Fundraising Talks
News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research
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Looking for funding opportunities? We've identified a few funds that might be useful to you. Visit the links below to learn more about the requirements and deadlines for these opportunities. 
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 Sapna Varghese

Director of Advancement Research 


 Nell Walker

Prospect Researcher 301.445.1952  


Raechel Winder
Office Clerk

Letter from the Director
For professionals in higher education, May brings commencement and excitement, with students stepping out into the real world to take on great opportunities and become new alumni. As fundraising professionals, we must continue to develop relationships with our young alumni and cultivate them for future engagement with their alma mater. 
Unlike prior generations, young alumni are looking for more personalized and customized levels of engagement. Leaders in advancement need to recalibrate their engagement strategies to appeal to young alumni and secure their loyalties. Establishing an emotional connection between your institution and a young alum is key to developing young alumni into future major gifts prospects.  One way to engage young alumni in your university is by offering volunteer or mentoring opportunities, rather than soliciting them for a monetary gift. 
Data on young alumni should be added and updated in your donor and alumni databases. If you have instituted senior gifts campaigns, this would be the time to note the allocation of these gifts in order to identify the alum's interests for future campaigns. According to the Education Advisory Board, you can gather data on alumni during commencement by leaving update postcards on graduation chairs, hosting a cap and gown pickup, and sending a post-graduation next-steps email. A complete list of different strategies for alumni and student data collection  can be found here.
This past month, the USM Research Office's Prospect Researcher, Nell Walker attended APRA - DC's one-day annual conference. Stacy Palmer,  Editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, delivered the keynote address at the conference, which discussed the current environment of philanthropy and the impact of the new governmental administration on non-profits. Ms. Palmer referenced the "What Will Matter in 2017" report from  The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which focuses on new trends in nonprofits this year. 
We wish you the best on your fundraising activities.  As always, please feel free to reach out to us with questions, comments or any assistance with prospect research! 
Best Regards,
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team
In this day and age, there is a multitude of data and studies available for researchers. In theory, it's great to read everything available, but in practice, every study isn't applicable to your field of work. This is where Pamela Barden comes in. In her article in NonProfit PRO, Barden highlights ways to approach the never-ending supply of reports that can help you stimulate positive change and focus on your own organization's benchmarks for fundraising. 

According to a survey by Marts & Lundy, donors made 194 mega-gifts last year--a new high. The survey also suggests that fundraisers are having a difficult time engaging younger alumni and growing their donor base. Why is this happening? According to Inside Philanthropy, a big factor in this shift has to do with new wealth that has been created in recent decades. On the other side of the spectrum, young alumni have doubts as to whether or not giving to their alma mater is the best bang for their buck. With the rise of social media, the community is able to name and shame unnecessary gifts, which was the case with the University of New Hampshire scoreboard last year. Read more here.
Starting a nonprofit is arguably easier than growing one, according to Becky Straw, Co-Founder and CEO of The Adventure Project. Straw believes that nonprofit leaders can build bigger partnerships by embracing risk, leveraging technology and data, and building a movement. In the listicle from Forbes, she highlights four methods that can help grow a nonprofit.

Andy Shaindlin of GG+A believes that every university has an army of supporters who remain underutilized in promotional efforts: the institution's alumni. Alumni can improve a school's reputation by acting as academic talent scouts and serving as brand ambassadors and social media ambassadors. However, alumni with poor experiences as students can harm a university's reputation, just as those who support it can improve it. This blog post gives insight into alumni as allies and how to best utilize them to help boost your university's rankings.

Despite your opinions on millennials and their work ethic, the number of wealthy millennials in the US is increasing every year because of inheritances and early professional success in the technology sector. How do you successfully market to an affluent millennial consumer? This list offers four suggestions.