The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) Educational Foundation serves a vital role in raising funds to support the Community College of Allegheny County. Through the Educational Foundation’s efforts, they make it possible for CCAC to provide quality, accessible education to nearly 65,000 students annually.
Their newsletter, CCAC Connections, serves as a critical communications tool – reaching donors, alumni and community organizations who support fundraising efforts.
The Educational Foundation contacted Lowers Communications, now Mindful Kreative, to revamp its newsletter with creative writing and updated design and layout. For Rose Ann DiCola, executive director of the CCAC Educational Foundation, the choice to work with Mindful Kreative was easy since she worked with Melinda Kaiser, president of Mindful Kreative, years earlier while at D.T. Watson. Ms. DiCola knew she selected the right partner to add a fresh perspective to the publication.
Beginning with the spring issue, CCAC Connections began its transformation.
Goals & Objectives
Mindful Kreative was charged with designing and writing a compelling newsletter that would inform donors, alumni and supporters about key events and opportunities at CCAC.
The newsletter would include the following:
- Provide news about the college and alumni events
- Inform and educate about scholarship/fundraising opportunities
- Offer new donor options, such as planned giving levels and a business reply envelope (BRE)
- Recognize past supporters and donors
Strategy & Execution
Before each issue, an editorial board meeting was held with the Educational Foundation staff to determine the content and layout of the newsletter. Working closely with the staff, article topics, interviewee contact information, photos and design ideas were developed into a content outline. A production timeline was also implemented to keep the newsletter on track.
Once the article topics were finalized, it was time to work! Mindful Kreative contacted those who needed to be interviewed, often meeting face-to-face or via telephone for those living out of the area. Although it adds to the process, those interviewed always had the opportunity to review and provide feedback to their stories prior to going to press. Rose Ann has always felt the need to make everyone comfortable with the messaging and happy with the showcase piece.
The look and feel of the newsletter was designed with CCAC’s branding manual and style guide in mind, keeping with the college’s standards already set forth. Mindful Kreative felt the look and feel of the newsletter should be easy to read and should incorporate photos to make it more visually appealing.
Although it’s hard to quantify the results of these efforts, it’s apparent the Educational Foundation is a happy client. They are not concerned about the amount of money raised with the business reply envelopes (BRE) included in each issue, but rather the “connection” they are making with their readers.
- 13,500 copies of the last issue of the newsletter were printed and distributed.
- The newsletter has continued to evolve, adding new elements to keep it fresh yet consistent with the established look and feel.
- As a result of the newsletters success and to show their support of the Educational Foundation, Mindful Kreative has been involved with various efforts for the Educational Foundation, including their two major special events:
- Legends in Leadership, which recognizes individuals for their excellence in leadership
- Annual golf tournament
Mindful Kreative continues to aid the CCAC Educational Foundation with the CCAC Connections newsletter and has been serving as a resource to the Educational Foundation for nearly a decade.