Crown Challenge Receives Top Honors Nationally

The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has named Claremont McKenna College’s Crown Challenge, a revolutionary strategy to maximize the impact of donor gifts, as a recipient of its top award among nationwide annual giving programs.


The CASE Circle of Excellence Gold Award for 2014 has been given to CMC’s Crown Challenge based on comprehensive criteria that takes into account the innovation, quality, and impact of the program on its community. The CASE Awards is a preeminent program recognizing higher education excellence and achievement in a wide range of categories, including fundraising, alumni affairs, and communications.

Since its establishment in 2009, the Crown Challenge has served as a successful, innovative model for encouraging consistent giving by supporters. The Challenge resulted from a close collaboration between Trustee Steve Crown ’74, Vice President of Development and External Relations Ernie Iseminger, and the College’s Office of Annual Giving.

 “This is a distinct honor that recognizes the leadership and creativity of Steve Crown ’74 and the strength of our alumni,” said Andrew Brewer, Director of Annual Giving at CMC. “Mr. Crown’s insight, generosity, and support of the Advancement Team’s efforts have been crucial to creating a program that speaks to all of our supporters. Starting with him, this has been a massive effort involving all members of the CMC community,”

The Crown Challenge is a four-year commitment with increased incentives for renewing members. The goal is to foster giving at any level, highlighting the importance of every gift to the College. The Crown Challenge provides alumni with the opportunity to support the future of Claremont McKenna students and programs through easy, convenient donations.  Since its inception four years ago, alumni participation has risen 8%.

This year, the CASE awards competition in all 100 categories is comprised of more than 3,000 entries from nearly 630 organizations, including independent schools, and nonprofits. Out of these entries, 283 bronze, silver, and gold awards were given to recipients.