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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What I learned from “The Why Axis”

Adrija Basu

Adrija Basu

Program Director at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Adrija is program director at Rutgers University, a Ruffalo Noel Levitz on campus phonathon program. She joined RNL in 2012 after experience as a caller, supervisor and researcher.
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In fundraising, we work with constantly changing people (co-workers, whyaxisstudents, donors) on a daily basis. We always hope that people will change, start to do something different, or do something more—especially when it comes to donors. What makes some of us more successful than others when pleasing people, and more importantly, getting them to act or change their behavior?

We have all pondered at one point why someone made a decision, or why someone cared more than you did. In The Why Axis (published in 2014), economists John List and Uri Gneezy discuss incentives that motivate people and why. The authors are part of a new movement that is having a big impact on our field of fundraising: behavioral economics.

The Why Axis summarizes various field experiments in education, fundraising, and competition through behavior economics. This is new territory—economics in the past has mostly been based on theory and these authors sought to prove something. They’ve been the recipients of major grants and done some the controversial work in motivating students and consumers.

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Friday Fundraising Update – Happy Halloween! – 10-30-15

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 Update HalloweenThe Friday Fundraising Update collects fundraising industry insights and success stories and delivers them to you each Friday from Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Prepare yourself for a spook-tacular Friday Fundraising Update in this bewitching Halloween themed post. We hope that you and your families have a safe and fang-tastic weekend!

No Tricks, Just Treats

Wild Woman Fundraising is full of treats this holiday. In this Halloween Goodies Giveaway post you will find resources aplenty on marketing, major gifts, and sponsorship. Franken-tastic!

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What I learned from 2 days in Congress – Report from the Canadian Annual Giving Congress 2015

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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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Last week I had the opportunity to speak in front of Congress and learn from some of the brightest minds in North America.  I’m referring to the Canadian Annual Giving Congress and in this post I’ll share some of the annual giving insights and ideas gleaned from the sessions in Toronto that will hopefully inspire you to achieve more this fall.

Are you social enough?

Are you engaging with your donors on social media and having a conversation? Perhaps the thought of that is a bit scary, as they might tell you something publicly you don’t want the masses to hear.  For a lot of institutions this fear prevents us from using social media to enhance the relationship with donors and create a group of engaged listeners.  During a session on Digital/Social Media in Annual Giving, the speakers shared some great examples like the Instagram one above that was used during a giving day to post personalized social media messages on Instagram accounts of their donors. Continue Reading »

New words for your fundraising dictionary

Dawn Stever
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Dawn Stever

Vice President and Consultant at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Dawn Stever joined Ruffalo Noel Levitz as a Vice President and Senior Consultant in Fundraising Management in August 2014. She brings 11 years of experience in higher education annual giving. Dawn works with nonprofit organizations in the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada to design and implement successful annual giving programs. Her experience includes in-depth strategic planning, new program development, frontline fundraising, collaboration with high-level volunteers, crowdfunding, giving days, and phonathon management.
Dawn Stever
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leadershipYou know your CGAs from your CRTs and you can tell a LYBUNT from a SYBUNT at ten paces. But the world of development is always evolving, and there are new terms you need to know. Here are some of the new ones I’ve heard lately.

Fundcrushing: Coined by Jeff Brooks, author of How to Turn Your Words Into Money, fundcrushing is “the evil cousin of fundraising.” It’s when you scare donors away by making a problem seem huge and insurmountable. I’m overwhelmed thinking about the thousands of people who need my help. But one? I can make a difference for one person. Continue Reading »

Friday Fundraising Update – Planned Giving – 10-23-15

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-Update

The Friday Fundraising Update collects fundraising industry insights and success stories and delivers them to you each Friday from Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

We had so much positive feedback from our planned giving post from earlier this week – thank you! This Friday, we will continue the conversation on planned giving with a litany of great resources.

Don’t forget about planned giving

Michael Rosen writes a compelling piece on his blog on the importance of planned giving as part of your organization’s fundraising efforts, particularly as the calendar year draws to a close. He reminds us that not all planned gifts = deferred gifts! Continue Reading »

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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Podcast: What fundraisers want in software, Janna Finch from Software Advice

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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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Latest posts by Brian Gawor (see all)

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What do fundraisers want in software? A company that talks to thousands of nonprofit software customers each year has some ideas. In this episode, I talk with Janna Finch, senior market research associate at Software Advice. They connect users to all kinds of software and publish research based on the information they collect in the process. We talk about why data is important to fundraisers, what integration is starting to mean, and how software can help follow a donor from the prospect stage all the way through gift accounting.

During the podcast, Janna brings up an interesting point about how most people conducting initial research about software for a growing nonprofit are not the fundraisers on the front lines. This leads to a discussion of how you test out software and bring new processes from development to implementation in your organization. We’ve all struggled at one time to adopt new technology in an organization, and she has some suggestions on how to make it easier.

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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 »

3 Stages For Great Caller Group Interviews

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

I don’t know about you, but we are in the thick of phonathon interviewing and hiring season here at University of Rochester.  We have so many great applicants, and it’s certainly difficult to make choices. I recently wrote a post about one-on-one phonathon interviews, and I thought that now would be a perfect time to expand on the subject and touch upon phonathon group interviews. Here are some tips for conducting group interviews across the pre-interview, interview, and post-interview stages:

Pre-Interview Stage

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Friday Update – New Fundraising Ideas – 10-9-15

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.

This Friday, we highlight creative, interesting, and remarkable new ideas in the fundraising world!

New Social Media Features

What do Facebook, Twitter and iPhones have in common? Their imminent upgrades can have positive implications on your fundraising efforts. Read about it at WeDidIt.

WeDidIt

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