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News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research
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November 2
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2:00 - 3:00 PM 

November 8
Increasing Donor Retention
1:00 - 2:15 PM

 December 6
1:00 - 2:15 PM 
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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. 
December 9, 2016

Rolling Basis 

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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,

now available! The information in this report is incredibly valuable for fundraisers in the nonprofit sector, as it allows us to learn from the behaviors of  high-net worth donors and prospective donors.  

Some findings within this study include:
  • Most high-net worth households donated to a charity in 2015, and many also volunteered their time. 
  • Wealthy donors are expected to increase their giving and volunteering in future years.
  • The biggest factor that impacted an individuals' decision to give was their personal values.
  • 63% of donors supported basic-needs organizations in 2015.  
  • Although 45% of wealthy households contributed to education, 31% specifically supported higher education.  
  • There is a strong correlation between volunteering with an organization and giving to that organization. Volunteers gave 56% more on average than those who did not volunteer. 
Based on this study, fundraising professionals should align the missions of their organizations to the personal values of high-net worth individuals. When donors feel connected to the mission of an organization, see how their gifts can make an impact, and feel personal satisfaction through giving, they are likely to contribute more. We hope our institutions will see positive outcomes from donations received from wealthy individuals. 

On another note, the advancement research team attended a one-day conference held by the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) - Maryland at Stevenson University. While at the conference, we learned about the importance of advocacy in the prospect development profession. We were also reminded about the significance of validating wealth screening results through a quick prequalifying process before results are handed over to fundraisers. It was exciting to see some of our colleagues from USM institutions and network with research professionals from other organizations.

Enjoy this beautiful fall season! As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, comments or need assistance with prospect research. 

Best Regards,

Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team

According to this blog post , higher education institutions need to shift away from unrestricted giving in favor of restricted support. The trend in smaller and newer nonprofits such as  charity:water and GoFundMe
is restricted giving. However, this trend has not yet reached higher education. The youngest groups of alumni prefer not to give to unrestricted support. This blog post insists that higher education institutions must shift away from unrestricted giving if they wish to grow.
Today's technology allows us to store large quantities of data in
our databases, but should we store it all? This article  from Bentz Whaley Flessner gives best-practice advice for storing data. The tactics consider compliance standards, relevance, and communications strategies, among other subjects. 
Charitable giving is on an upward trend and organizations can take advantage of this by knowing how to target prospective donors. This listicle  highlights eight motivations that lead people to donate for reasons other than tax incentives. This list echoes several of the findings from the  2016 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy.
Chronic Non-Responders (CNRs) are people who haven't donated after receiving multiple appeals. Typically, fundraisers eliminate CNRs from their mailing lists because they assume that the CNR is unlikely to give and because they want higher response rates and return on investment. This article argues that fundraisers shouldn't dismiss CNRs, as people and their financial situations change over time. Instead, fundraisers should create more robust data profiles on CNRs and determine their donation history and consumer behavior, which could lead to a CNR becoming a CDR, or a Chronic Digital Responder.
At a recent Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, a group of professionals presented a session titled "Trust Your Data, Not Your Instincts," on using data to enhance organizational performance on industry, program, and campaign levels. This report  highlights the session's best tips.