Fundraising Talks
News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research
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February 15
February 17
1:00 PM

March 13-15
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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. 
May 1 

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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
Welcome to the February issue of Fundraising Talks. In our January newsletter, we highlighted some emerging trends in nonprofit philanthropy. In this month's newsletter, we'll discuss tried and true methods that can fulfill fundraising goals and gain maximum returns in 2017 and beyond. 
It's instrumental to have a well-documented fundraising plan to aid daily fundraising operations despite uncertain times.  The first step in creating a plan is to establish a specific, dollar-amount fundraising goal that aligns with your institution's mission. The next step is to use different fundraising tactics. This may include organized events, major gifts, direct mailing, phonathons, corporate giving programs, or online and annual giving programs.  Each of these tactics may be assigned a specific goal that can be added up to reach your total fundraising goal. 
A blog post by fundraising consultant Gail Perry provides a monthly plan for fundraising efforts in 2017. The blog post may give you ideas for planning your own professional goals for the year. In the month of January, fundraisers may send letters or notes to show gratitude to donors for their support. Other ideas for monthly planning include enhancing messaging skills in February, finding new major gift prospects in March, cultivating relationships in April, and getting ready for solicitations in May. The complete post can be found here and can be customized by adding your own events and activities.
Great fundraising plans will help fundraisers map out strategies to find and cultivate major donors. We hope you are able to establish achievable fundraising goals and use a fundraising plan this month. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with questions, comments or assistance with prospect research! 
Best Regards,
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team
When finding new gift prospects, you can use a research software product, buy a prospect list, or partner with a prospect research professional. This post by Jennifer Filla encourages all fundraisers to use prospect research professionals to get major gifts programs moving. Research professionals can verify data, track progress, deliver custom information, creatively source, and translate and adapt data in ways that software alone cannot.

Studies by Philanthropy Outlook predict fundraising stability for 2017 and 2018. However, Nonprofit Quarterly cautions one factor remains that is impossible to quantify --- the outcome of the US presidential election on policies that affect nonprofits and philanthropic contributions. Reports cite post-election spikes in giving to nonprofits that work in civil and human rights, the environment, and support of minority groups. Additionally, new policies and tax cuts may help boost philanthropic giving from corporations, foundations, and wealthy donors. However, there is much uncertainty on the new administration's effect on the economy as a whole, and many would argue that a regime change in DC means instability for the nonprofit sector.
News alerts about donors, such as marriage announcements and job promotions, are essential to the engagement of current and potential donors. Setting up these alerts is easier than you'd think. First identify key words to track ---           your organization's name and the names of current major prospects are a good start. Next, choose a tracking program. T his article from EverTrue walks you through this process.

There is evidence to suggest that when making a decision to give again, donors want to know how their past gifts have been used and what their next gift would help achieve. UCLA's annual giving team is showing donors their philanthropic impact in measurable terms through print and digital marketing and infographics. UCLA's team also presented this information on a gift impact page, with give buttons on the bottom of the page so visitors wouldn't have to navigate elsewhere to make a gift. The page generated double-digit conversion rates. Read more here.
The Public Interest Registry released their 2016 Global NGO Online Technology report, which showed how charities may communicate best with donors online. This summary by The Non Profit Times shows that millennials prefer social media, while Baby Boomers and Gen Xers prefer email. Other findings include that 54% of Baby Boomers and 72% of Millennials prefer to give online. Credit card processing is the most common way organizations accept online donations at 82% and Paypal follows at 52%.