• On day one of using CRM Advance, the institution processed a $50 million gift
  • Greater efficiency and insight through reporting and integration
  • Processing complex gifts is simpler with a system designed specifically for higher education philanthropy


Advancement, in general, is going through a real change. There's a divestment from state and local governments for higher ed, and enrollment is dropping with the millennials now graduating. We now are having to search more for the next generation, and the next generation is not as big. So, we need to think about, “How do we leverage technology to make ourselves more efficient?”

We chose Ellucian CRM Advance because we were looking for technology that was built today, that had a future tomorrow. By pushing your data and infrastructure out to the cloud, you save a lot of time and resources, and taking advantage of a vendor like Ellucian to be able to provide us that support, really takes my staff and allows me to use them in far more strategic areas.

The first day that we went live, we were able to process a $50 million gift. A $50 million gift is not as simple as a simple transaction, so there was four or five different parts to the gift. Some of the gift was direct cash, some of the gift was planned giving vehicles. It actually is a testament to the new software to take a very complicated gift and to be able to book that on day one, was a real testament to the flexibility of the product.

Now that Ellucian CRM Advance is live, we have a lot of opportunities that we've never been able to think of, or consider, before. Some of the most exciting things that we're looking to work on are predictive and prescriptive analytics, embedding that into our system to where, if a certain activity occurs, then we can automate a process to make something else happen.

For colleagues that are looking for a new CRM solution, I really do encourage them to think about not only were they want to be but wherever they would like to go. To paraphrase the old Wayne Gretzky quote about not skating to where the puck is, but to skate to where you believe the puck is going to be. That is one thing that I believe Ellucian CRM Advance solution provides, an opportunity for the future, not just thinking about what you need today, but what you need tomorrow.

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Improving advancement through technology

How the Oregon State University Foundation uses cloud-based
Ellucian CRM Advance

Students at desk using tablet
Mark Koenig
Assistant Vice President for Advancement
Oregon State University Foundation
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How the Oregon State University Foundation uses cloud-based Ellucian CRM Advance


  • Modern CRM system facilitates online work
  • Business continuity plan worked well
  • Transitioned near 170 employees to remote work within a few days


Guided by its core values of collaboration and innovation, and an established tech-centric culture, the Oregon State University Foundation was quickly able to pivot when the order for remote work came down. With cloud systems immediately available, its employees were up and running from their home offices within days. Such fast action enabled the Foundation to establish the Beavers Care Initiative to assist students affected by COVID-19 and support the university in securing philanthropic funding for research and outreach solutions related to the pandemic.

Practicing agile operations

Move advancement operations in a limited time period

Students at desk using tablet
Mark Koenig
Chief Innovation Officer and Vice President for Technology
Oregon State University Foundation
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Oregon State University Foundation moves advancement operations in a limited time period

Ellucian Experience Platform

Award-winning, Personalized Platform Simplifies Campus Life, Connects Users to Timely, Actionable Information via a Single Interface

July 15, 2021—RESTON, VA — Ellucian, the leading higher education technology solutions provider, today announced the expanded launch of Ellucian Experience, a SaaS-based, fully extensible user experience platform. Now available in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, Ellucian Experience simplifies everyday tasks and access to essential information through a single application framework and personalized dashboard for all higher education constituents.

“We are excited to bring Ellucian Experience to our global customer base, making it easier for students, staff and faculty to get their work done and focus on teaching and learning,” said Stephen Laster, Chief Product Officer, Ellucian. “Experience allows customers to leverage solutions into a role-based persona driven, seamless user experience. Early adopters are already seeing the benefits of the modern platform and are taking advantage of the ability to extend its capabilities to make it their own.”

Launched in April in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Caribbean, and recently named the Higher Ed EdTech Deployment of the Year in the 2021 EdTech Breakthrough Awards, more than 160 institutions have selected Ellucian Experience making it the fastest growing new product in Ellucian history.  Early implementations include Owens Community College, Western Iowa Technical Community College, Lamar State College - Port Arthur, Life University, Barton Community College, Hannibal-LaGrange University and Massachusetts College of Art and Design, among others.

“Moving to Ellucian Experience supports our college’s strategic goals to help with student success and student completion, as well as to enhance the student experience. In line with our cloud strategy, because Experience is a SaaS platform, we don’t have extra servers to maintain, which frees up our internal staff to focus on other key initiatives,” said Jared Baber, CIO, Owens Community College. “And the software development kit with Experience has been a game changer for us as it enables us to create custom code to display content for students that we couldn’t easily do before.”

