Fundraising Talks
News and updates from the USM Office of
Advancement Research
Appreciating alumni for their volunteering and donations ultimately leads to increased engagement and retention. Eleven Fifty Seven suggests appreciating your alumni in the following ways:

  • Letters, cards, and emails
  • Gifts
  • Events
  • Public recognition
  • Naming Opportunities
  • Alumni appreciation week

Click here to read more about Eleven Fifty Seven's ideas for alumni appreciation.
The 2021 Bank of America Study of Philanthropy: Charitable Giving by Affluent Households revealed 90 percent of affluent Americans gave to charity in 2020. About half of those Americans gave to organizations that supported matters directly related to the pandemic. The study also showed that wealthy households provided greater support for local community needs and an increase in unrestricted gifts to nonprofits last year. 37 percent gave more than they have in the past to frontline organizations and 16 percent gave more than usual to religious organizations. Read more findings from the survey here.
A year after the start of COVID-19, we can now look critically at how the pandemic forced universities to evolve their approaches in engaging constituents and encouraging financial support. As we know, digital engagement was extremely important for advancement during the pandemic and it's here to stay. Institutions were able to engage alumni from all over the world through virtual events. An increase in online giving during the pandemic forced many institutions to streamline their online giving process and provide flexible donor options. Engagement analytics helped take effective engagement to the next level. Continuing to understand analytics can help advancement teams identify where to invest their time and resources so that they can focus on groups where there is greater opportunity to grow engagement. Click here to read the full article.
In 2020, $2.47 billion were donated to nonprofits on Giving Tuesday. Even though it's only June, it's never too early to start planning for this year's Giving Tuesday, which will take place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. By starting to plan now, you can create a research-based fundraising strategy that will have a better chance of success. You can start testing outreach plans to create an effective marketing strategy and get a head start on prospect research. Finally, strengthen donor relationships now so that you can spend less time soliciting new donors and more time planning your GivingTuesday event in the future. Click here to read how to implement these strategies.
During a recent speaking tour, Ann Snyder from CASE warned that the coming fiscal year and beyond may be impacted by millennial giving patterns. Two major patterns are that millennials engage with causes and not institutions and that millennials see all assets as equal (time, money, network.) Millennials support five nonprofits a year on average, which means that a millennial contribution to their alma mater will have been split an average of five ways before an advancement office receives a donation. Therefore, it is up to institutions to formulate missions and visions that are emotional and compelling to inspire millennials to donate more. Millennials believe that their time, skills, talent, and money all have equal value. In the past, institutions have recruited prospective donors as volunteers first in the hopes that the engagement would turn into a monetary gift. Institutions will have to reckon with the reality that millennials believe the act of volunteering is the gift. Click here to read more.
Facebook giving has taken off as a peer-to-peer fundraising platform in the past year. How can you take your institution's Facebook fundraising to the next level? NonProfitPRO suggests implementing the following strategies:

  • Drive engagement in groups, not on pages.
  • Take advantage of user-generated content.
  • Make it frictionless.
  • Challenge your mindset about acquiring new supporters.
  • Challenge your mindset about giving volunteers the keys to the car.
  • Quit worrying about “getting data."