Friday Update – Maximize Results – 8-14-15

The Friday Fundraising Update
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The Friday Fundraising Update

A weekly collection of fundraising industry insights and success stories, delivering them each Friday to your inbox. Have a suggestion for a future edition? Email Brian at Brian.Gawor@RuffaloNL.com
The Friday Fundraising Update
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Friday-Fundraising-UpdateThe Friday Fundraising Update collects fundraising industry insights and success stories and delivers them to you each Friday from Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Links included this week are aimed at maximizing your results by calculating participation, identifying additional prospects via popular social media platforms, and enhancing direct marketing appeals.

Numerator, Denominator, What?

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Insights from #RuffaloCON15, Day One

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Brian Gawor

Vice President for Research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Brian Gawor, CFRE, is a former annual fund and major gift professional who now focuses on research and benchmarking to drive fundraising strategy. He is also a doctoral student studying higher education giving.
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AFC_logo_2015_homeWe’re enjoying Minneapolis and the great group of passionate fundraisers gathered here to network, learn and participate in RuffaloCON15. Here are a few things I learned on the first day:

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Five Ways To Maximize Your Donor Surveys

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Chris Hughes

Director of Fundraising Strategy at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Chris Hughes is a former Director of Annual Giving who has more than two decades of experience in fundraising, marketing, public relations and organizational success in higher education and nonprofit fundraising.
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5waysHughesAccording to Blackbaud’s 2014 Charitable Giving Report, the combination of July and August represents the worst consecutive months on the calendar for charitable giving in the U.S.  In addition, August is statistically the worst month for giving to higher education.  It is reasonable to assume this is due in part to many June fiscal year end pushes and in part to donors’ traditional summertime expenses (vacations, getaways, kids camps, back to school sales, etc…).

Statistically, most (but not all) solicitations made between early-July and mid-August are probably not going to be as effective.  This makes the summer months a perfect time to perform cultivation activities like donor surveys! Note: if you don’t want to survey in July or August, the months of January through March are also top recommended times for donor surveys for the same reasons.

Here are five things you can do in order to maximize the impact and effectiveness of your donor surveys: Continue Reading »

Podcast: Dr. Bill Withers and The Relationship Era

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Brian Gawor

Vice President for Research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Brian Gawor, CFRE, is a former annual fund and major gift professional who now focuses on research and benchmarking to drive fundraising strategy. He is also a doctoral student studying higher education giving.
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Fundraising-Voices-logoTwitterDr. Bill Withers is a trailblazer. He’s a leadership professor at Wartburg College, and also a prolific writer and speaker. You’ll most often find him in one of his trademark Hawaiian shirts. You’ll also find him interacting with his students where they live: social media.

 

A few years back, Bill started teaching a summer course entirely on Facebook. After engaging students in an agreement to friend and follow each other, Bill took the plunge and the course was a success. He’s accustomed to receiving emails in the middle of the night from students, but using social media has “made things more real time for me,” he says.  During the course, he’s on his iPad engaging students constantly.

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Minecraft and Fundraising

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Brian Gawor

Vice President for Research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Brian Gawor, CFRE, is a former annual fund and major gift professional who now focuses on research and benchmarking to drive fundraising strategy. He is also a doctoral student studying higher education giving.
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ggeeksmallFor those of you who don’t live with a player, Minecraft is the intensely popular creation and simulation game that has sold over 50 million copies.  It’s a deceptively simple game loved by pre-teens and adults alike. The game is incredibly fun and allows for endless possibilities.

There are also zombies and dragons.

My daughter is obsessed with Minecraft, and I encourage it because it’s a great way to teach planning and resource management. Unless you have also have a kid that’s into it, you might not know that Minecraft actually has two modes you can play, and they are at the core of the game’s innovation. I started thinking about how these modes apply to our work as fundraisers.

