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
Dear Colleagues,
Mid-year, or the end of the fiscal-year, is a good time to assess fundraising goals and evaluate prospect portfolios assigned to gift officers. Portfolios contain names of prospects in different stages of the fundraising cycle who are intended to make a contribution to institutional programs. For the success of your fundraising programs, it is vital to have dynamic lists of prospects or prospect pipelines.
Many institutions may already have a plan in place as part of their prospect management policy to review prospect portfolios on a regular basis. Researchers, fundraisers, and other team members involved in fundraising should discuss prospect lists to better manage and move through the fundraising cycles of identification, qualification, cultivation and solicitation. This ensures that a fundraiser has a good number of prospects that can be solicited to meet fundraising goals, and it can also clean out prospects that may no longer seem viable. 
Reviewing prospect portfolios will help in assessing a prospect's capacity, inclination, and interest to contribute to your institution. It will keep the size of the portfolio to a manageable number and allow development officers to update engagement strategies as they move prospects forward along each stage of fundraising cycle. New prospects can be added while prospects that have not been actively responding to your cultivation strategies can be removed. Thereby, gift officers can always focus on a healthy list of prospects in their portfolio, and have prospect managers clean portfolio data for better reporting on prospect management.
Major gifts to an institution are likely to be increased by following a prospect strategy or plan. Portfolio reviews ensure that you are regularly engaging your best prospects and moving them through the pipeline. 
We hope you have a wonderful summer. 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
We often refer to recent graduates as young alumni, but by doing so, we're doing ourselves a disservice. When we use the phrase "young alumni," it brings along connotations and expectations that are not necessarily definitive of recent graduates. In this blog post, Bentz Whaley Flessner outlines three steps that can improve engagement with recent graduates that may lead to an increase in philanthropic giving. 

Communication between research and development teams can be challenging, but with guidelines, future frustration can be avoided. In this article by Evertrue, Ryan Marshall explains how researchers and development officers can communicate more efficiently. Marshall categorizes research requests into three ladder rungs, that help him gauge the time and effort required for each request. The first rung is contact information, the second is background research, and the third is wealth and capacity research. Marshall must then give this research to development officers and highlights how best to communicate it based on the "rungs." 

Michael Dell is committing an additional $1 billion to the endowment of his Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in order to accelerate the impact of the foundation. The funding will support social entrepreneurship in India, college success for low-income students in the US and South Africa, and data-driven education across the regions. The Dell Foundation was founded twenty years ago and is concerned with the effects of poverty on families and children in the US, India, and South Africa. The Foundation has committed $1.32 billion to social enterprises and nonprofits since 1999. Read more here.

In the past twenty years, donors' expectations of nonprofits have shifted. In the past, donors were happy with the act of giving itself and accepted assurances that their funds were being put to good use. Today, donors are acting more like shareholders and demanding more transparency, greater accountability, and better results in regard to their social investments. This article by NonProfitPRO looks into how this trend originated, and what nonprofits can do to meet donor's expectations. 
A Fidelity Charitable study titled "Women and Giving: The Impact of Generation and Gender on Philanthropy" found that millennial women give very differently than their mothers and grandmothers gave and give today. Millennial women are more motivated by emotion, give more spontaneously, and talk about giving more openly than older women. Millennial women give less traditionally, giving directly to individuals in need, through crowdfunding platforms, and by purchasing items from environmentally sustainable and socially responsible businesses. One giving trend that has remained is that both millennial women and older women are interested giving to causes that prevent hunger, provide healthcare services, and prevent disease. Millennial women are more informed about charitable causes and more passionate about making positive change. This may have to do with social media culture, but whatever the cause, it's good news for nonprofits. Read more here.