Friday Fundraising Update – Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation – 11-6-15

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.

Come one, come all, because this is a post for the ages! This Friday, we dig into trends on giving across the generations – millennials, gen x’ers, and baby boomers.

Millennials

Be sure to check out all of the FANTASTIC resources at The Millennial Impact Project where you can learn what inspires millennials to volunteer, donate, and stay engaged, as well as identify geographical and gender-based trends on giving within this group.

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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: Jerry Panas and the Lost Manuscript

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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-logo-tnI’m excited to share that Ruffalo Noel Levitz is officially launching our Fundraising Voices podcast, and we’ll be rolling out some great episodes to you over the next few weeks.

If you’re a fundraiser you’ve probably heard of Jerry Panas. He’s written 17 books on major gift fundraising, connecting with donors and other topics, and traveled worldwide to speak to fundraisers and conduct institutes to help us do more with our message. His books include the best selling books Asking and Mega-Gifts, two topics he knows a lot about. These books are important parts of my library. panaslinzy

But one of the best books I’ve added to my library this year is both new and almost 50 years old and it got to my house by way of an interesting place —  from a box in Jerry’s basement. Do I have your attention yet? Continue Reading »

Phonathon and Football: RNL Rewind

RNL Rewind
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RNL Rewind

A periodic look back at some of our best posts here at the RNL blog.
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rnlrewindcroppedIn the Spirit of “Throwback Thursday” posts everywhere, RNL Rewind brings back one of our favorite blog posts.

This post by Chris Hughes originally appeared on the RNL blog in September 2014 and was co-authored by Josh Robertson and Mike Brucek.


 

Labor Day weekend marks the opening of the 2014 college football season. For many colleges and universities in the United States, football Saturdays are some of the most visible days of the entire year and can provide a common rallying opportunity for all alumni, regardless of whether he or she is a big sports fan.

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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 »

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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The Big Picture of ROI

Sarah Kleeberger

Sarah Kleeberger

President of the Fundraising Management Division at Ruffalo Noel Levitz
Sarah Kleeberger serves as President of the Ruffalo Noel Levitz Fundraising Management Division. Sarah provides strategic leadership for the RNL platform of integrated phonathon, crowdfunding and multichannel donor engagement products worldwide.
Sarah Kleeberger

money_tree_smallWe’ve just released a white paper focused on the connection between annual giving and major and planned gift success. In it, we draw on our own research as well as trusted sources like AFP and Blackbaud. While intuitive that the investment in engaging alumni, parents and friends through annual giving efforts pays off, it’s important to quantify the correlation with research and data.

Budgets are tight, and in the age of big individual donor checks, it’s easy to question your more expensive, large scale solicitations. Conversation around return on investment is important, and as the largest provider of campus phonathon management and phonathon software (typically broad-based program areas), a common question we hear is:

“Phonathons are expensive. Are they really worth it?”

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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

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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 »

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