RNL partnerships win higher education marketing awards for fundraising

Winners have been announced in the 33rd Annual Educational Advertising Awards, sponsored by Higher Education Marketing Report. This year, 2,250 entries were received from more than 1,000 colleges, universities, and secondary schools from all 50 states as well as several countries.

RNL partnerships won five higher education marketing awards for fundraising campaigns:

  • Mary Baldwin University (Total Fundraising Campaign category – calendar-year-end solicitations)
  • University of Auckland (New Media category – phonathon emails)
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks (Social Media category – digital ads)
  • Montana State University (New Media category – phonathon emails)
  • The College of Saint Rose (Direct Mail category – fall direct mail solicitation)


Higher education marketing awards winner: Montana State University

Phonathon follow-up emails winner – Montana State (click for the full campaign)

Why did these campaigns win higher education marketing awards?

What made these fundraising communications great? First, it starts with the institutions sending compelling images, messages, and reasons to give to the RNL creative team. We use the best design and technology to turn these ideas and materials into compelling campaigns that make it easy for donors to respond. This includes making the giving link or button immediately visible and even driving donors to online giving from direct mail. Mail reply devices also have to be easy to complete. In today’s attention economy, institutions have tremendous competition for the time and interest of their donors. We have to get attention quickly and convert it to action.

Here are examples from our winners from these prestigious higher education marketing awards. Click on the images to see more examples from each campaign.

Higher education marketing awards winnerL College of Saint Rose

Fundraising direct mail award winner – The College of St. Rose (click for the full campaign)



Higher education marketing awards winner: University of Alaska Fairbanks

Social media digital ads award winner – University of Alaska Fairbanks (click for the full campaign)

Judges for the Educational Advertising Awards consisted of a national panel of higher education marketers, advertising creative directors, marketing and advertising professionals, and the editorial board of Higher Education Marketing Report.

These RNL client winners also show the power of multichannel outreach to donors, using a mixture traditional and digital marketing to attract the attention of their target audience whether those donors were on social media, browsing websites, or opening their mail.



Higher education marketing awards winner: University of Auckland

Mobile and web communications winner – University of Auckland (click for the full campaign)

“A very well deserved win for a beautiful piece of media. You and the team did an extraordinary job!”
– Anastasia Papadakis,
University of Auckland

Higher education marketing awards winner: Mary Baldwin University

Direct mail winner – Mary Baldwin University (Click for part 1  Click for part 2)

Are you ready to be an award winner? Contact us today

These institutions represent just a small sample of the many campuses we serve with our RNL Complete Fundraising solutions. We have plenty more examples we can share of effective and award-winning fundraising communications, as well as solutions for annual giving, crowdfunding and giving days, and major and planned giving.

If you’re ready to join this group of award-winning fundraisers, talk with our fundraising strategists. We’ll discuss your goals, challenges, and strategies for taking your fundraising to the next level. Contact us to set up a time to talk.

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Brian Gawor

Vice President for Research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Brian Gawor, CFRE, is 20-year higher education veteran and a former annual fund and major gift professional. As a member of the RNL Fundraising Consulting team, Brian now focuses on donor behavior, industry trends and benchmarking to drive the fundraising strategy of RNL partners. You can also hear Brian as the host of RNL's Fundraising Voices podcast.
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