Milestones and Kudos – February 2017

Special Accolades

This month, we would like to congratulate Meg Weber for being selected to serve as a faculty member at the CASE Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals. This is a high honor reserved for the best in the business. Congratulations, Meg!


This month, there are no milestones. 

On-the-Spot Award Winners

We are excited to announce the recipients of the University Advancement On-the-Spot Award:

Linda Paule
Linda Paule performs her job with professional grace and expertise. She is consistently courteous, kind, and patient when assisting the CVMBS advancement team. While these qualities are expected for an individual in her role, we appreciate that Linda is willing to go the extra mile to help us achieve our advancement goals.

In the fall of 2016, Linda assisted the CVMBS Office of Advancement with two projects that required an outside-the-box approach to using our alumni and donor data, as outlined below. Most recently, Linda demonstrated, yet again, her innate ability to identify a problem, determine a solution, and make the extra effort to meet our needs.

  • In August, we streamlined our acknowledgment process. New reports were required in order to meet the criteria requested by our mail vendor and to fit the format and segmentation of our college’s unique mailer design. Linda was a critical component to our success. She kept a watchful eye on our reports and was incredibly expedient as questions arose. Thanks to her knowledge and expertise, we were able to significantly reduce our processing time while also adding value to our acknowledgments and better serving our donors.
  • In November, our office tackled a large, complex direct mail solicitation targeting scholarship donors and high-propensity nondonors, while segmenting them by donor behavior and affinity. The project required extensive data analysis prior to determining the best mix of mailing segments – 32 in all! Linda was integral in running and rerunning sample data to help guide us in our strategy for the appeal. She offered a critical eye, and if we encountered limitations, she offered alternative ideas that often required more work on her part. In the end, the work paid off, as the mailing has seen great success in both response rate and dollars received.
  • This month, Linda came to the rescue when we realized that one of our newsletters didn’t reach a particular audience last month. She quickly investigated our report criteria and identified the problem. She jumped into action and created reports who would help us locate the individuals that did not receive the newsletter.

Linda provides impeccable customer service to the entire University Advancement community, because she has a genuine interest helping us, the end-users of Advance, maximize data in a way that contributes to our success.

     - Wendy Abbott and Lauren McCracken

Laura Anderson
Laura's help in creating 1870 DINNER collateral this year has been above and beyond her role in Donor Relations. This event puts a ton of pressure on UAC, and Laura has been more than willing to help with anything and everything I reached out for – which, most of the time, were things that had nothing to do with donor relations.

Originally, she was tasked with helping us create the reverse donor honor roll – her idea, in itself, was a fantastic one. This project escalated to something much more intense than UAC was prepared for, and Laura stepped in and accommodated request after request – reaching out to units and colleges, searching for photos, following up with clients for content – all things we wouldn't have been able to complete and complete the project on time.

Laura has ALWAYS been someone I know I can count on – for anything! Whether it's her area of expertise or not, she never lets on that this isn't her space, this isn't her forte, she doesn't have time, but rather, she dives in and learns what she needs to to make it work; she talks to who she needs to to get it done; she always delivers. She is an example of someone who makes this place so great to work! She's in it for the good of us as a collective, and those are the kind of people we can all learn from!

     - Amy Jo Miller

Jessica Cox
It is a great pleasure to nominate Jessica Cox for an On-the-Spot Award. Her volunteer efforts in testing various communications platforms, as well as her key role in the rollout of the new EDM Designer communications tool in Advance, was above and beyond her responsibilities and has an enormous ongoing impact on the division as well as the entire University. There has been a great need at the University to implement a new e-mail creation/editor platform to complement the CDIStributor system. Innovation Technology worked to find (and later integrate) a new external editor, while University Advancement Communications worked with a group of area lead communicators (including Jessica) on a volunteer committee to test the different systems. Jessica first made an impact in the testing phase of this, as she actively tested all of the systems proposed and gave constructive feedback on the ease of use of each system as well as challenges and successes that she noticed while testing.

Where Jessica truly made an impact, though, was in the rollout of the selected EDM Designer system. It was decided that in order for people to attain licenses, they would need to attend a mandatory workshop that covered:

1) EDM Designer (Talent Management Training and Support-led)
2) CSU standards (University Advancement Communications-led)
3) E-mail best practices (Jessica Cox-led)

When it was proposed to have a resident expert present on communication best practices, Jessica eagerly volunteered. Jessica performed market research on key e-mail statistics, including open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and unsubscribe rates. She used this in her presentation to compare industry standards to CSU statistics and discussed methods to increase our metrics. Her presentation also addressed common errors and best practices on subject lines, layout/design, use of images, calls to action, mobile design and responsiveness, scheduling, and A/B testing. Because of her efforts, the 70-plus people who attended the workshops now have a better understanding of how to create quality e-mails and how to improve open rates. After the presentation, she distributed her findings and included references for participants who hoped to increase their communications skills. Jessica also made EDM Designer templates giving users a great place to start with their e-mail communications and certainly increasing the visible quality of the e-mails being sent from CSU.

Jessica did all of this work on a volunteer basis and truly embodies what it means to be a distinguished University citizen. She has an incredible communications skill set and is willing to share her knowledge and her work to increase the ease of use and quality of the product being distributed from Colorado State University. She should be recognized for her contribution to this Universitywide initiative. Thank you, Jessica, for making the rollout of this system a success!

     - Shay Webb, kylan Marsh, Amy Jo Miller, Betty Grace Mickey, Whei Wong Howerton

Please join Vice President Brett Anderson and their supervisors, as we congratulate these folks for jobs well done!

For more information about the On-the-Spot Award, please click here. We encourage you to nominate a colleague or supervisee!