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. 
LOIs accepted year-round

LOIs accepted anytime, upcoming proposal review in June
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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,
Lately, there's been many discussions about the uses of social media in fundraising, as social media has quickly become integral in the lives of many people and businesses around the world. The increased use of social media for fundraising suggests that there's a need to implement effective social listening. According to, "social listening is the process of searching the public, social web for mentions and conversations of interest to you."  S ocial listening tells us what prospects and donors are saying about our institutions on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and other platforms.
The March/April 2017 issue of Currents Magazine has a great article on social listening called " Catch The Conversation." According to  Currents, "understanding what people are saying about your institution can affect your brand as well as its bottom line." By utilizing social listening, our fundraisers can engage and respond to the needs of donors and prospective donors. If development directors hear the concerns of donors or prospects through social listening, they can better serve and provide assistance to donors quickly, thereby increasing the odds of the donor giving back to the institution.   
This infographic by Blackbaud illustrates how to increase engagement with social listening. Today, there are many products that can assist with social listening such as Synthesio and Crimson Hexagon. Some universities may also have dedicated staff who monitor major social networks. We hope some of you are already actively "listening" on social media to help with fundraising, and that the information provided in this newsletter was helpful.
As always, please feel free to reach out to us with questions, comments, or any assistance with prospect research!

Best regards,

Sapna and the USM Advancement Research Team
In an age of political uncertainty, David Karpf believes the most effective nonprofits will be the ones who listen best. Nonprofits should use the internet to listen to what others are saying about their organizations, especially in times of fast, unexpected change. Through listening, organizations can keep an eye on trends within and outside of their networks and engage in effective conversations that can deepen their organization's identity. Read more here.

This article from NonProfit Pro highlights findings from DonorDrive's 2017 State of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising report. In recent years, there has been significant growth in the charitable sector thanks to social media. Since 2012, there has been an 81% increase in donor dollars that have come directly through a link on social media. 93% of direct donations come through Facebook vs. 5% from Twitter. Of the participants surveyed, 46% received donor dollars through social media. Read more here. 
The Trump administration has signed legislation reversing net neutrality regulations, but what does this mean for your nonprofit? Net neutrality prohibits favoritism when it comes to internet access, and according to Christopher Worman, organizations should try to understand the effects of net neutrality now, rather than having reactive conversations in the future. If net neutrality were to be taken away, non-profits could suffer. Read more here.

A donor lifecycle map can provide a framework to retain donors and move them along to the ultimate endowment gift. Instead of using a donor pyramid, try to envision an open circle consisting of first gift, second gift, second-year active, multiyear active, major gift, and ultimate gift. The goal, according to this post  from the NonProfit Times, is to move your donor forward without losing them along the way to the ultimate gift. Greater efforts must be made to increase second-gift donations within nonprofits.
The Prospect Research Institute has published a blog post that details four reports and indexes from wealth management firms, a foundation, and an institute that focuses on donors and philanthropy around the world. Along with a description of each report, the post identifies why each report differs, which the Prospect Research Institute says will help fundraisers see the forest through the trees.