The nation’s largest association of advancement professionals has honored Washington State University with one of its highest awards for educational fundraising.

The award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)—whose 90,000 members represent thousands of colleges, universities, and other nonprofits across the country—recognizes public research universities with endowments exceeding $215 million for exemplary development programs.

WSU was one of five institutions honored for its work from 2017-2019, alongside the University of Oregon, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Santa Barbara Foundation, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lisa Calvert portrait
Lisa Calvert

“This recognition for three years of remarkable philanthropic success is a testament to our donors and the incredible Cougar spirit and tenacity that flows through our organization,” said Lisa Calvert, vice president of advancement and CEO of the WSU Foundation. “We are deeply grateful for the confidence and commitment of everyone who invests in WSU and for the hard work of the WSU Advancement team whose work this award honors, including our foundation staff; development staff within our campuses, colleges and units; and our Alumni Association.”

CASE’s annual Educational Fundraising Awards recognize exemplary development programs based on a blind review of data submitted to the CASE Voluntary Support of Education survey—the longest running and most comprehensive survey of charitable giving to higher education institutions. Winners are selected by a panel of experienced advancement senior leaders based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Overall breadth of fundraising
  • Patterns of giving from sources ranging from alumni to foundations
  • Impact of the 12 largest gifts on total support
  • Amount raised per student
  • Amount raised relative to expenditures
  • Alumni participation

“Day in and day out, WSU Advancement staff remain dedicated to the success of our great university,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “Their work, coupled with the generous philanthropic investments from Cougs around the world, enables us, as Washington’s land-grant institution, to continue to serve the public good in new and innovative ways.”

Since 2017, WSU has earned six CASE awards for best practices in advancement. Earlier this year, the Cougar Athletic Fund received CASE’s highest award, a gold Circle of Excellence award, for its “Pledge per Win” campaign. The Cougar Athletic Fund also received a silver award in the Fundraising on a Shoestring category for the “Apple Cup Giving Challenge.” Combined, these two campaigns raised over $310,000 for student-athlete support at WSU. In 2018, the WSU Foundation Annual Giving team received a silver award in the same global competition for their short fundraising video in support of the Cougs Feeding Cougs program.