Rank #1: RNL Fundraising Voices - A Major and Planned Giving Game Changer
You just can’t book big gifts if your fundraising team isn’t productive. This is a top concern for fundraisers who are being asked to book bigger and bigger giving totals each year. Ruffalo Noel Levitz talked to hundreds of major and planned giving fundraisers in 2016 and heard some common roadblocks that are hold teams back: finding the right donors to talk to, supporting gift officers with good information and training, and preparing donors and fundraisers for great visits. Add in gift officer turnover, and many organizations are struggling to reach their fundraising potential. So we embarked on the creation of a solution that’s great for both donors and fundraisers. This podcast features 7 RNL leaders providing a look “under the hood” to show how the solution came together. They discuss what increasing productivity can mean for your aspirational fundraising goals. Included are: How predictive analysis of your donor base can take you beyond wealth rating How warming up donors before a conversation makes a difference. Getting help with a first conversation to qualify donors and schedule a gift officer meeting. Why productivity matters for your overall goals. Find our more about RNL major and planned giving solutions, including case studies and testimonials at: advance.ruffalonl.com And read more about our take on major and planned giving productivity at blogfm.ruffalonl.com.
Rank #2: Nonprofit Research Collaborative and Giving USA - Melissa Brown and Aggie Sweeney talk the Winter 2018 Nonprofit Fundraisign Study
Every year, the Nonprofit Research Collaborative puts out two big surveys to track trends in giving. Organized around 15 different fundraising methods, it’s one of the most comprehensive surveys around. The Winter 2018 Nonprofit Fundraising study report is just out, and shows that most charities are doing better through the end of the calendar year. I got on the line with Melissa Brown from the Non Profit Research Collaborative and Aggie Sweeney from Giving USA to go over the results and talk about what they think is next for nonprofit fundraising. Download the latest report here The Nonprofit Research Collaborative and Giving USA are great resources to track trends in fundraising. Melissa and Aggie had great insights about how wealth demographics and donor engagement are changing our work. Head on over to npresearch.org to download the most recent research. And stay tuned in June for the always important Giving USA annual report. Tracking trends is a key part of fundraising strategy. And we’re doing this every day at RNL. If you’d like to apply the latest trends to your fundraising strategy, drop us a line. We’re ready to help. Find out more: npresearch.org GivingUSA.org
Rank #3: RNL Fundraising Voices: Colin Hennessy and Lori Hurvitz talk Student Philanthropy
Student philanthropy is a hot topic these days, with just about all higher education institutions organizing some student giving program. Two experts on this topic are Collin Hennessy at Penn and Lori Hurvitz at University of Chicago. In advance of the upcoming CASE conference for student advancement, and the Engaging Students in Philanthropy Symposium, which they are helping put together, I got these two experts on the phone to talk about their take on student philanthropy, current research, and their suggestions for the best ways to engage students around giving while they are still on campus. CASE Conference for Student Advancement and Engaging Students in Philanthropy Symposium: http://www.case.org/CSA16/ESPS16_Home.html Episode Description: Colin D. Hennessy and Lori Hurvitz join the podcast to talk about the Conference for Student Advancement and the Engaging Students in Philanthropy Symposium that they're organizing together. Colin is the executive director for the Penn Fund at University of Pennsylvania and Lori is the senior director of Annual Giving at the University of Chicago. They both discuss the future of philanthropy, what institutions are doing right, and how behind-the-trend institutions can get up-to-speed with their student philanthropy. Key Takeaways: [1:25] How did Colin and Lori get involved with student philanthropy? [3:45] How are the best institutions engaging their students right now? They're starting philanthropy early. [6:15] Students are naturally very philanthropic. Millennials are engaged in causes. [6:35] What suggestions do Colin and Lori have for institutions who are just starting down this path? [7:50] Look at your own culture and see what's important to your students. [8:15] Colin and Lori talk about the Engaging Students in Philanthropy Symposium they're organizing. [10:45] Colin recently finished his dissertation and talks about his study on the influence of learning and annual giving. [11:45] There's a lack of understanding as to why philanthropy is important on college campuses. [12:05] Lori discusses her research and her dissertation on building a culture of student philanthropy. [13:25] What is the University of Chicago currently doing to engage students in philanthropy? [15:00] What is Colin's university doing right with philanthropy? [17:50] The conference will be held at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta on Aug 4th through Aug 6th. Quotes: "Student philanthropy is a great way to engage students and it gets students to connect with alumni and role models." "Student philanthropy gives us an opportunity to educate students early." "Students are, by their nature right now, very philanthropic. Students have causes these days."