Ellucian Experience integrates both Ellucian and non-Ellucian higher ed solutions through a single user interface, reducing system login time by up to 75% (via single sign-on). The platform delivers instant access to content and real-time data with individual configurable “cards,”  allowing students to check classes, grades and schedules, connect with advisors, stay up to date on financial aid, and much more.

Featuring a fully branded environment, Ellucian Experience supports customization and personalized dashboards for everyone from the president to students. In addition, institutions can leverage the Ellucian Experience platform to make campus-wide announcements or targeted announcements based on user persona (e.g., faculty or staff). The value of Ellucian Experience will grow as more applications are added through the Experience software development kit (SDK) that Ellucian is providing to customers and partners.

For more information, visit:


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CHALLENGE: Developing a profitable grants strategy

Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) had no grant activity in place when it began its partnership with Ellucian six years ago. Without an organized grants office, institutional leaders knew that the college needed outside support and scalability to successfully pursue high-value grant awards that aligned with their strategic priorities.

Ellucian worked with MHCC to set up grants policies, processes, and procedures—running the entire grant operation on an outsource model to maximize efficiency and ROI. Since developing a new grants initiative, MHCC has generated funding from the U. S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and multiple awards from the State of Oregon.


  • Approximately $30M in grant awards secured since 2016
  • Grants funds allocated to student success, retention, and cybersecurity entrepreneurship activities
  • Created an A.A.S. program in mechatronics
  • Realized $11 in ROI for every $1 spent on grant services

Creating a grants office from scratch

Lacking any grants funding or initiative, Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) partnered with Ellucian to create a profitable, scalable grants strategy.

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Lacking any grants funding or initiative, Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) partnered with Ellucian to create a profitable, scalable grants strategy.

Student Engagement and Recruitment
Exceed enrollment goals
Prospects expect personalized communications. Give staff access to information and data that help them make those one-on-one connections.
Student Engagement and Recruitment
Tailor student assistance
Students’ needs evolve over time. Armed with the right information, you can offer tailored outreach, continuous guidance, and focused advising.
Student Engagement and Recruitment
Build a solid foundation
Engaged students become engaged alumni. Forge those connections early and build a strong foundation for future relationships.

of students say personalized comms influenced college choice


average # of people a student asks to get advising help


of alumni would donate more to fund their student organizations

Preparing to implement guided pathways?

Engage with them students, build connections that last long after graduation.

Build lifelong relationships with students and help your institution grow.

Streamline and increase your student engagement

Create pathways to graduation and make personalized connections throughout the student journey.

Student Engagement and Recruitment

Key takeaways

  • Share the impact of the gift and pay attention to loyal donors
  • Focus on the metrics that matter
  • Address pressing needs and prepare for societal change

Throughout 2020, we’ve seen inspiring examples of advancement teams overcoming extraordinary uncertainty in an effort to support students, engage alumni, and foster a culture of philanthropy. We have witnessed institutions evolve their strategies and focus on meaningful partnerships to persist through these challenging times.

As we approach the year-end giving season, how can institutions effectively engage donors, respond to community needs, and continue to endure through this age of physical distancing and societal change?

Read our five strategies to optimize your institution’s year-end fundraising efforts.

Donor Relations Guru Group

Donor Relations Guru

Lynne Wester and her teammates at the Donor Relations Guru Group lead with gratitude and partner with nonprofits on a variety of initiatives from assessment through implementation. Her work motivates and inspires countless fundraisers to do more for their donors to create amazing donor experiences. Visit to learn more.

Five strategies to prepare for a successful year-end giving season
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How can institutions effectively engage donors, respond to community needs, and continue to endure through this age of physical distancing and societal change? Learn how.


Key takeaways

  • Institutions are reassessing their technological needs due to mass disruption.
  • The pandemic has forced advancement departments to urgently prioritize new strategies.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all approach to transformation; each institution’s needs are different.

Despite new challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, advancement departments are still responsible for raising funds for their institutions. With dramatic shifts around the world, advancement professionals are working through challenges to find new ways to succeed in the face of an uncertain future.

At this year’s Ellucian Live Online event, three advancement experts came together during a panel discussion led by Ellucian Chief Product Officer Stephen Laster. Panelists discussed current issues, technology adoption, and a glimpse into the new normal for institutional fundraising.

We can't work in the administrative functions the way we used to work. As I think about advancement services, we've been juggling those things forever. This current COVID environment has helped us prioritize, accelerate, and bring together all of these systems and services in a way we never had. We didn't have the capacity to bring it all together before.

Judy Doherty, Associate Vp for Advancement Systems and Services, Dartmouth

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The future of advancement in higher education

A conversation with fundraising experts

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Advancement leaders in higher ed discuss current issues, technology adoption, and a glimpse into the new normal.

