Volume 5 (2020-21)

Volume 5 of Journal of Education Advancement & Marketing consists of four 100-page issues. Forthcoming contents can be viewed on the 'Forthcoming content' page. 

Articles published so far in Volume 5 include:

Volume 5 Number 2 (Autumn/Fall 2020)

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Case study: Deepening alumni and donor relationships with legislative advocacy
    Courtney Acitelli, Director, UW Impact, University of Washington Alumni Association

    Alumni legislative advocacy programmes are a growing area of practice within the field of advancement and alumni relations in the United States. The University of Washington Alumni Association’s legislative advocacy programme, UW Impact, has made significant contributions to the legislative landscape for higher education in the state of Washington while providing a rich and meaningful engagement opportunity for alumni, donors and key volunteers. This paper examines how an integrated approach to legislative advocacy can result in positive outcomes for advancement and alumni relations as well as an institution’s legislative agenda.
    Keywords: engagement, volunteers, board relations, alumni relations, legislative advocacy

  • From pipeline audit to e-survey: A case study in research-driven prospect prioritisation and qualification
    Lisa Bullock, Research Officer, Mingxia Liu, Manager, Prospect Research and Management and Betsy Schuurman, Research Officer, Carleton University

    In the final stages of a CAD$300m capital campaign, the Prospect Research and Management team at Carleton University collaborated with Development Officers to restructure prospect pipelines to be more active and dynamic through a comprehensive pipeline review. The team also piloted an E-Survey project to expedite prospect qualification. This paper discusses the planning and execution of both projects, approaches taken to prioritise and optimise prospect portfolios and changes made to the prospect-qualification process to increase efficiency and help the major gifts team focus on the best prospects. The objectives of this paper are to analyse: how to plan and conduct a comprehensive pipeline audit; how to use E-Survey to expedite prospect qualification and how to build partnerships with Development Officers through data-driven research.
    Keywords: prospect pipeline, E-Survey, qualification, audit

  • ‘Just tell us how much you want’: Rethinking donor relationships in a Nordic context
    Teppo Heiskanen, Director, Advancement and Corporate Engagement, Aalto University

    Higher education fundraising is very much in the making in Finland and in the other Nordic countries. In Finland, the governmental matching funding campaign of 2014–2017 had a profound impact on how advancement is being developed. The donor bases are dominated by foundations and companies instead of alumni and individuals. This means that conventional ideas about the donor relationship need to be adapted to the Nordic cultural context.
    Keywords: fundraising, donor cycle, campaigns, matching funding, cultural contexts, foundations, corporations

  • Texas Christian University: From great to the greater good
    Stephanie Barkow, Senior Vice President and Planning and Research, BVK, Gary Mueller, Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer of BVK and Founder of Serve Marketing and Tracy Syler-Jones, Vice Chancellor and Marketing & Communication, Texas Christian University

    The marketing and communication division at Texas Christian University was established as an independent division in 1999, following a strategic planning process called ‘The Commission on the Future of TCU’. For the past 20 years, this unit has worked to position itself as a strategic partner versus a service function in an increasingly decentralised environment and during a timeframe of growth and increasing national and international prominence. Without an enrolment function as part of its portfolio, the unit has focused on better defining the university’s brand to enhance relationships with key stakeholders and assist in driving organisational objectives within an increasingly cluttered marketing and communication world and competitive environment. Such work has also increased understanding of the university’s brand among employees and students, turning them into advocates who can better explain the essence of the university as well as deliver on its promised experience.
    Keywords: brand platform, strategic partner, advocates, core human values, leadership

  • Creating a tribe for social media storytelling and brand co-creation at small higher education institutions
    Dianne Frances D. Powell, Associate Director of University Communication, Indiana State University

    Social media have revolutionised communication and changed the way brand stories are created. Because of social media’s popularity among target audiences of higher education institutions, they have become key components to higher education marketing communication strategies. How can colleges and universities maximise human resources for a social media strategy that incorporates the management of brand co-creation to produce a unified image? Based on recent experiences from social media initiatives at a small, private, liberal arts Catholic college, this paper highlights the benefits of networks of faculty/staff social media administrators, social media student ambassadors and alumni ambassadors in content generation and expansion of the institution’s social media footprint.
    Keywords: social media, branding in higher education, sub-branding, social media ambassadors, marketing, communications

  • Communications planning: What it is, why it is important and how enrolment management marketers can apply it
    Chris Huebner, Digital Strategist, Cyberwoven

    Navigating a constricting marketplace, media fragmentation, complex customer journeys and razor-thin enrolment goals, enrolment management marketers are faced with the need to make their efforts more effective. As the current ‘search’ model continues to be questioned, the move from finding the most efficient way to distribute communications to a new model to produce more effective outcomes has yet to be explored. Using communications planning as a framework, this paper details how enrolment management marketers can use the framework for a more effective way to produce better marketing outcomes.
    Keywords: enrolment management, marketing, comms planning, advertising, integrated marketing communications