Rank #4: Advancement Leaders Speak: New Study with guest Jim Rogers
What’s keeping advancement leaders up at night? Find out what 40 higher education advancement leaders told us. Ruffalo Noel Levitz recently commissioned a major research project to better understand advancement leaders’ priorities, challenges and strategies for the future. Through in-depth interviews with leaders across the country, we uncovered what chief advancement officers are really thinking about the future. The results of 40 hour-long interviews with Chief Advancement Officers are discussed in this podcast. Jim Rogers, RNL CMO, talks about the budgeting priorities of today's higher education leaders, what leaders are judged on, and where they are shifting resources. We also talk about what this means for your fundraising strategy and what's next for the higher education fundraising industry. You can download the full study here.
Rank #5: RNL Fundraising Voices - Matt Herzberger - Digital Natives
Engaging our supporters in the digital world is really important for today’s fundraisers. We’re all reaching out via social media, email, on our web pages and giving pages to attract donor interest and passion. This supplements our more traditional appeals, and everything can get a boost in donor attention if it’s done right. But pretty soon, our donor rolls really will be dominated by a new group of supporters--younger people who have had mobile phones, tablets, and apps their entire lives. These have been dubbed the "digital natives," a group of young donors we’re all looking to engage. Matt Herzberger, Executive Consultant for Web Strategy and Interactive Marketing Services here at Ruffalo Noel Levitz, helps a lot of institutions do this. Matt talked about digital natives in a recent presentation, so I got him on the line to get a perspective on what courting this rising group of well-connected supporters means for fundraising strategy.
Rank #6: Fundraising Voices: Rob Henry at CASE
Rob Henry is one of the most passionate people I know about higher education. He cares a lot about making college available to more people and to more diverse people. He also knows that bringing new professionals into Advancement will help make that possible. As Vice President of Education for CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, he has a unique platform to help promote those goals. I’ve talked with Rob a lot about these topics when we see each other at CASE conferences every year, and I wanted to get him on the line to talk about the strategic goals of CASE, his feelings about diversity in our profession, and how we can welcome more young people as both advancement professionals and donors. Rob offers some great insights into how we can create a pipeline of energetic new professionals in the field of advancement. The work that CASE is doing will be important – we need to really broaden our view of how we bring people into our profession in order to meet our diversity goals. Developing great ways to mentor and encourage young people who want to get involved in philanthropy, because as Rob reminds us, Millennials and young people will be dominant in our donor base in years to come. RNL invests significantly in CASE because we know that sharing our experiences and successes is a key part of fundraising and donor engagement success. You can find us on the road at CASE events, conferences and even on CASE webinars. If you haven’t heard, the organization has opened up new resources and expanded their view of membership benefits this year. It’s a great time to head on over to CASE.org to check out what’s available. If you work at a higher education institution, you most likely already have membership through your Advancement division.
Rank #7: Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels, Veritus Group - Major Giving
Working with major donors to ignite their passion to give is the #1 to transform your organization. Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels know this, and talk in this episode about what's changing with major giving, and how to provide gift officers the tools to connect with the best major and planned giving donors. Check out Veritus Group at veritusgroup.com
Rank #8: New Survey: Annual Giving multi-channel best practices
We’ve just released our seventh chapter in the RNL Advancement Leaders Speak series, where we ask you, the fundraisers about your challenges, successes and best practices. This release is focuses on annual giving multichannel strategy – or how we contact annual giving donors through all the various fundraising channels. The report revealed some interesting things about how annual giving is judged and evaluated by institutions, how fundraisers are timing appeals, and what we feel are the best ways to capture, retain and upgrade donors. You can download the full survey at ruffalonl.com. I got on the like with Shad Hanselman, RNL’s annual giving guru, to talk about the survey and what it means for fundraising strategy. Download the full study at RuffaloNL.com Looking at the results of this survey of 300 fundraisers, it does look like there are some opportunities to optimize our multi-channel outreach to donors. As Shad mentioned, making your appeals work together like a symphony will really help engage donors. This takes technology, and careful analysis of your results, two things that fundraisers wanted to be utilizing more.
Rank #9: RNL Fundraising Voices - Katherine Lisciani talks Millennial engagement
Katherine Lisciani is a millennial, and over at Millennovation.com she has been named a top millennial marketer by LinkedIn. She’s helped organize powerful campaigns to engage and energize young supporters for important causes. In advance of Katherine’s appearance as a speaker at our upcoming Digital Philanthropy and Millennial Engagement Conference, Oct. 13-14 in Atlanta, I got her on the line to talk about best practices for marketing to a generation that has increasing dominance over our fundraising results. For many causes, and particularly higher education institutions, young people are the largest part of our constituent base, but we’re engaging them with the same old tactics that we’ve used on their parents and grandparents. Listen to the podcast to hear a taste of what Katherine will talk about in October, and get some ideas on how you can better engage millennial supporters.