University of Wyoming Foundation Strengthens Fundraising and Development Efforts with Ellucian

UW Foundation Upgrades Capabilities by Moving from On-Premise Solution to Cloud-Based Ellucian CRM Advance

RESTON, VA and LARAMIE, WY – Ellucian, the leading provider of software and services built to power higher education, today announced that the University of Wyoming Foundation has upgraded to CRM Advance, a cloud-based solution that helps institutions cultivate, manage, and grow donor relationships.

Ellucian CRM Advance provides integrated, data-backed insights that will enable the UW Foundation to enhance fundraising efforts, more effectively engage constituents, and streamline workflows for advancement personnel.

The University of Wyoming Foundation previously leveraged the Ellucian advancement solution, Ellucian Advance. With this upgrade to CRM Advance, a software as a service (SaaS) solution, the foundation is seamlessly transferring data to the cloud, with nightly backups to better support security, business continuity, and real-time data access. The UW Foundation will also use the Ellucian Ethos platform to connect data across the organization to make better informed decisions across the donor lifecycle.

The new CRM Advance implementation automates processes to reduce much of the manual management and data manipulation, thereby allowing the advancement team to quickly launch and track initiatives that address the immediate needs of their community. The solution also provides greater visibility into campaigns and constituent information with reporting and analytics capabilities.

“With CRM Advance, our team will deliver more real-time information that will help to align priorities to the university’s mission and drive more effective interactions with our supporters,” said Nancy Brizuela, University of Wyoming Foundation Director of Information Services. “Ellucian’s deep understanding of the complex needs of advancement has made them an ideal partner and we look forward to continued success.”

“CRM Advance will further empower the Foundation to grow a data-driven, donor-centric approach and lead more successful campaigns. We look forward to building on our strong partnership with UW Foundation as they further invest in technology and inspire the UW community through the power of philanthropy,” said Laura Ipsen, President and CEO, Ellucian.

COVID-19 Resources from Ellucian

As institutions, educators, students, and staff face great change and disruption during the coronavirus outbreak, those who serve higher education are working together to help continue the delivery of vital services and ongoing education to students everywhere.

In support of our customers, partners, and the higher education community, Ellucian is continually updating available resources, including webinars, articles and community discussions on business continuity, the CARES Act, online learning, student well-being and more.

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Athabasca University to Create One-of-a-Kind Online Learning Environment

Leading-edge technology benefits students at Canada’s Online University

RESTON, VA – Athabasca University (AU), Canada’s first and foremost online university, is enhancing its digital learning technology to build the learning environment of the future, providing learners with an engaging and immersive experience unlike any other in Canada.

AU has partnered with industry-leading experts D2L and Ellucian to innovate and improve the learner experience, in an approach that is a first among post-secondary institutions in Canada. Once complete, AU’s integrated learning environment will be one of the most sophisticated in the post-secondary online space. It will bring together all aspects of online learning as a seamless whole, including the management of learning, data records, academic and financial services, credentialing, and learner support.

AU will use D2L’s Brightspace platform and leading-edge technology to create the most interactive course content for learners, provide individualized learning pathways, give learners personalized feedback and engage them in their learning through gamification, social tools, and video.

Ellucian Banner will further add to the experience by giving AU learners enhanced access to grades, course registration, financial aid, and account management. AU will be able to deliver a more efficient and personalized experience for learners from the application process through graduation.

To provide a seamless service to learners across a lifetime of learning, AU’s integrated learning environment will be hosted in the AU Cloud. Earlier this year, AU was the first post-secondary institution in Canada to move its digital operations infrastructure into its own secure cloud environment. Technology will continue to be an important factor in removing barriers to access learning opportunities and driving innovation in the post-secondary sector.

In a recent survey conducted by Angus Reid, more than 80 per cent of respondents said they believe universities of the future will need to find innovative ways to integrate technology in learning. More than two-thirds of people surveyed said they would find more value in programs specifically created for a virtual environment, rather than in-person courses that had simply been moved online. And more than half of all Canadians (56 per cent) say university degrees will become much more individualized in the next 50 years.

“Above all, we’re educational innovators,” says Dr. Neil Fassina, President of Athabasca University. “More than 25 years ago we were the first institution in the world to offer an online MBA program. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we continue to build the education experience of the future in this integrated learning environment that will bring an incredible new experience to our learners. We’re looking forward to partnering with D2L and Ellucian as we continue to relentlessly transform learning into the future.”

The new technologies will support AU’s model of open enrolment and flexible learning, allowing learners to start their courses and programs whenever and wherever is convenient for them.

