2018 Development Awards Announced

Congratulations to this year’s C. Scott Elliott Development Professional of the Year, the Development Rising Star, and the Development Category Award winners, who were announced at the 2018 PMDMC in Chicago.

The Development Advisory Committee (DAC) named Sue Ellen Stuebing of CET & ThinkTV, as the recipient of the 2018 C. Scott Elliott Development Professional of the Year. The DAC also selected Nathan Armstrong, of WTTW, as the Development Rising Star, and awarded CET & ThinkTV, OPB, Arizona Public Media, and the OETA Foundation as winners of the 2018 Development Award category awards. Honorable mentions were given to KSPS Public Television, KPBS, and Wisconsin Public Television.

C. Scott Elliott Development Professional of the Year

Sue Ellen Stuebing, Vice President and Chief Development Officer at stations CET & ThinkTV was presented the award on July 12, in front of 1,200 PMDMC attendees. This peer-nominated and prestigious award was established in 1990 in memory of Scott Elliott, who raised more than $100 million for PBS member stations in Detroit, Buffalo and Cincinnati over the course of his career and was a leader who generously shared his knowledge with others in public media development. “Sue Ellen Stuebing embodies the same passion and professionalism that Scott Elliott first inspired, taking pleasure in the success of the team, embracing new opportunities and driving record growth in development,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “She often encourages her associates to stretch themselves, to take risks and to rely on the value of our public media mission as a guide.” In the past 12 years, Sue Ellen has demonstrated true fundraising excellence at her station, making major giving 23% of overall revenue and growing planned gifts from four in 2006 to more than 270 today. Official press release

Development Rising Star

Additionally, the DAC awarded it’s first-ever Development Rising Star award to Nathan Armstrong, Associate Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations of Chicago’s WTTW. The DAC established this award to recognize outstanding development leaders, who have spent five years or less in the public media system. In just three and a half years at the station, Nathan has raised $3 million annually in foundation, corporate and government support toward the major giving annual fund, and has secured six-figure major gifts from corporations whose support had lapsed. Official press release

2018 Category Development Awards

The DAC selected from nearly 50 applications, four stations as winners for their outstanding efforts in corporate support, membership, philanthropy, and special achievement. Three stations were given honorable mentions for their excellent work. These seven stations were first announced by Gary Stokes, DAC Chair, on July 10, at the 2018 PBS Showcase preconference at PMDMC. Official press release

The Corporate Support Award recognizes leaders in public media for their success in securing new sources of corporate revenue, incorporating new techniques, or developing innovative strategies and targeted marketing efforts. CET & ThinkTV were named the Corporate Support winners for their project “Teamwork Creates Partnerships That Benefit All.” Through this project, both groups leveraged strong internal collaborations across a variety of departments – corporate relations, development, education, digital, art, production and business development – to secure new corporate partners, accounting for a 57% increase in overall revenue in 2017. It was this approach combined with innovation and creativity that established CET & ThinkTV as trusted brands throughout their respective communities.

A Corporate Support Honorable Mention was given to KSPS Public Television in Spokane.

The Membership Award recognizes successful membership strategies that have led to increases of net revenue, donor files or prospect pipeline, or the incorporation of new engagement activities resulting in increased giving. This year’s Membership Award was awarded to OPB for successfully transforming a mature membership program into one that can continue to grow in a changing media landscape. OPB changed the culture of the entire membership department in a way that all stations can model and learn from – shifting the focus from generating immediate revenue to member acquisition and retention, relying on data to drive decisions, testing new strategies, and promoting collaboration. In the past six years, OPB has seen a 30% increase in members, a 600% increase in new sustainers and an overall retention rate of 77%. All of these improvements have contributed to a 65% increase in revenue.

A Membership Honorable Mention was given to KPBS in San Diego.

The Philanthropy Award recognizes successful fundraising efforts that directly strengthen a station’s financial sustainability. Arizona Public Media was awarded the Philanthropy Award. A few years ago, the station faced a budget cut of $2 million, which could have been catastrophic. The development department responded by further cultivating its strong support in the community, instilling “pride of ownership” in its Leadership Society and motivating its members to build a better southern Arizona. AZPM engaged, empowered and mobilized key stakeholders to raise more money. From 2015 to 2017, AZPM increased fundraising revenue 103% to $2.5 million. As a result of these efforts, AZPM continues to benefit from a stronger bond between donors, station volunteer leaders and the community at large.

A Philanthropy Honorable Mention was given to Wisconsin Public Television.

The Special Achievement Award recognizes successful projects that have a broader organizational or community reach, or outside a single discipline. The OETA Foundation was this year’s Special Achievement Award winner. The DAC was inspired by the hyper-localism of OETA Foundation’s “Mosaic Oklahoma” series, which travels the state to piece together its mosaic of people and cultures. The success of this initiative stems from the team approach to build multiple revenue streams and strong relationships. As producers shot a sunrise with cowboys on horseback, the development team got to know major donors and prospects in town. The underwriter met with local business owners while the pledge producer scouted locations for a preview event. This is an excellent example of how stations can make sure they remain relevant in their communities. When the production premiered during pledge, it generated $17,000 in one hour, and 40% of these were new donors. The foundation secured $150,000 through two corporate sponsors and continues to build the series to tell the stories of Oklahoma.