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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,
Hope you are enjoying the warmer days as we await the spring season! Since March is Women's History Month, we thought we'd speak to the role of women in philanthropy. A woman's role in family decision-making has changed over the years, resulting in changes in their charitable giving. Fundraisers should tap into women's philanthropy by understanding what influences women who are major donors.
A report called "Women Give 2016" by the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy provides insight on Generation Xers (born 1965-1980) and Millennials--who make up the largest generation in America today--(1981 and after). The research investigated "whether generational shifts in charitable giving intersect with women's changing decision-making roles within families." Some of the key findings from the report are as follows: 
  • Giving by GenX/Millennial, single women today is comparable to giving from preBoomer, single women from four decades ago.
  • Among GenX/Millennial married couples who give large amounts, women have more influence on giving decisions than their pre-Boomer (born 1928-1945) counterparts did four decades ago. 
  • For GenX/Millennial married couples whose giving decisions were influenced by women, the amount of giving is higher than that of their pre-Boomer counterparts. 
A copy of the full report can be accessed here. A better understanding of women donors and their philanthropic behavior, especially from the largest generation in America, is crucial to building better strategies to engage them. 

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

This article from Inside Higher Ed breaks down findings from  CAE's Voluntary Support of Education survey. In 2016, growth in charitable giving to colleges and universities slowed, while increased giving from corporations, foundations and other organizations counterbalanced the slowdown of personal gifts. Furthermore, in 2016, the top 20 fundraising colleges and universities took in 27.1% of the $41 billion raised by all institutions. Read more findings here.

Fidelity Charitable surveyed almost 700 married or cohabiting donors. The study revealed that more than 80% of donors make giving decisions as a couple, while only 11% disagree on giving decisions. However, the study also revealed that 73% of women said giving is a  shared decision compared to 49% of men. This post on Fidelity Charitable's findings, offers additional insight to the Women Give 2016 report highlighted in the letter above. 
Do you remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? The viral video campaign earned $220 million in eight weeks. Although most ice bucket donors didn't renew their donation the following year, donations remained 25% higher than the year before the challenge and the average age of donors to the ALS Association dropped from 50 to 35. Efforts by others to duplicate the campaign have been unsuccessful, leading to research at the University of Cambridge to attempt to create a recipe for success. In this blog post, NPQ identifies the four principles of a successful viral campaign. 

The debate about the value of predictive modeling vs. the value of traditional wealth screening is an ongoing one. According to npENGAGE, the most successful and fully developed prospecting and segmentation programs utilize a healthy mix of both techniques. Of course, there are blind spots in every type of strategy, but in today's age of big data, we must understand that advanced analytics need to be used to generate a strong prospect identification program. With this in mind, frontline fundraisers, researchers, data analysts and executives must think creatively and strategically about the strategies they use and employ both predictive modeling and wealth screening. Read more here.
Alumni want to know about giving opportunities customized to their interests from their universities. Unfortunately, data collection doesn't always provide intel to link donor affinity to giving opportunities on campus. This article from EAB offers four low-cost, high-impact strategies that will help universities collect this information.