  • Assessing buyer behaviour triggers and marketing messages for online education college admission webpages
    S. Paige Gardiner, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Utah Valley University and Phillip A. Olt, Assistant Professor of Higher Education Student Affairs, Fort Hays State University

    Higher education marketing has targeted the traditional college student with the campus visit, college viewbook and college admission website. Online higher education programmes, which recruit a nontraditional student consumer, are growing rapidly. The purpose of this qualitative content analysis study was to describe the buyer behaviour triggers and marketing messages that appeared on the college admission webpages for online education (OE) programmes. The study includes an examination of 313 marketing messages from the OE admission webpages of ten Midwestern colleges, collected between 1st September, 2018, and 31st November, 2018, in terms of what marketing messages were being communicated to prospective OE students. The phrases, words and images from the OE admission webpages were analysed and compared to a conceptual framework for OE student demands and preferences. Findings from the study highlight important considerations for how university marketing professionals may market to prospective students in a nontraditional OE context.
    Keywords: online education marketing, online education student college choice, online education student preferences, higher education marketing, digital marketing

  • Smart planned giving strategies: How to distil 30 years of research into a planned giving programme
    Margaret F. Neitzel, Director of Annual Giving, Office of Alumni Engagement, Sarah B. Finney, Senior Director of Gift Planning, University Advancement and Elizabeth J. Dale, Assistant Professor in Nonprofit Leadership, Seattle University

    The USA is currently experiencing the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in its history. As the baby boomer generation ages, researchers estimate that more than US$2tn in estate gifts could change hands. Yet, in today’s increasingly competitive charitable planned giving environment, fundraisers need smart strategies to maximise donor gifts and build sustaining relationships. This paper synthesises key findings from 30 years of planned giving research and offers examples demonstrating how to incorporate best practices and research findings into one’s planned giving activities, drawing from Seattle University’s advancement staff.
    Keywords: planned giving, legacy giving, gift planning, fundraising, donor stewardship, donor cultivation, planned giving, charitable planning research

Volume 5 Number 1 (Summer 2020)

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Breaking down university silos to build an innovative principal giving programme
    Lisa D. Calvert, CEO, Cynthia J. Hollenbeck, Senior Development Writer and Editor, Victoria Miles, Senior Director of Principal Giving and Nickole Winfree, Senior Strategist of Principal Giving, Washington State University Foundation

    In 2017, under new leadership, the Washington State University Foundation (WSUF) reviewed its administrative organisation, internal and external communications, and fundraising processes in anticipation of its next major campaign. An internal task force assessed the foundation’s strengths, vulnerabilities and missed opportunities in an effort to maximise the university’s fundraising potential. The task force conducted a benchmarking study with WSU’s peer institutions that operate principal giving programmes. In reviewing this research, the WSUF discovered recurring themes and best practices across the multiple institutions. This paper discusses how the WSUF identified building a strong collaboration between leaders, academics, front-line fundraisers and support staff within a centralised, donor-centric principal giving programme as key to moving into a new era of philanthropy.
    Keywords: principal giving, philanthropy, build programme, strategy, development, advancement

  • Cultivating marketing excellence across a decentralised campus environment
    Mona Csada, Former Director of Audience Engagement, University of Calgary and Kim Lawrence, Principal, Chicory Consultants

    This paper reviews the unique challenges faced by decentralised marketing teams in the higher education space and provides a road map for developing a high-performing — and highly credible — community of marketers in such environments. Drawing upon the University of Calgary (UCalgary) team’s experience in creating a marketing organisation from the ground up, the foundational organisational and cultural components necessary for success are identified. These include environmental understanding and a common language, a community of like-minded colleagues embracing a collaborative approach, a solid brand platform, a robust strategy and data-driven implementation plan, and the right expertise. Specific approaches for cultivating expertise are detailed, including community building strategies and a robust programme of professional development offerings.
    Keywords: higher-education marketing, professional development, team performance, communities of practice

  • ‘Pull’ more than ‘push’ for organic alumni development
    Mary Kay Cooper, Director of Alumni Engagement, Amy C. Lewis, Associate Dean of the College of Business and Weixing Ford, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

    Despite increasing importance of alumni affairs in higher education, considerable efforts on alumni development have often failed to reach their full potential in terms of alumni engagement and alumni support across institutions. At Texas A&M University-San Antonio, the alumni office drew on ‘push’ and ‘pull’ marketing strategies to achieve organic alumni growth with an extremely limited budget. This paper discusses (1) the successes and limitations of the push strategies that were employed for alumni development, such as social media marketing and alumni events, and (2) the benefits and challenges of the pull strategies that were used to primarily target at the university’s current students.
    Keywords: alumni affairs, higher education, pull marketing strategy, push marketing strategy, organic alumni development

