Fundraising Talks
News and updates from the USM Office of
Advancement Research
This article from APRA discusses how Texas Christian University (TCU) found new ways to find valuable prospects for their gift officers during the pandemic. TCU has four researchers and a director to support a development team of 35. A major gift at the university starts at $100,000. While the pandemic has negatively impacted many financially, that is not the case for everyone across the board. A researcher's job is to identify those who are doing well financially and to trust in their data and utilize it. This article outlines specific actions TCU's team took during the pandemic to ensure that they were identifying good prospects even during uncharted times.
Your fundraising office can do hours of research on a donor and never understand them fully. In other words, there's no replacement in speaking with a donor directly and making a connection. According to this article from Forbes, fundraisers often learn major gift solicitation from other fundraisers rather than going to the source - people who are actual major gift donors. In her book, Philanthropy Revolution, Philanthropist Lisa Greer shares three takeaways fundraisers can learn from major donors. First, update archaic strategies. Next, be an authentic listener, and lastly, research your donors' stories. Click here to read how to apply these lessons to your own work.
In December, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore received $25 million and $20 million, respectively, from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The USM schools weren't the only recipients of her major gifts - overall she donated nearly $4.16 billion to 384 organizations. What can we learn from Scott's donation approach? This article from GG+A discusses five lessons we can take away from Scott's generous recent gifts.
The Helen Brown Group compiled a chart in order to see what the Forbes magazine's top 25 donors of 2020's greatest giving priorities were in the past year. Education (including student emergency funds and university-based virus and vaccine research) was the number one priority, followed by health and medical research more generally. The environment, poverty, and arts were also high on the list. Click here to see the full chart.
The San Fransisco-based donor advised fund, Schwab Charitable released their 2020 giving report which revealed some donor trends. For example, the top charities supported by Schwab Charitable donors in 2020 were Feeding America, Doctors without Borders, Salvation Army, Planned Parenthood, and Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ). More than half of respondents in a recent survey of Schwab Charitable donors said they are planning to increase the amount of money they grant to charity during the next 12 months. Another 44 percent said they will support a new charity in the coming year especially those that deliver vital human services such as food, housing, and disaster recovery. Read more findings here.