or re-engage alumni. All supporting materials must be submitted online.

Communications and Marketing

Recognizes exemplary programs, projects and initiatives in communications and marketing that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources, achieve significant results and/or utilize innovative practices. Entries can address projects in a variety of areas, including public relations, media relations, internal communications, crisis communications, branding and integrated marketing. All supporting materials must be submitted online.

Fundraising

Recognizes exemplary programs, projects and initiatives in fundraising that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources, achieve significant results and/or utilize innovative practices. These may include putting a new twist on a senior gift program, getting grandparents to give, increasing corporate sponsorship and creative approaches to major giving. Entries can be in any area of fundraising and development. All supporting materials must be submitted online.

Advancement Services

Recognizes exemplary programs, projects and initiatives in advancement services that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources, achieve significant results and/or utilize innovative practices. Entries can be in any area of advancement services including information systems, gift reporting and prospect research. All supporting materials must be submitted online. 

Best Articles of the Year

Your article may cover any subject matter but must have appeared in a periodical published by your institution. Articles by freelance, staff, and non-staff writers may be submitted here. Speech summaries, question and answer stories and materials reprinted from other sources are not eligible. All supporting materials must be submitted online. 

Excellence in Photography

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

Recognizes the best black-and-white and/or color photography produced by a single staff or freelance photographer for use in an institutional publication or periodical or for some institutional purpose such as on a website, an exhibition, or advertising. An entry includes a portfolio of 5-10 representative photographs.

Diversity Programs

Recognizes programs, projects and initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion in educational advancement hiring and retention; including student programming aimed at developing a diverse pipeline for the profession. Also eligible are programs designed to educate and support staff in engaging diverse constituents and those that contribute to an organizational climate committed to diversity. Eligible programs may come from any area of institutional advancement (fundraising, alumni relations and communications and marketing, talent management/human resources). All supporting materials must be submitted online.

Digital Communications

Recognizes programs, projects and initiatives utilizing digital communications within both new and established programming. Eligible programs may come from any area of institutional advancement (fundraising, alumni relations or communications and marketing). Programs may be on-going or new, but must have been in place long enough to have produced well-documented results. Each program constitutes a single entry. Make sure URLs or other information listed on your entry form is correct. All supporting materials must be submitted online.

Programs and Projects

These awards are for specific programs and projects; more specific than the overall best practice awards.

Alumni Relations Engagement Project, Event, or Program

This award concentrates on one alumni engagement project, event, or program and how well it complements university goals and the overall alumni relations program. Examples might include an awards program/event, reunion program, career networking event, homecoming, volunteer training workshop, alumni club chapter organization, etc. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to combat such in the future. Special attention should be paid to describing budget and resources, and how this impacted the program. You may supplement your online entry by providing marketing materials, budget sheets, programs, etc.

Alumni Relations Fundraising Project, Event, or Program

This award concentrates on one alumni relations project, event, or program that incorporates a fundraising component and how well it complements university goals and the overall alumni relations program. Examples might include scholarship fundraisers, reunion giving programs, homecoming, alumni club chapter organization events, etc. and may incorporate chance drawings, silent auctions, annual fund appeals, etc. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to combat such in the future. Special attention should be paid to describing budget and resources, and how this impacted the program. Funds raised should be reported as net proceeds, proceeds after expenses. You may supplement your entry by uploading marketing materials, budget sheets, programs, etc.

External Relations Engagement Program

This award is for a specific institutional, community, government/public affairs engagement program that is either a single or ongoing project, designed to introduce or support a specific program, event or institutional priority. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future. You may supplement your entry by uploading marketing materials, budget sheets, programs, etc.

Media Relations Program

This award is for an overall media relations program designed to maintain or enhance media coverage of a specific program, event or institutional effort. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future. You may supplement your entry by uploading supporting materials.

Special Event

This award is for a special event designed to introduce or support a specific university program, event, or institutional priority. Examples may include a presidential inauguration, a campaign kickoff or celebration, a state of the university address, an anniversary, the launch of a new initiative, or a major one-time event. This is not an exhaustive list of examples. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future. You may supplement your entry by uploading supporting materials.

Branding/Identity Program or Campaign

This award is for a branding or identity program designed to support the institution. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future. Please provide supplementary materials to support your entry. The branding campaign may be for an entire institution or a sub-unit. Special attention should be paid to describing budget and resources, and how this impacted the project. You may supplement your entry by uploading supporting materials 

Crisis/Issues Management Plan

This award if for a crisis or issues management plan. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future. Please provide the plan itself as a PDF (upload). You may supplement your entry by uploading supporting materials.

Overall Annual Fund Program

This award is designed to recognize the overall annual fund program of an institution or sub unit. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future. Special attention should be paid to describing budget and resources, and how this impacted the program. You may supplement your entry by uploading supporting materials.

Subunit Campaign

This award is designed to recognize the campaign of a sub unit, not an institution-wide campaign. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future. Special attention should be paid to describing budget and resources, and how this impacted the project. Entries are eligible to be entered during any phase of a multi-year campaign. You may supplement your entry by uploading supporting materials. 

