Podcast: Digital donor engagement, Justin Ware from ScaleFunder

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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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If you have read anything in the past few years about online donor solicitation, giving days and crowdfunding, you’ve no doubt come across Justin Ware. He’s helped propel the success of top organizations with their digital engagement, and he’s a voracious blogger and presenter. Justin has just joined the ScaleFunder team as vice president for digital fundraising strategy, and I got him on the phone to pick his brain about engaging 21st century donors.

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Planned giving conversations: invite financial advisors

Melanie Bunch

Melanie Bunch

Vice President and Senior Consultant at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Melanie Bunch joined Ruffalo Noel Levitz in 2014 as a Vice President and Consultant in the Fundraising Management Division. She is responsible for working with clients to help increase and maximize dollars raised by developing creative cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for their constituents.
Melanie Bunch

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money_tree_smallBy 2065, it is expected that $59 trillion (that’s trillion with a T) in wealth will be transferred from the Baby Boomer generation to Generations X and Y[1].

Being a fundraiser, the first word that comes to my mind is “opportunity.” Specifically, the opportunity to capture some of these dollars for charity.

The second word that comes to mind is “How?” How are we going to ask, and how can we get help?

We all know the value of bringing family members to the table when large, planned gifts are being discussed with a donor. It helps build trust with your organization and, particularly for large commitments, the family must have a clear understanding of the donor’s plans. It’s also a great way to engage the family so that additional gifts (or even larger gifts) can be realized in the future. Continue Reading »

Six Ways To Recruit the Best Phonathon Callers

Scott Schwarzkopf

Scott Schwarzkopf

Associate Vice President at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
An experienced giving professional who has also worked in healthcare and insurance, Scott Schwarzkopf joined the Ruffalo Noel Levitz team in July 2014 as Associate Vice President in the Fundraising Management Division, where he assists clients worldwide with phonathon software and with other industry-leading servicesto meet their program improvement goals.
Scott Schwarzkopf

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As I’ve visited campuses over recent weeks and talked with CAMPUSCALL users, the topic which continues to top the list is caller recruitment.  The economy is improving, and whether you are ramping up your program, trying to compete with local businesses, or just trying to replace great senior callers who have graduated, you want the best possible students to apply for positions in your calling program. Here is a list of top strategies we picked up in our conversations with managers this fall:

Get the word out

This is where your posters, fliers, campus newspaper, table tents in the dining hall, website and even sidewalk chalk advertising comes into play. Make friends with everyone from the campus radio station DJs to the presidents of big clubs and organizations. Keep in mind the prizes you give in your call center, and put your logo on them, they will get worn and used out on campus to help spread the word. The buzz you create about the job is a long term investment to keep applications coming every year.

 

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Get personal

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How to Candy Crush Your 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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PrintIf you’re reading this, odds are you’ve either experienced the joyful addiction of Candy Crush, or have someone close to you who can’t be pulled away from the game. Or maybe you’ve played your own fair share of that little Flappy Bird, or entered the Clash of Clans in the past few years. Mobile games are big business. Candy Crush alone brought in close to $900,000 per day at its peak. These relatively simple games have pushed aside many expensive and more complex games that usually dominate the industry.

Why do mobile games keep people hooked? As this super geeky and great video at Game Theory explains, it’s all about the “hedonic treadmill” – central to the dopamine response cycle of all enthralling and addicting activities. Mobile games that have hit it big play on some of these central human behavior mechanisms. Then, they amplify their engagement by being portable, friction-free to start and socially-enabled.  While annual giving is probably not going to change to daily giving, we can learn a few things about how to engage 21st century donors from the success of these games.

Go Mobile

Apps and games excel because they are easy to access and made for mobile devices. Your fund pages, Continue Reading »

6 Stages for Motivating Student Phonathon Callers

Elaine Ezrapour

Elaine Ezrapour

Program Center Manager at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Elaine Ezrapour was a caller, supervisor and apprentice manager at Binghamton University and then became program center manager at the University of Rochester in 2013.
Elaine Ezrapour

motivationcroppedsmallAs a phonathon manager, student motivation is one of the most important aspects for me to consider in gearing up for a successful year of calling. When my student employees are satisfied in the workplace, their calls are more enthusiastic and personable. Motivated callers also mean less turnover, higher productivity, better calling expertise, and greater buy-in to the value of annual giving. Combined, these elements translate into better performance for the entire phone program.

Simply put, happy callers = results.

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Annual Giving is Expensive. So Is Not Having It.

Brandon Barngrover

Brandon Barngrover

Vice President & Senior Consultant at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Brandon Barngrover joined the Ruffalo Noel Levitz Fundraising Management division as a Vice President & Senior Consultant in January 2014. In this role, Brandon primarily serves RNL clients in CASE districts VI, VII and VIII.
Brandon Barngrover

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coins_jarSending out a lot of mail and email, making a lot of phone calls, and connecting with donors via social media and crowdfunding is expensive.

As “the great wealth transfer” continues and major gift totals at many institutions are increasing, it’s tempting to suggest that these time, labor and resource-intensive methods aren’t worth it.

I get really frustrated when I hear things like that.  Continue Reading »

Friday Fundraising Update: Giving USA Roundup 6-19-2015

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.

This week markedgivingusa the release of the Giving USA report, a record of American charitable giving which has informed us for the past 60 years. Giving was up in 2014 and reached $358 billion, the highest amount on record. This is great news. Experts chimed in on the results and the specific trends which should inform our work as fundraisers in the coming years. Here are a few:

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Giving USA Report: American giving up in 2014

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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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givingusaThe Giving USA annual report, just released today, brings great news. American giving surged to $358 billion in 2014, the largest amount ever recorded.

This includes an estimated increase in giving by individuals of 5.7%. According to Giving USA:

“The single largest contributor to the increase in total charitable giving in 2014 was an increase of $13.9 billion in giving by individuals–58% of the total change between 2013 and 2014.”

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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 »

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

Latest posts by Ed Lang (see all)

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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