Rank #10: Annual Giving Best Practices Survey - Shad Hanselman
Results of a special report on annual giving fundraising, including a special focus on parents and leadership giving.
Rank #11: Fundraising Voices: New Digital and Millennial Donor Engagement Survey
Digital Engagement – it’s important for any fundraiser, especially those of us who want to engage younger donors. Whether it’s targeted digital advertising, social media, or great new methods like crowdfunding and online giving days, we have a great menu of options. But we hear from fundraisers that they haven’t always been able to really optimize their digital outreach. So we wanted to know more... We are about to release part four of our series Advancement Leaders Speak, and this edition is the results of a survey and conversations with advancement professionals about how they are doing digital outreach, and how they feel they connecting to young alumni and young donors. I got on the line with Caryn Stein, one of our top digital experts, to go through the results. You can download the full report here. It’s great to hear that ¾ of fundraisers feel that digital communications are effective. But with only one fifth of fundraisers using these communications as part of a defined young alumni campaign, it’s not surprising that we’ve seen giving participation really lag with Millennials. As Caryn suggests, the solution is to get more personal, and harness the power of digital. The right message to the right donor at the right time, that’s what we’re shooting for. And if we can get our multichannel game in gear, we can really transform fundraising. We’d love to tell you about how we’re having success with RNL partners doing just that. If you’re ready to transform your digital donor outreach, give us a call. We’re ready to talk.
Rank #12: RNL Fundraising Voices: Autumn Horton
RNL Vice President Autumn Horton talks about starting her career in phonathon, what she learned as a caller and manager, and what's coming next for this time-tested donor outreach tool. A lot of fundraisers started in phonathon programs, and we talk about what we all gained from the experience.
Rank #13: RNL Fundraising Voices: Janna Finch from Software Advice
Janna Finch, researcher at SoftwareAdvice.com talks about the results of a recent study based on conversations with non-profit software buyers about what fundraisers want in software, why data is important and what integration means for today's charity leaders.
Rank #14: RNL Fundraising Voices - The Value of New Donors - Sean Shaikun
Acquiring new donors is important for any fundraising program. Encouraging new people to give every year is crucial. As fundraisers, new donor acquisition is usually not something we’re real excited about- in the first year it's expensive, but we do it anyway. We wondered if these fundraiser assumptions are really true when you consider contributions over the long term. Do you really, when you consider long term donor value, lose money on new donors? Sean Shaikun, Director of Market Research, recently embarked on a project to answer the question "Is donor acquisition really worth it?." He looked into millions of donor records from 16 institutions who used our RNL360 analysis program to see what new donors 20 years ago actually did over two decades. Sean joins us in this podcast to unpack the results. You can download the study results and read more on the RNL blog. New donors add up to a lot in the long term. The RNL fundraising team has a passion for helping organizations capture donor passion and translate it into long term impact. Get in touch with us today to receive a customized calculator based on this study for what new donor acquisition can mean for you in the long term. We're ready to help make a plan for your great new donor engagement and retention program.
Rank #15: New Survey: Major and Planned Giving Productivity
We’ve just released part two of our major research series Advancement Leaders Speak here at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. This time, we surveyed and spoke with 270 major and planned giving officers to find out how they do their jobs and how they feel about productivity. You can download the study at RuffaloNL.com—we included questions about average prospect pool sizes, number of visits with donors, key frustrations and challenges for gift officers, as well as what they think would make their jobs easier. I got on the line with Caryn Stein, Vice President here at RNL, to go through the results and talk a bit about what we are hearing from gift officers about their important work with donors. Download the Report here Productivity—it’s not always the first topic that major and planned giving programs jump on. For a profession primarily focused on personal relationships with donors, we’re not really drawn to metrics and deep data on our solicitation effectiveness. But given the increase pressure all charitable organizations are facing, and definitely for higher education, putting the right tools in place so your major and planned giving team can have success is crucial. And as Caryn and I mention, focusing on the right contact to the right donors at the right time is a key donor-centric practice that will keep your top supporters happy and increase their joy in giving. You can download the full study at RuffaloNL.com. We’d also love to hear from you about your major and planned giving program. Drop us a line, and we’ll talk about how you can improve your team’s productivity and book more gifts, immediately.