Writing

These awards recognize exceptional projects written by staff (permanent institutional employees at the time of publication). Entrants should submit PDFs of the work, and also use the summary tab objectives and results fields to support their entry.

This award is for a single feature article written by a staff writer. Please upload the work to your entry as a PDF.

Publications Writing

This award is for the copy in a single print or digital publication, written by a staff writer/s. While this award considers specifically the copy of a publication, judges will take into consideration editorial decisions, such as how well the copy matches the overall style of the publication. Examples of publications may include view books, recruitment materials, university annual reports, etc. Please upload the work to your entry as a PDF.

Speech Writing

This award is for a single speech written by a staff writer. Please describe in your entry the event at which the speech was given. Please upload the work to your entry as a PDF.

Writing for Fundraising

This award is for the copy in fundraising materials, such as direct mail solicitations, campaign case statements, fundraising emails, etc. Entrants may include up to three examples of work that all pertain to a single project. For example, three related direct mail appeals, or three pieces related to a single campaign. Please upload the work to your entry as a PDF. 

Writing for the Media

This award is for a media pitch written by a staff writer/s. Examples might include press releases and a comprehensive package of information used to pitch a story to media outlets. Note that it is the copy that will be assessed, not the design of the package. In the results field, please state media outlets that picked up the story and use the URL link fields to link to resulting media hits. Please upload the work to your entry as a PDF.

Writing for the Web

This award is for the copy used on institutional websites or microsites. Entrants may include up to three examples of work that all pertain to a single project. For example, three related web pages that share a common purpose. Please upload the work to your entry as a PDF.

Print and Digital Publications

This division judges the overall publication. The writing, editing, tone, voice and professional execution of publications will be considered, as well as their interplay with online communication vehicles. Judges will consider staff resources and budget as a factor in assessing entries.

Recruitment Publication

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

A single print or digital publication for recruitment purposes. Examples may include (but are not limited to) a view book, magazine, informational packet or brochure. Please note that recruitment videos and dedicated recruitment websites have their own categories in the Electronic and Digital Media division.

Recruitment Publication Series

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

A series of print or digital recruitment publications that are linked by theme or campaign. Entries should include five or more pieces (combinations of print and digital are acceptable, as well as recruitment videos and websites as part of the series).

Fundraising Publication

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

A single print or digital publication for fundraising purposes. Examples may include (but are not limited to) a case statement, proposal, informational packet or brochure. Please note that fundraising videos and dedicated fundraising websites have their own categories in the Electronic and Digital Media division. 

Annual Fund Publication

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

A single print or digital publication for annual fund purposes. Examples may include (but are not limited to) a brochure, direct mail appeal, email appeal or informational packet. 

Magazine I

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

Institutions under 5,000 Full Time Enrollment; four or two-color. Please submit two different samples from your institution’s current year publication cycle. Judges will consider staff size and budget, so you should write about this in the summary tab.

Magazine II

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

Institutions between 5,000 and 15,000 Full Time Enrollment; four or two-color. Please submit two different samples from your institution’s current year publication cycle. Judges will consider staff size and budget, so you should write about this in the summary tab.

Magazine III

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

Institutions over 15,000 Full Time Enrollment; four or two-color. Please submit two different samples from your institution’s current year publication cycle. Judges will consider staff size and budget, so you should write about this in the summary tab.

Tabloid

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

All institutions; four or two-color. Please submit one year’s publication cycle. Judges will consider staff size and budget, so you should write about this in the summary tab.

Magazine/Tabloid Improvement I

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

Institutions under 5,000 Full Time Enrollment. This category recognizes improvement from one year to the next. Entrants should provide detailed explanations of what changes were made and why. Staff size and budget will also be considered. Please submit two samples from previous year and two samples from the current year.

Magazine/Tabloid Improvement II

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

Institutions between 5,000 and 15,000 Full Time Enrollment. This category recognizes improvement from one year to the next. Entrants should provide detailed explanations of what changes were made and why. Staff size and budget will also be considered. Please submit two samples from previous year and two samples from the current year.

Magazine/Tabloid Improvement III

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

Institutions over 15,000 Full Time Enrollment. This category recognizes improvement from one year to the next. Entrants should provide detailed explanations of what changes were made and why. Staff size and budget will also be considered. Please submit two samples from previous year and two samples from the current year.

Low Budget Publication

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

The main consideration in this category is the efficient and innovative use of limited resources. You can define what “low budget” means, but you must include a statement as to why you consider your entry to fit into this category.

Green or Sustainable Publication

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

Publications that meet sustainability guidelines and exhibit creative use of papers, inks and sustainable publication concepts. Please use the summary tab to explain your process, resources and results.

Annual Report

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

This could be an annual report for an entire institution, a foundation or an alumni association. Reports that are entirely digital are also eligible—please submit a URL.

Graphic Design

This division recognizes imaginative, original approaches and excellent execution. Essentially this division judges outstanding design in print and digital media. Entrants are advised to read the descriptions for each category before deciding which is most appropriate for their entry.