  • Navigating a brand ‘bounce back’ after a near closure: A case study on Sweet Briar College’s ‘fierce’ brand refresh
    Melissa Farmer Richards, VP, Communications, Hamilton College, Alexia Koelling, EVP and Consulting and Account Management & Principal, Lipman Hearne and Amy Ostroth, Senior Director of Communications, Sweet Briar College

    The role of the chief communications officer at American colleges and universities continues to shift from that of a traditional public information officer to one that requires brand marketing expertise. A changing competitive landscape, enrolment challenges and financial woes present new road blocks that risk brand crisis regularly. This case study explores how one college repositioned its brand to recover from a brand crisis after nearly closing its doors. The authors offer seven steps for a structured approach to brand development and management in order to navigate a brand rebound postcrisis.
    Keywords: brand, brand marketing, brand crisis, brand recovery, brand development, brand strategy, higher education marketing, higher education brand, college brand

  • Putting students at the heart of marketing efforts to enhance impact
    Martyn Edwards, Interim Director of Marketing, Recruitment and International, Swansea University

    This paper shares practical experiences of how institutions can take an integrated approach to market research and campaign creative so as to calibrate their interventions for greater relevance and impact. During periods of heightened competition and socio-political turmoil, universities can ill afford to be homogenous in their messaging and brand positioning if they are to enjoy sustained success. This situation is made even more challenging by the fact that our typical student target audience has never known a world without widespread internet connectivity, social networks and smartphones. As a result they have an unprecedented level of access to information at their fingertips, making them highly discerning and acutely aware of brands as well as global issues. In order to ensure that they meaningfully engage with prospective students and their network of influencers, universities must differentiate their offering by being bold and distinctive in their promotional execution. This can be achieved by bringing students, parents and advisers into the marketing planning and design process, to understand what drives their needs, aspirations and ultimately behaviours. Read on to learn how Swansea University has taken such an evidence-based approach to shape their latest national student recruitment campaign collateral, digital deployment and publications.
    Keywords: marketing campaigns, market research, student personas

  • The perfect synergy: Alumni, donors, students, employers — A case study in Silicon Valley
    John Grant, Consultant, John Grant Consulting, Lisa Jung, Senior Associate Director, Alumni Relations and Harriet Chicoine, Programme Director, Faculty of Applied Science and I.A.T., Co-operative Education, Simon Fraser University

    This is a case study about overcoming internal institutional silos to develop a new market for alumni engagement, donor cultivation, and student and alumni job opportunities. Simon Fraser University (SFU) was unknown in the Bay Area until three key areas of the university banded together to form the Bay Area Working Group — a cross-functional team to develop a comprehensive strategy for that region. The paper discusses specific strategies that were developed to address the following goals: (1) increasing the number of activities delivered in the region, while maximising strategic outcomes for broader institutional needs, (2) coordinating a single delegation to participate in one or two annual trips to the region, (3) increasing the number of organisations that hired co-op students by using alumni as door openers, (4) integrating current students into alumni-based activities in the region, (5) increasing university pride and loyalty held by alumni in the region, and (6) increasing recognition and acknowledgment of the SFU brand. Five years later, SFU is a leader in the region with record levels of alumni engagement, an increase in the number of financial gifts being realised, significant growth in the number of student co-op positions being posted, and the likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple recruiting on an active basis on campus. A list of recommendations are provided to guide others who are keen to both enhance the outcomes realised in existing areas and expand activities into new markets.
    Keywords: collaboration, regional engagement, job development, strategy, relationships, loyalty, pride

  • Assessing the impact of chief development officers’ leadership style on gift officers’ fundraising performance at US private higher education institutions
    Carrie Collins, Chief Advancement Officer, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    This paper seeks to provide an explanation for variations in gift officer (GO) performance at American private institutions of higher education and serve as a guide to hiring and coaching of GOs and the chief development officers to whom they report. First, there was no significant difference among GOs, as categorised by performance, regarding which in-role performance theory they credited most with their accomplishments in the last fiscal year. Further, high-performing GOs equally preferred four leadership styles that have been characterised as follower-focused. Statistical tests revealed that mid and low performers had no clear preference for a leadership style, demonstrating that the specific situation dictates which style they prefer. Finally, when comparing high performers to mid and low performers, leadership styles that are more supervisor-focused than follower-focused were ranked more highly by mid and low performers, which suggests that these particular leadership styles are not embraced by GOs who perform at a higher level.
    Keywords: leadership, performance, fundraisers, gift officers, research study