Associate Dean of Alumni and Development, Strategy, and Professional Programs, School of Journalism
Our dean, Steve Coll, knew from the start of his tenure that he wanted to launch a campaign, so from the very beginning he was thinking thematically. As he got to know the school better, some of those ideas shifted, some priorities became more pronounced, almost everything became more nuanced. Some ideas didn’t evolve, so those went on the back burner. But as the campaign planning started heating up, we looked again at less well-defined needs.
One area that we hadn’t figured out how to talk about was broadcast. We teach students how to produce for TV—and now, also for the web, social media, and how to make a documentary. How to describe this collectively? Our colleague Ethan Phillips had an idea—why don’t we combine these—and throw in photojournalism, too—and call it visual journalism? Why not talk about the power of the image, rather than market segments? The dean assembled faculty from all those areas and we hammered out the basic elements of our case, without getting bogged down in the details. To me, that’s a good example of creative thinking about underlying points of connection and a search for a larger narrative, something we can do across our units, as well as across the University.
Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations, School of Nursing
For Nursing, the biggest challenge for goal-setting was the projected timing of the new University-wide campaign, as we are currently engaged in a capital campaign ending in 2017.
We needed to think strategically about a fresh message and how to align our (relatively small) school/unit goals and needs within the context of an ambitious multi-billion dollar University goal.
Our solution? We identified realistic goals—with some stretching—to be part of a “One Columbia/Big Ideas” campaign.
We took a collaborative approach, every step of the way. Dean Berkowitz, her Dean’s Counsel group, senior leadership at the school, and key faculty all came together to start the conversations. Our five-person alumni relations and development team was also a critical part of the goal-setting process. Janice Rafferty Grady, director of development at Nursing and I were co-leads on setting the goals. We participated in conversations, did related exercises, and received guidance from Brian Chapman, executive director for analytics and business strategy.
One important insight: we realized ALMA metrics are going to be an essential tool to measure alumni engagement for the future campaign. We began to think more strategically about how to use ALMA’s metrics, where before we had just thought of it in the abstract. Our next step is further refining gift opportunities, as Nursing continues to enhance engagement with alumni, donors, and friends in new and novel ways.