Survival Mode – The Zombies are Coming

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Friday Fundraising Update: Turn the donor roll upside down, cover it in Ivy – 6-5-15

The Friday Fundraising Update
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The Friday Fundraising Update

A weekly collection of fundraising industry insights and success stories, delivering them each Friday to your inbox. Have a suggestion for a future edition? Email Brian at Brian.Gawor@RuffaloNL.com
The Friday Fundraising Update
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Friday-Fundraising-UpdateThe Friday Fundraising Update collects fundraising industry insights and success stories and delivers them to you each Friday from Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

 

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Where’s Waldo: Finding a focus for your next fundraising improvement

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Brian Gawor

Vice President for Research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Brian Gawor, CFRE, is a former annual fund and major gift professional who now focuses on research and benchmarking to drive fundraising strategy. He is also a doctoral student studying higher education giving.
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ggeeksmall

Martin Handford was a commercial illustrator specializing in crowd pictures. In 1987, he threw a kooky guy in a red striped shirt into a complex scene and challenged us to find him. Since then, finding Waldo has been a great way to keep our kids busy, and just plain fun for all of us.

It’s fun because it’s a challenge. Waldo hides pretty well in the crowd and we struggle to point him out buried in there. There’s some great research on how our brains learn to switch modes and pick out a specific, important thing through the field of noise. Can we apply it to fundraising strategy?

First, what’s going on in your annual fund “scene?”

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2 Things to Improve Your Phonathon Fulfillment

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Josh Robertson

Vice President of Product Strategy at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Josh has over 17 years of experience in the industry, oversees fundraising strategy, analytics and product development and has worked with over 100+ institutions.
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pledge_cubesPledges and pledge dollars are great metrics early in the year for the phonathon, but by the last quarter we all want gifts and dollars in the door. Below are some tips and strategies to ensure you improve your phonathon fulfillment potential before the end of your fiscal year. Continue Reading »

Friday Fundraising Update: Thanks, Dave 5-22-2015

The Friday Fundraising Update
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The Friday Fundraising Update

A weekly collection of fundraising industry insights and success stories, delivering them each Friday to your inbox. Have a suggestion for a future edition? Email Brian at Brian.Gawor@RuffaloNL.com
The Friday Fundraising Update
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Friday-Fundraising-UpdateThe Friday Fundraising Update collects fundraising industry insights and success stories and delivers them to you each Friday from Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

 

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Connecting With Alumni Across the Pond

Ed Lang

Ed Lang

Managing Director at Buffalo Consulting UK
Ed has worked for over 10 years to advance the regular giving of clients in the UK and help raise millions of pounds for great causes.
Ed Lang

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Buffalo_UKSince 2004, our company has been raising funds for the non-profit sector in the United Kingdom. One way we do this is by calling many University alumni in both the UK and around Europe.

We’ve started to hear that more US institutions are considering connecting or re-connecting with alumni living abroad, so I thought I could offer some things we’ve learned as we have done more of this outreach. Continue Reading »

Friday Fundraising Update: Creativity, Suit Up! 5/15/2015

The Friday Fundraising Update
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The Friday Fundraising Update

A weekly collection of fundraising industry insights and success stories, delivering them each Friday to your inbox. Have a suggestion for a future edition? Email Brian at Brian.Gawor@RuffaloNL.com
The Friday Fundraising Update
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Friday-Fundraising-UpdateThe Friday Fundraising Update collects fundraising industry insights and success stories and delivers them to you each Friday from Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

 

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Fundraising Voices: Recruiting Students and Funds in One Call Center

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Brian Gawor

Vice President for Research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Brian Gawor, CFRE, is a former annual fund and major gift professional who now focuses on research and benchmarking to drive fundraising strategy. He is also a doctoral student studying higher education giving.
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fundraising voicesTexas State University has devised an innovative approach to maximizing the effectiveness of their call center: they dial alumni and prospective students from one location.

Combining the enrollment and fundraising outreach takes a lot of organization and a commitment to training the callers, but the returns on both activities have made it well worth the investment. Program center manager Odies Moore talked with me about the strategy behind this innovative approach, how he trains callers, and what it takes to make it work.

Can you explain how you prepare for both fundraising and enrollment calling at the same time?

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