SMWC wins national fundraising award

September 11th, 2015 | SMWC

Karen Dyer
Karen Dyer, Vice President for Advancement

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has been selected as recipient of a 2015 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Educational Fundraising Award for Overall Improvement, an honor reserved for superior fundraising programs at educational institutions across the country.

“This is an example of how everyone pulling together can make an impact at The Woods,” said Karen Dyer, vice president for advancement. “This is an award that was earned by the generosity and dedication of many through a passion for the institution and a strong belief in the continuation of the mission of Saint Mother Theodore…investing in the lives of students who will go out and make a difference in the world.”

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.

The College was selected based on the judges’ analysis of fundraising data supplied to the Council for Aid to Education’s annual Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey. Institutions do not apply for this program. The process is purely data-driven. Institutions become eligible for consideration for the award upon submission of data for three or more consecutive years.

For 2015, 1001 higher education institutions participated in the VSE survey, from which an independent data analyst narrowed the field to 516 institutions. Out of 516 colleges and universities considered, 90 higher education institutions were recognized.

SMWC received the award in the category of Private Liberal Arts Institutions with Endowments Under $100 Million. In selecting SMWC as one of the Overall Fundraising Improvement winners, judges used the following factors to find significant program growth.

  • Pattern of growth in total support (or adjusted total support if appropriate)
  • Evaluation of what contributed to the total support figure
  • Overall breadth in program areas
  • Pattern of growth in each program area
  • Pattern of donor growth among alumni/ae donors and other individual donors
  • Impact of the 12 largest gifts on total support
  • Total support in relation to the alumni/ae base, and
  • Type of institution.

The complete listing of award winning institutions can be found online at