Experts from Auburn, University of Kansas, GG+A and Whitworth University weigh in on what works.
Educe: Long view engagement & creative event strategies for higher education

Long view engagement & creative event strategies for higher education

Winter 2015
Play Nice: Why Advancement and Athletics Can and Should Play on the Same Team

Play Nice: Why Advancement and Athletics Can and Should Play on the Same Team

At the end of the day, we all need to figure out what donors and prospective donors are passionate about. Anyway U slice it, a lot of time is invested in segmenting audiences and tracking affinity relationships. For many, one of the most universal, yet internally charged affinities, is Athletics. So we asked colleagues at institutions large and small, public and private how they get Advancement and Athletics to play on the same team. Read on to learn how they do it.
For Auburn University, with some of the most loyal, enthusiastic fans in college football, a healthy relationship with Athletics is paramount. However, when Jane DiFalco Parker, vice president for development, came to Auburn nearly three years ago, Development and Athletics didn’t work as collaboratively as they do now. “In the beginning, I reached out in an effort to demonstrate my desire that we operate in good faith as partners in generating support for Auburn,” says Parker. “I began meeting formally and informally with Athletics staff members, and now have multiple meetings each month. Today we have a much more open, transparent relationship. We respect that we all have complicated challenges to deal with.”
Who are your counterparts in Athletics?
Let’s face it, most of our stakeholders either don’t see or at the very least, don’t understand the various institutional silos that may confront them. Or even worse, they do notice when there is a lack of internal communication and that certainly doesn’t send the right message. After all, U are U – or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to be. So where’s the disconnect?
“At many universities Athletics and Advancement don’t know each other. We’re so busy in our own worlds,” says Chris Marshall, vice president at Grenzebach Glier & Associates. Marshall spent 12 years as the head coach for the NCAA Division I swimming program at Lehigh University and later became the executive director of the Lehigh Alumni Association. Most recently, he was the associate vice president for alumni affairs at Cornell University.
“Oftentimes Advancement and Athletics haven’t taken the time to put people in the trenches to learn more about each other,” says Marshall. “When I was a coach, I spent more time recruiting talent and building a vision for the team than coaching. It’s not unlike Advancement. For both sides, it’s about relationship building whether you’re recruiting student athletes or engaging graduates.”
> Read more Play Nice

About Educe

JoAnn Peroutka & Sarah Winkler
Educe was created by JoAnn Peroutka and Sarah Winkler, seasoned marketing and event professionals who have a love for higher education and the belief that every college and university is entitled to a long view engagement strategy that is creative, intentional and effective.
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News & Views


College of the Holy Cross

For generations Holy Cross has educated students who have become principled leaders in public and professional life in America and around the world. Educe is honored to collaborate with the Holy Cross community as it explores and celebrates all that it will become in the future.

Lehigh University

Painting the town brown and the nights white was top of mind when Lehigh stormed NYC for the 150th playing of the Lehigh/Lafayette football game – the longest-running collegiate rivalry in the country.

CASE Double D

Educe is a proud silver sponsor of both the District I and District II 2015 Annual Conferences. We look forward to seeing everyone in Boston and Washington, DC.

The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations

Congratulations to good friend and Donor Relations Guru, Lynne Wester on the publication of her new book, The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations. Lynne helps you rethink donor relations practices and offers specific tips for more powerful acknowledgements, stewardship and impact reporting, recognition, and donor engagement.

With Gratitude

Kudos to newly-published author, friend and colleague Jennifer Richwine, University Advancement’s executive director of the Washington, D.C., office at Wake Forest University. Her book, With Gratitude: The Power of the Thank You Note, was recently named the number one new release on business etiquette by Amazon.

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