Single-Page Publication or Flier

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address. Entries may have multiple folds.

Multipage Publication or Folder

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address. Examples may include publications that are saddle stitched, glued or perfect bound.

Periodical

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address. Graphic design in a publication that goes out on a regular basis, whether monthly or annually.

Cover

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address. Graphic design on the cover of a magazine, tabloid or brochure.

Book

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address. Graphic design on/in a dust jacket or bound book.

Poster

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address. Graphic design on a poster that may be advertising a program, event, campaign, policy, etc.

Editorial Design

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

This category assesses the overall editorial design of a multipage publication, giving special consideration to editorial decisions that enhance the quality and effectiveness of the piece.

Specialty Piece

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address. Graphic design for projects such as calendars, invitation, etc.

Illustration – Cover

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

Original illustration used as the primary artwork for a publication cover.

Illustration - Interior Spread

You are encouraged to send hard copies (three samples, where applicable) to the judging coordinator. See online entry form for mailing address.

Original illustration used as the primary artwork for a publication interior.

Photography – Individual

A single photograph printed in a publication or used online; color or black and white. Photographs must be submitted online via upload or link to website 

Photography – Series

A photo story or a series produced for a single special project or event. Photographs must be submitted online via upload or link to website.

Unpublished Works

This is your chance to get recognition for work that was never realized. There are not constraints other than the work being graphic design for a print or digital publication that was never published. Work must be submitted online via upload or link to website.

Electronic and Digital Media

Judges will look for excellence in design, content and implementation. Particular emphasis will be placed on usability, aesthetics, creativity and technical expertise as they relate to stated objectives.

Total Website Design and Organization

Content is paramount. However, in addition to content, of particular importance are usability, including structure, navigation and functionality, as well as the aesthetics and creativity of the interface. Please note that this category is intended for primary institutional websites. There are separate categories for alumni, recruitment and fundraising websites. All materials must be submitted online.

Mobile Application - Utility/Service

Judges will look primarily at utility and usability, including structure, navigation and fluid functionality. However, the aesthetics and creativity of the interface are also vitally important. Examples may include a mobile admission or fundraising app. All materials must be submitted online. 

Social Media Strategy and Execution

Judges will be looking for strategies and their resulting campaigns that are targeted, focused, measurable, memorable, engaging, appropriate and profitable. All materials must be submitted online.

Magazine or Publication Rendering for Tablet or Mobile Technology

This category recognizes the adaptation of a magazine or publication to be viewed on a tablet or mobile device. Though publications may also be published as hard copy, they will have been specially adapted to be digital content. All materials must be submitted online.

Recruitment Video

Judges will look for creativity and imagination as well as excellence in design and implementation and quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives. Outcomes and assessments are important factors in this category, as well as budget and staff resources. All materials must be submitted online.

Fundraising Video

Judges will look for creativity and imagination as well as excellence in design and implementation and quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives. Outcomes and assessments are important factors in this category, as well as budget and staff resources. All materials must be submitted online.

Marketing/Branding Video

Judges will look for entries that are simple, relevant, distinct, focused and memorable. Quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives are important in this category, as well as budget and staff resources. All materials must be submitted online.

Recruitment Website or Microsite

Judges will look for creativity and imagination as well as excellence in design and implementation and quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives. Outcomes and assessments are important factors in this category, as well as budget and staff resources. All materials must be submitted online.

Fundraising Website or Microsite

Judges will look for creativity and imagination as well as excellence in design and implementation and quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives. Outcomes and assessments are important factors in this category, as well as budget and staff resources. All materials must be submitted online. 

Alumni Website or Microsite

Content is paramount. However, in addition to content, of particular importance are usability, including structure, navigation and functionality, as well as the aesthetics and creativity of the interface, as well as budget and staff resources. All materials must be submitted online.

Online Innovation/Experimentation

This category recognizes original, experimental, unconventional and innovative use of digital/electronic technology in supporting university initiatives. Include testimony as to its innovation along with the normal criteria. All materials must be submitted online.

Advertising

Judges will look for creativity and imagination as well as excellence in design and implementation and quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives. Outcomes and assessments are important factors in this category.

Total Advertising Campaign

A campaign is a coordinated series of linked advertisements (print/web/radio/television/mobile/social media) with a single idea or theme. In this category any combination may be used to illustrate the breadth of the campaign. All materials must be submitted online via upload or link to website 

Individual Print Advertisement

A single advertisement designed to promote an institution or a specific idea, event or program. All materials must be submitted online via upload or link to website. 

Individual Digital Advertisement

A single advertisement designed to promote an institution or a specific idea, event or program. All materials must be submitted online via upload or link to website.

 Individual Radio Advertisement

A single advertisement designed to promote an institution or a specific idea, event or program. All materials must be submitted online via upload or link to website. 

Commercial or Public Service Announcement

These can be paid or PSA’s. All materials must be submitted online via upload or link to website.