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CASE Honors Cougar Athletic Fund with Gold for Pledge-per-Win Campaign

Jun 13, 2020

PULLMAN, Wash. - The Cougar Athletic Fund's Pledge-per-Win Campaign from the 2019 football season was honored by CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) with gold in the "Circle of Excellence Award" targeted campaigns category.

In addition, the Apple Cup Giving Challenge received silver in the category of Fundraising on a Shoestring.

"We are very excited to have CASE recognize the Cougar Athletic Fund with two Circle of Excellence awards," Senior Associate Director of Athletics Mitch Straub said. "With $310k+ raised between the two campaigns, the impact has certainly been felt on our campus and for all of our student-athletes. Thank you CAF members who participated in the initiatives." 

The Pledge per Win campaign gave Cougars the opportunity to make a "Pledge per Win" for each Cougar football victory. The campaign finished the 2019 football season with 246 pledges and received $13,210 per win, equaling $79,260 raised to benefit student-athletes. The campaign was recently recognized with the Innovation of the Year award at the Paciolan PAC Star Awards.

"Camaraderie, adaptable, inexpensive. What appealed to the judges was how this campaign taps into a constituency with proven affinity in a way that generates camaraderie within a framework that aligns fans' philanthropic support with their desire to win," said CASE in an excerpt of its judges' statement about the Pledge-per-Win campaign. "We applaud Washington State University for their clever combination of traditional campaign tactics with contemporary social media tools. This campaign model could lend itself to other, non-sports entities."

The inaugural Apple Cup Giving Challenge, a battle between the Cougar Athletic Fund and Washington's Tyee Club, encouraged Cougar and Husky fans, alumni, and donors to give a gift of $25 or more to their respective athletic annual fund. The school with the most $25 or more gifts was declared the winner. 

When the final count was recorded the Cougar Athletic Fund tallied 1,163 gifts totaling $236,533, which was enough to top the Tyee Club. Cougars from across the nation played a vital role as gifts came in from 33 states during the challenge.

The monies raised from Pledge per Win and Apple Giving Challenge campaigns were directed to support student-athlete scholarships through the Unleash Excellence Fund, providing student-athletes with the resources to unleash excellence in the classroom and on the field of competition.