Screenshot of Development Toolkit 2021
by Clarke Schwabe

The Development Toolkit has received its annual spring update, and this is a big one! There’s so much to talk about with this one, I thought it might be helpful to break things down here in a blog post.

Some of the updates here have been long demanded, some are more recent developments, but all should be valuable. Let’s dive in!

  1. Redesigned templates with file sizes reduced by 70%
    • This one has been a problem for a while. In the original document templates, we had photos in the example pages that would appear high quality and just about any size so that fundraisers wouldn’t have to look too far to find usable assets. But when you do that with PowerPoint, it embeds the entire image at its full size. And because we left the images in their original state, our files ballooned in size. With these new templates, we slightly altered each image so that its file size would go down without losing quality at the sizes the templates are intended to be printed.
    • And on top of all that, we’ve refreshed our cover pages and every image contained in the templates!
  2. Updated messaging section with new student and faculty quotes, a section on Student Wellness, and more
    • One of the oldest remaining elements of the Toolkit were the student quotes, which were several years old by the time this update entered development. We searched through many DAR and UGA assets to find new quotes to replace our old ones and add quotes to a few sections that didn’t have them. And fear not about the need-based aid quotes: we have secured releases from every student quoted, so you shouldn’t have to navigate any red tape if you choose to use them.
  3. Updated Template Tips document
    • New templates means new Template Tips! The Template Tips document was updated in appearance and content, including how-tos on screen recording, using Google Drive to store and share files, and more.
  4. A suite of DEI tools: a messaging section, pre-formatted page contained in the Document Templates, and an upcoming spread in the UGA Pocket Guide
    • As diversity, equity and inclusion funds become more and more of a focus, it’s important that we provide tools to help our fundraisers speak to that subject. The messaging section provides language (and statistics) on the state of diversity and inclusion at UGA, the progress we’ve made, and the work yet to be done. A pre-formatted page on DEI is available within our new Document Templates, ready for you to input your unit’s specific DEI funds and data. And in the coming weeks, we will upload a new version of the UGA Pocket Guide that contains two pages on DEI.
  5. The Template Tour: A video demonstrating the creation of a development document, from start to finish, using the Document Templates, with helpful chapter links to let you jump to exactly the section you need to watch
    • Previously, I had recorded a screen recording video that showed how to begin the process of creating a document using our templates (the Template Tutorial). This video gets WAY more in depth and should answer many of the common questions around our templates.

As always, contact me with any questions, suggestions or requests you have about the Toolkit or to schedule a one-on-one session with you or your team where he can demo the Toolkit and answer your questions. And be sure to share your creations with me so that, through the Completed Documents archive, they might help other fundraisers build their own documents!

,