Podcast: Autumn Horton talks phonathon and being a call center manager

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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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Whenever I’m at a conference talking with a group of fundraisers, I realize very quickly that a whole bunch of us began our careers in call centers—either as phonathon callers, or managing a phone program for all or part of our first job in fundraising. It is a place where a lot of people start and catch the fundraising “bug.” I think the experience is powerful because making the ask on the phone is a good way to figure out if you want to continue on to a fundraising career.

Autumn Horton knows this. She started as a student caller, moved up as a supervisor, and eventually ran a program. Now she helps manage hundreds of them as vice president in the Fundraising Management division here at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Autumn recently wrote about what the experience of managing a phonathon taught her, and we shared quotes from some other great professionals as well.

In our interview, we talk about what’s great about phonathon and working with student callers, how things are changing, and advice for people looking to start a career in philanthropy.

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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 »

Podcast: Student Philanthropy at Appalachian State University

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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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DeveloFundraising-Voices-logo220ping a culture of philanthropy on campus is important. Appalachian State University knows this, and students are passionate about it. I learned this over the summer at the CASE Conference for Student Advancement, where I met Aaron Galliher and Summer Wisdom.

Aaron is a senior and the president of App S.T.A.T., Appalachian Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow.  The name says it all–the mission is to help students embrace a lifetime relationship with the institution, something that we know as fundraisers is absolutely crucial.

Take a listen to this interview with Aaron and Summer. You’ll hear two things. The first is that a student can be incredibly passionate about philanthropy, as well as organized, mission-focused and ready for action. You’ll also hear that the commitment from great advisors like Summer help this energy translate into real success on campus, and that engaging a team on campus really fuels success.appstate_aaron_summer

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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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Report from the 2015 CASE Conference for Student Advancement

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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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PrintI had the privilege of attending as faculty at the 2015 CASE Conference for Student Advancement last week in Washington, D.C. For more than 40 years, this summer conference has highlighted the best of what is happening on campus by students in our field.

There was so much incredible enthusiasm on display by all the student, advisor and professional attendees. I had great conversations about the future of philanthropy and advancement, and saw so many exciting things that are happening on campuses across the continent and abroad. Continue Reading »

Friday Update: Let’s Thank The Donors. 7-10-15

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.

The gifts are in for those of us with a June fiscal year, and it’s time to think about how to thank your donors and keep them connected. Some great resources and an example of crowdfunding stewardship in this week’s Update.

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Millennials and Multimedia: Fundraising in the Digital Age

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ScaleFunder

Charitable Crowdfunding Engine at ScaleFunder.com
ScaleFunder is a fundraising platform for educational institutions and charities. It allows you to harness the growing phenomenon of crowdfunding, which is the process of accepting micro-donations toward a larger fundraising goal, creating community engagement in the process.
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This post originally appeared on the ScaleFunder blog.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 8.52.24 AMThe Shift

We are on the dawn of a major shift in the fundraising industry. As the loyal donor base of the baby boomer generation continues to decline, the millennial generation is steadily coming to take their place. According to the Pew Research Center, there will be 81 million people who are a part of the millennial generation in the United States, compared to only 51 million baby boomers by 2036.1

But these 81 million grew up conditioned by Amazon’s one-click world of choice and the constant connectivity of Facebook. They follow the progress of their online purchases through FedEx and UPS until it’s at their door. Even Domino’s tells them when their pizza is being tossed and when it’s baking in the oven. If trust is lost (or your pizza), they take to Twitter Continue Reading »

Friday Update: Let’s Go Faster 6-26-2015

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.

For many of us, this coming week is the end of the fiscal year. As you near the finish line and wait for those last gifts to come in, why not unwind with a little fundraising insight or rev up your engine with a cool crowdfunding campaign?

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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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