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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March 31, July 15, October 31

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 Sapna Varghese

Director of Advancement Research 



Raechel Winder
Office Clerk

Letter from the Director

Dear Colleagues,
Welcome to the February 2018 issue of  Fundraising Talks ! This month, we would like to focus on corporate giving programs, which allow companies to create longstanding relationships with their local communities. Some of these corporate philanthropy programs include matching gifts, community grants, in-kind gifts, and challenge grants. Many nonprofits, including universities and colleges, benefit from using corporate philanthropy to raise money for various purposes. Philanthropy statistics indicate that corporate giving in 2016 increased to $18.55 billion - a 3.5% increase from 2015.  As institutions plan to create strategic partnerships with corporations to engage them for philanthropic purposes, a quick guide from CCS Fundraising provides some great advice on successfully securing "transformational philanthropic gifts from large corporations." The five tips from the article are as follows:
  1. Conduct research on the company of interest. Performing research tells fundraisers if a company's mission, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and philanthropic guidelines are in alignment with their institutions' mission and program needs. Prospect research may assist development officers with analyzing and verifying if a corporation meets their areas of interest.
  2. Demonstration of return on investment on a corporate gift is critical. Corporations want to create mutually beneficial partnerships with an organization and the returns can be in different forms, such as increased brand equity and greater community endorsement. 
  3. Identify connections from the company's board to see if there are any existing relationships with your institution's board.  Engagement of board members or volunteers at your institution may produce better outcomes in securing corporate gifts. The article states that "companies with whom the nonprofit has board linkages should be ranked among the organization's best prospects."
  4. When approaching corporations, institutions should clearly provide information on how the philanthropic gift they may receive would create positive impact. "When the impact is clear, the narrative is strong, the organization will be better positioned for success."
  5. Lastly, corporate gift officers should be patient and persistent in creating a long lasting relationship with their corporate contacts. Continuous cultivation and stewardship with corporate contacts is required to secure ongoing successful partnerships!
I hope you find these tips helpful for creating longstanding and successful partnerships with corporations. Many of these are well known and practiced by many fundraisers, but they serve as great reminders as we begin to identify and engage corporations for philanthropy. 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

Data analytics in higher education has emerged as a business tool and as a means to facilitate student success. With new advances in technology, universities can identify at-risk students before they fail, ultimately increasing retention rates. As new software emerges daily, data analytics can improve aspects of university business. According to this article by EdTech, data streamlines the fundraising process, informs admissions practices, helps leaders understand their students better, and keeps campuses safe. Perhaps most importantly, data analytics modernize universities holistically. With an investment in a data analytic tool, universities have the ability to make their campuses better places. Read more here.

Change is inevitable in the nonprofit world with advances in technology and new resources being made available constantly. In 2017, a number of trends emerged, but which of these trends should foundations carry with them into the new year? This list from npEngage suggests five major trends that will keep your foundation on-track and prepared for industry changes. One of these trends is diversity in foundations. Now, more than ever, foundations are investing in diversity to ensure that their organizations reflect the organizations they are serving. There has also been greater diversification in the types of people who become funders and the types of organizations that are created to fund. Read about all five trends here.

JPMorgan Chase will boost its philanthropic investments over the next five years by 40 percent to $1.75 billion. This is part of the bank's plan to invest $20 billion in support of employees, branch expansion, and local economic growth. Additional investments in their corporate philanthropy activities will support efforts to drive inclusive growth to underserved neighborhoods, among other initiatives. According to Peter Scher, head of global corporate responsibility, "Our philanthropy continues to be a strategic investment in driving inclusive economic growth. We have established a model to help more people share in the rewards of the economy, and with this investment we will be able to further scale meaningful, long-term growth in more communities." Read more here.
This list from The Chronicle of Philanthropy offers ten suggestions for fundraisers when meeting donors. Some of the tips may be second nature to fundraisers, and some may serve as welcome refreshers. According to The Chronicle, learning how to pronounce a prospective donor's full name before a meeting shows courtesy and respect, as does leaving early for the meeting in case of traffic or route delays. Remembering tone, avoiding platitudes, and repressing being a know-it-all may make or break your chances a prospective donor. Being present in the moment with a potential donor is key--eye contact and a smile go a long way.  Read all ten tips here.
Universities have embraced technology as a tool to reshape higher education experiences. In 2018, data will drive more decision making on campus--for example, using data to monitor campus spaces and their use before planning future construction projects. Universities will continue to grow security best practices, especially minimizing the threat of cyberattacks. Mobile technology will continue to expand learning opportunities. Professors may begin to embrace cell phones in the classroom and leverage mobile devices to improve learning experiences. Lastly, colleges may leverage IT at the recruitment stage. Students may be more likely to choose a university that invests in technology and uses information technology in innovative ways across campus. Read more here.