Latest posts by Brian Gawor (see all)
- 2017 March (Alumni Giving) Madness – The Sweet (Alumni) 16 - March 21, 2017
- 2017 March (Alumni Giving) Madness – Round 1 Results - March 17, 2017
- 2017 March (Alumni Giving) Madness - March 13, 2017
We’ve had a great response to our first round of the 2017 March (Alumni Giving) Madness tournament. It’s time for Round 2, which names the top 16 of our alumni giving tournament winners.
This alumni giving tournament is our fun way to look at higher education fundraising and dive into the stats. It started last year when one member of our team asked the question:
What if the NCAA brackets were decided based on alumni giving statistics?
You can read about the methodology we’re using to answer the question this year in our first post. The data comes from public sources, the Voluntary Support of Education Survey and the U.S. News and World Report college ranking data.
After narrowing to a field of 32 in our last round, there ware some great match ups for this round. Here are the round 2 results:
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Second round insights:
I saw some similar things with the wins I commented on for the first round, but a few insights this round, focusing on alumni giving dollars:
- Big gifts made a difference. While a significant portion of our methodology is on donor participation, several institutions just blew opponents out of the water with generous alumni major gifts or recently realized planned gifts. This “strong bench” factor, the total alumni giving over the past three years divided by the alumni of record, was weighted at 20 percent of the game. But there are extreme differences on the stat across higher education.This year’s teams ranged from $6 per living alumnus to $2,230 per alumnus annually. I’d call that a bit of a range. There was one match up where this stat was within $1, but that was a rarity.
- Big giving is concentrated. Fewer than 1 percent of institutions raise 28 percent of higher education contributions, and that showed in this year’s alumni giving tournament. We covered this phenomenon in a webinar with Ann Kaplan, VSE director, a few weeks back.
- Recent alumni wins swayed the results: For a few institutions, a relatively recent campaign or a few very large alumni gifts boosted this giving stat. One institution had a year that was 6x their average year, making a big difference in their overall score.
When we talked to hundreds of giving professionals last year, boosting major and planned giving was a top concern. Every institution wants the right strategy in place to help gift officers quickly identify, qualify and engage the most likely big donors.
As a coach, you wouldn’t go into a recruiting season without a plan. You also wouldn’t just do the same thing every year without making adjustments based on the prospect pool. Unfortunately, a lot of programs are just flying blind on major gift identification strategy. We’re in the midst of a historic wealth transfer, and the time is now to engage your biggest givers. Or another team (charity) is going to recruit them.
How do you win with major and planed giving productivity?
Does your team have what you need for a major and planned giving program with high productivity? You can’t engage big donors at scale without the right tools. Request our free calculator to see how you could improve your program immediately.
Stay tuned, next week we’ll release the results of round 3 which will take us to the Elite (Alumni) 8 of this year’s alumni giving winners.