“Athabasca is accelerating the future of learning with a vision for a university built around the student,” says John Baker, President and CEO of D2L. “From traditional students, to millions of Canadians and people around the world looking to upskill or reskill – there has never been a more urgent need to personalize the learning experiences to help students achieve their full potential. Athabasca is a recognized leader, and we’re proud to work with them to build a next-generation learning experience.”

“Athabasca University is a trailblazer in Canada and a model for institutions undergoing transformation around the globe,” said Laura Ipsen, President and CEO, Ellucian. “As a longtime partner, we continue to be impressed by AU’s commitment to improving the student experience and are honored to work with them to bring learning to more Canadian students.”

About Athabasca University

Athabasca University (AU), Canada’s Online University, is one of the world’s foremost and fastest-growing online and open education institutions, serving more than 43,000 learners across 87 countries. AU is the fifth largest university in Canada and one of four Comprehensive Research and Teaching Universities in Alberta. AU offers online Bachelors, Masters, and PhD programs alongside online courses for personal and professional development. It is uniquely founded on the principles of flexibility and openness, giving learners control over their studies so they can obtain higher education whenever and wherever it is right for them. For more information, please visit

About D2L

D2L believes learning is the foundation upon which all progress and achievement rests. Working closely with organizations globally, D2L has transformed the way millions of people learn online and in the classroom. D2L’s Brightspace is a cloud-based learning platform built by educators, for educators that works on any device. It is a secure, reliable platform that lets you create engaging courses using your technology to fit your needs. Learn more about D2L for schools, higher education and businesses at

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Western Washington University Foundation and WWU Alumni Association Modernize Constituent Engagement with Ellucian

Cloud-based Ellucian CRM Advance supports stronger WWU community relationships and more successful advancement campaigns

RESTON, VA and BELLINGHAM, WASH – Ellucian, the leading provider of software and services built to power higher education, today announced that the Western Washington University Foundation (WWU Foundation) and the WWU Alumni Association have launched Ellucian CRM Advance to support its fundraising, alumni engagement and advancement efforts.

Ellucian CRM Advance will provide both the Alumni Association and Foundation with powerful, cloud-based automation tools and reporting capabilities that allow advancement staff to execute more informed, targeted, and effective engagement campaigns. Introduced internally as ‘WAVE’ (Western Advancement Vikings Engaged), the solution delivers integrated, data-based insights to cultivate and develop stronger relationships with targeted audiences.

“In today’s crowded fundraising environment, modern CRMs are simply a must in order to provide the customized engagement our constituents have grown to expect. Now, COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we work making the capabilities of CRM Advance even more critical to our operations than ever before,” said Mark Brovak, Chief Operating Officer for University Advancement; Vice President and CFO of WWU Foundation. “The Ellucian team has gone above and beyond to help us identify and implement the right solution to not only enable success today, but also support our future advancement efforts as we continue to ‘Make Waves’ at Western.”

“Western Washington University’s team embraced the challenge of introducing a new system during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading an extraordinary change effort to build enthusiasm, awareness and adoption,” said Ellucian Associate Vice President of Advancement, Beth Brenner. “With ongoing uncertainty about the future, the work done by advancement teams to foster meaningful relationships between universities and their constituents is more important than ever. CRM Advance will unlock insights and operational efficiencies ultimately helping WWU develop deeper, long-lasting community partnerships.”

CRM Advance will integrate with Ellucian Banner, the university’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, to maintain continuity while providing the advancement team with streamlined dashboards, smart data exchange and powerful reporting capabilities. By enabling open integration with third-party systems via Ellucian Ethos, WWU Foundation and WWU Alumni Association can create more targeted and personalized campaigns that further encourage increased engagement and donor activity.

COVID-19 Resources from Ellucian

As institutions, educators, students, and staff face great change and disruption during the coronavirus outbreak, those who serve higher education are working together to help continue the delivery of vital services and ongoing education to students everywhere.

In support of our customers, partners, and the higher education community, Ellucian is continually updating available resources, including webinars, articles and community discussions on business continuity, the CARES Act, online learning, student well-being and more.

About Ellucian

Ellucian is the market leader charting the digital future of higher education with a portfolio of cloud-ready technology solutions and services. From student recruitment to workforce analytics; from fundraising opportunities to alumni engagement; Ellucian’s comprehensive suite of data-rich tools gives colleges and universities the information they need to lead with confidence.

Working with a community of more than 2,700 customers in over 50 countries, Ellucian keeps innovating as higher education keeps evolving. Drawing on its comprehensive higher education business acumen and suite of services, Ellucian guides its customers through manageable, sustainable digital transformation—so that every type of institution and student can thrive in today’s fast-changing landscape. To find out what’s next in higher education solutions and services, visit Ellucian at

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