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News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research
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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, August 1,  and November 1
May 2

July 2
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 Sapna Varghese

Director of Advancement Research 



Sandra Nicholes

Prospect Researcher 301.445.1952

Letter from the Director

Dear Colleagues,
As you have seen on the news lately, data privacy is a hot issue. This week, Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress about a breach that allowed Cambridge Analytica to harvest data from millions of Facebook users to target advertising for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. With data privacy on everyone's mind, what should fundraisers know about it?
A recent issue of Currents magazine by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has an informative article titled The Key to Understanding GDPR . GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulations and it is a set of new European privacy rules that will be effective May 25, 2018. These rules are likely to impact worldwide fundraising and institutions around the globe that have European alumni, donors, supporters, or prospects.
GDPR is an update of data protection principles that were contained in the UK's Data Protection Act of 1988. One of the advantages for nonprofits is the opportunity to use the introduction of GDPR as a chance to strengthen and maintain trusted relationships with their donors and prospects.
An article in The NonProfit Times highlights some rules from the GDPR that may be useful to fundraisers and the way they use information regarding donors or prospective donors:
  • Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency: Processing must be lawful, fair, and transparent.
  • Purpose limitation: Personal data must be collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes and not further processed in an incompatible way.
  • Data minimization: Personal data must be adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary to achieve the purposes for which it was collected.
  • Accuracy: Personal data must be accurate and kept up-to-date and collectors must take reasonable steps to rectify or erase inaccurate data.
  • Storage Limitation: Personal data must not be kept in an identifiable form for longer than necessary.
  • Integrity and Confidentiality: Personal data must be processed in a way that ensures security of the data and protects it from unauthorized use.
  • Accountability: Controllers must demonstrate compliance with the principles.
How else does GDPR affect fundraising research professionals? According to CASE's Currents, "The principles of GDPR-including the idea that the data we gather should be accurate, relevant, and minimal-force us to think about the information we really need, which should improve our efficiency and effectiveness." 
The Institute of Fundraising (IoF), a UK based professional membership body for fundraising, has published a guide called "Connecting People to Causes: A Practical Guide to Fundraising Research" in partnership with two other organizations, Bates Wells Braithwaite and More Partnership Ltd. You can find the report here.
Additionally, you can find various questions and answers regarding GDPR on Blackbaud's website  that are helpful for organizations outside of the European Union (EU).
As fundraising professionals, we want to ensure that all of our work is performed according to the law and a high standard of excellence. Therefore, it is important for all to understand the concepts of GDPR and how it impacts organizations outside of the EU.  
A s 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

According to the Annual Giving Network (AGN), both annual giving teams and alumni relations teams should have the same common, long-term goal. Both groups should aim to increase alumni engagement. Alumni engagement is difficult to track, as there isn't a universally accepted way to measure engagement. Instead of tracking every action that could be considered a form of  engagement, AGN suggests focusing only on a few important ways of engagement. In this article, AGN offers a simple way to measure engagement over time.
Sweet Beginnings, a company that benefits from impact investments in Chicago.

In this article Inside Philanthropy explores the connection between donor-advised funds (DAFs) and impact investing. Donors put  their assets into DAFs, receive an upfront charitable tax deduction, and over time recommend how these funds should be dispersed to nonprofits. Today, there is approximately $85 million sitting in DAFs that are waiting to be dispersed to nonprofits. With the current trend of donors wanting to align their philanthropic resources to their values, nonprofits have the potential to reap the benefits of DAFs. However, many concerns and questions still remain. Click here to learn about DAFs and impact investment. 

Promoting matching gifts may help cultivate donors into major donors. According to npEngage, a matching gifts program can establish trust between your organization and donors. As donors like to know exactly where their money is being used, a matching gifts program tells your donors that your organization is looking into every possible outlet to raise money for your cause. Furthermore, sending information about matching gifts to donors is a less time-intensive engagement than inviting donors to an event or asking them to volunteer. By doing so, you can develop relationships with donors at their own pace. npEngage offers five ways matching gifts can turn donors into major gift donors here
Jenny Lawson of npEngage and Rachel Hutchisson, Vice President of Corporate Philanthropy and Citizenship at Blackbaud, recently spoke about how the field of corporate engagement is changing. In this blog post, npEngage highlights three trends that are shaping corporate engagement work. They believe that the nonprofit sector cannot compete with technology talent and innovation in the corporate world, but that nonprofits must not be left behind in these fields. They also believe that philanthropy stands to be the most transformational advancement in solving social problems, and that businesses are embracing their role as social change partners and leaders. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming a buzzword in all sectors, even the nonprofit world. Historically, nonprofits are leaders in addressing social issues, but are not early adopters of technologies. However, due to the datasets that nonprofits collect, nonprofits are well suited to make an even greater impact when utilizing AI. According to Sales Force, using AI in fundraising can lead to greater efficiency for individual fundraisers, more attention to rated but unassigned prospects, and better use of institutional data instead of a focus on aggregating more data. Read more here.