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Trust, First Principles & A Connected Campus: 3 Takeaways from the 2017 CASE Summit for Leaders in Advancement

By Geshri Gunasekera July 31, 2017

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) recently wrapped up their Summit for Leaders in Advancement in San Francisco…not too far away from our Salesforce HQ in fact! Here’s what stuck with us as we left the last session:

Trust Builds Engagement and Engagement Builds Trust

The summit occurred on the heels of the recently released Pew Research Center survey, which indicated stark differences in attitudes about Higher Ed based on political affiliation. In a key panel session the current President of the UC System, Janet Napolitano, articulated this fundamentally broken sense of trust that exists in some communities. To say that the notion of trust is important to us here at Salesforce would be an understatement, so it’s no surprise that this theme was our #1 takeaway from the summit as well. These days a donation is so much more than a written check – it is a vote of confidence.

First Principles: Why do we give to Higher Education?

In a session on applying business practices to philanthropy we asked the following: given that alumni engagement matters now more than ever, how does a campus successfully reach out in a notification-filled world? Our community of Higher Ed customers get the benefit of learning from our other customer groups – some of the most competitive, noisy environments out there – the world of Consumer Products & Retail! We’ve learned that alumni demand personalized experiences that match a passion to a campus initiative. Universities must create holistic, single journeys for students and alumni, and embrace new communication channels. (By the way you can read our Fourth Annual State of Marketing Report to learn more).

International Alumni & Employability: Arguments for a Connected Campus

Throughout the 3-day conference other recurring themes were international alumni, and to a lesser degree, employability. These are two separately vast themes, but both should motivate university leaders to build a vision of a Connected Campus. It is not unusual for leadership to plan a trip to Beijing or Boston, Dusseldorf or Dallas and want to know all of the following:

    1) Are there major donors in the area that I should visit?
    2) Are there opportunities to strengthen corporate relations to support internships for students that increasingly want global work experience/experiential learning?
    3) How are alumni connecting with each other to strengthen their affinity for our brand?
    4) How can I support recruitment and admissions efforts in this region?
    5) How can I know what local conversations are currently happening about my campus?

These questions hit areas where departmental silos must come together. This is the exact juncture where a campus-wide CRM can be so powerful, and we’ve seen this validated by the stories we hear from our community. More importantly, this is how Higher Education rebuilds trust by demonstrating a ROI that goes beyond a degree and extends long after that first job into a relationship of lifelong learning and loyalty.

There you have it! These were our top 3 takeaways from the 2017 CASE Summit for Advancement Leaders. Learn more about what we’re up to in Advancement!