Fundraising Talks
News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research
T ell Me More...
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. 
Useful Links  
Contact Us 

 Sapna Varghese

Director of Advancement Research 


 Nell Walker

Prospect Researcher 301.445.1952  


Raechel Winder
Office Clerk

Letter from the Director
Dear Colleagues,
Happy summer! In May and June, our newsletter focused on graduation and young alumni. As we move away from graduation and into the mid-summer months, we'd like to bring your attention to the 2017 report from Giving USA Foundation that indicates that charitable giving to all major types of organizations increased in the year 2016.
According to the report, "American individuals, estates, foundations and corporations contributed an estimated $390.05 billion to U.S. charities in 2016." Although giving by individuals, corporations, and foundations slightly increased, there has been a sharp decrease in giving by bequests compared to previous years. Similarly, data on giving to different charitable organizations shows that education received relatively lower growth in giving compared to contributions received in 2014 and 2015. According to the report, "giving to education is estimated to have increased 3.6 percent (2.3 percent adjusted for inflation) to $59.77 billion." You can access the summary report from Giving USA, along with an infographic here.
Based on the Giving USA report, Bentz Whaley Flessner offers three helpful suggestions on using the report data for fundraising strategies. Fundraisers at nonprofit organizations should keep monitoring economic and market conditions, and consider changing trends due to political and economic factors while developing solicitation strategies. Corporate giving is a growing sector, and this may be the time to review corporate donors and utilize relationship management to maximize the strategic relationship with them. Finally, it is important to incorporate techniques like data segmentation and other modern practices in major gift programs to see payoffs in fundraising.
Best wishes for a happy summer of fun in the sun! 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
When donors stop giving and go silent on your organization, development professionals are left wondering why and how to get these donors back. This listicle from NonProfit Pro gives seven strategies to help reunite your organization with lapsed donors. They suggest preparing a newsletter just for lapsed donors, sending a personalized note or gift, and understanding when to let go of a lapsed donor, among other solutions. To read the complete list, click here.

The relationship between a strong major gift program and an effective relationship management system has long been viewed as closely correlated. While putting the guidelines established by a relationship management policy into practice is a challenge, supporting the policy with checks and balances can lend stability to your policy. In this blog post, Bentz Whaley Flessner outlines three key checks and balances: audit reports, conflict resolution, and metrics alignment.

Prospecting an ultra-high net worth individual (UHNWI) is a challenging endeavor. In this article, Wealth-X lists vital areas for research professionals to research, and discusses how they can be used for practical and positive outcomes. Wealth-X says biographical data is an essential starting point, as it covers the prospect's demographics and career history. Understanding a UHNWI's background helps form a cultural, social, and corporate reference, which can be used to form an immediate opinion on suitability. Read the full list here. 

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive
of Amazon and the second-richest person in the world, sent a tweet to his 222,000 followers asking for suggestions for philanthropic giving--specifically, ideas that could help the world here and now. His followers, especially those who work in philanthropy, were enthusiastic about the prospect of Bezos increasing his giving. Compared to other donors in the tech world, Bezos is a modest donor. He has given $15 million to Princeton University, his alma mater, and $35 million to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Bezos is also funding Blue Origin with $1 billion annually. His tweet garnered over 3,600 responses. Crowdsourcing philanthropic ideas has mixed success, however. "The vast majority of ideas which are not good, not viable, will flood this process," said Larry Brilliant, who formerly worked for Google's philanthropic division.  Read more here.
Philanthropists and foundations have been stepping in to tackle issues that the government can't or won't fund. For example, last year two philanthropists pledged $70 million to improve Kalamazoo, Michigan as it struggled with a budget deficit. Similarly, in 2016, a group of foundations put together funds to help Flint, Michigan recover from the contamination of its water supply. According to this opinion piece in the New York Times, today's biggest donors are aiming to make systemic changes in society. This proves to be both powerful and disruptive because philanthropists and foundations answer to neither shareholders nor voters. Read more here.