|Bob Burdenski's Latest Annual Giving Departures|
It's awfully cold in Chicago this week, but the Bears are heating up the city with Super Bowl fever. There's still a lot of time for you to heat up your annual giving program, too, and make it a record year for you and your donors. I'm sharing some of my favorite and interesting new ideas observed in my travels this month.
Our monthly Web-based annual giving roundtable series is drawing a virtual crowd. If you can't get out of the office to attend a conference in person, we'll bring the conference to you! More information about all of the upcoming topics and dates is featured below.
Look for us on the program session agenda this Winter and Spring at the CASE 8 conference in Boise, ID, the ICAA Ohio conference in Dayton, and the annual Meeting of the Minds conference in sunny Southern California in April. In addition, I'm thrilled to be joining the faculty of the prestigious CASE Europe Spring Institute in Educational Fundraising at Durham University in England. I'll be co-hosting the annual giving track along with Chris Cox from the University of Manchester.
Included this month is a mix of new media and old, and some wisdom from FundList. Hope you enjoy the Super Bowl and hope you enjoy fund raising success in this still-new year.
Are you looking for compelling reasons for students to be part of your phonathon calling team this semester?
Leave it to FundList readers to compile their own list of "Why I'm a Phonathon Caller" reasons used to promote student calling on their campus. Here are my Top 15 personal favorites from the tongue-in-cheek list:
It's a roundtable devoted to the development of leadership annual giving programs, including prospect identification, personal solicitation strategies, tracking systems and reports, materials and stewardship.
Here advice straight from front-line fundraisers about how they approach prospects, secure appointments, facilitate conversations, learn important information, ask for leadership gifts, and advance institutional knowledge about your gift prospects. Leadership annual giving programs are growing - how should your program grow, too?
Create your own custom ongoing annual giving training by participating in any or all of Bob's monthly annual giving roundtable programs. There's no limit to how many people can attend at your institution. (One Web link and dial-up connection only.)
Other upcoming programs include: 10 Questions Your VP Should Be Asking About Your Annual Giving Program March 12, Will You Go To The Ball? - Year-End Annual Giving Strategies , April 9th, and Trends In Annual Giving - 2007, May 7th. Also, by popular demand Bob will be repeating his roundtable programs on the Annual Giving Pyramid (March 12th) and Best Direct Mail Samples of 2006 (April 9th).
It's no secret that private schools depend on their alumni to bankroll the billion-dollar endowments necessary to sustain a modern university. And although it remains unclear what effect the lacrosse scandal has had on Duke's alumni relations, one thing is certain-there are strong opinions all around.
"The conduct of the administration and certain parts of the faculty has had a chilling effect. I'm less excited about the prospect of sending money back to Duke," said Peter Bove, Trinity '99. "It was the exact inverse effect of a successful basketball season." Duke alumni are involved at every level of the case. Jim Cooney, defense attorney for indicted lacrosse player Reade Seligmann, graduated from Trinity College of Arts and Sciences in 1979.
One other alumnus with deep ties to the University is Dave Sandridge, who served a fellowship at the Duke University Medical Center, in addition to sending his daughter to Duke. He said, though, that the lacrosse case has deterred him from supporting the University financially. "I won't be giving Duke any more money," Sandridge wrote in an e-mail. "My daughter's women's studies professors were annoying to me in the '80s. What I read now is not only annoying, but frightening."
Join FundList & FundSvcs listserv moderators Bob Burdenski & John Taylor, and a top-notch faculty and agenda for the third-annual Burdenski & Taylor Advancement Academy at the Capitol Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., July 24-26, 2007. The conference will once again have track sessions for advancement services, management, phonathons and annual giving. The monumental annual giving agenda will include the following:
...Bob and John's special joint program on alumni participation -- Are you getting full credit for the alumni already supporting your institution? What counts, what doesn't count, and how do you count what counts? If you're trying to grow your alumni participation rate, where are the smartest places to aim your resources?
...A special brand-new review of the best direct mail samples from the 2007 direct mail exchange. More than 150 schools participated last year -- see the very best of the new batch from the 2007 direct mail exchange.
...A session on student philanthropy programs, featuring the Penn State student giving program and hosted by Penn State director of annual giving Howard Heevner. How do we plant the seeds from which might donors will grow?
...An overview of the latest new initiatives in online fundraising, including wiki, text messages, Facebook, email, flash, Web content and cross-media marketing. How are these new technologies continuing to integrate themselves into advancement?
...A session on the important relationship between alumni relations and annual giving, hosted by Scott Mory of George Washington University. Can friend-raisers and fund-raisers get along and go beyond?
...A special session on reunion giving programs and volunteer engagement, hosted by Carleton College director of annual giving Chris Clark. Are people less interested in volunteering, or are we simply less-equipped to engage them successfully? Learn from one of the best reunion giving programs in the United States.
...Bob and John?s wildly popular annual "Pardon The Interruption"-style wrap-up discussion about the most important current issues in annual giving and advancement services.
The well-known Stanford alumni market researcher Jerold Pearson has long cited survey evidence that donors like knowing how their institution is helping to change the world for the better through their work.
The University of Edinburgh in Scotland does a nifty job of presenting such a case in its Edinburgh Fund brochure. The appeal talks about the accomplishments of university students and staff that are having a big impact on the world -- and how you can support them even with a small gift to the Edinburgh Fund.
See the Edinburgh people who are making "holes in the dark" through their work -- work made possible in part by gifts to the Edinburgh Fund. Remember, your £100 gift can have an impact.
According the Bible, Jesus didn't much care for money changers in the temple. How he would feel about a gold card is less clear. In the age of financial convenience, debit and credit cards are replacing cash and checks. And churches, whose existence depend on the contributions of members, are having to adapt.
Some houses of worship are offering alternatives to the collection plate: online giving or monthly deductions from credit card and checking accounts. Some use an outside company to handle such transactions. And a new device has emerged in congregations: giving kiosks, which are ATM-like machines in church lobbies where parishioners use credit or debit cards to transfer funds to the church.
Proponents of such modern forms of tithing say there's no better time for churches and members to enter the 21st century. A change in federal tax law that took effect Jan. 1requires receipts or other official documents for deductions on charitable giving. For those who give cash anonymously, personal notes and bank statements submitted to the Internal Revenue Service will no longer do.
I had the privilege of moderating a meeting of 40 top liberal arts college annual giving directors last week in Philadelphia. It was the Sharing the Annual Fund Fundamentals (STAFF) consortium, and among the tidbits they discussed:
The importance of ongoing feelings of community among their donors. The STAFF colleges enjoy some of the highest alumni giving participation rates in the country, and they attribute some of their success to feelings on the part of alumni that they're choosing to support the institution as a community, not as individuals.
The continuing advance of the Internet. Several schools talked about how they now advertise their annual fund on Facebook.com.
The mobile phonathon. They're slowly starting to call cellphones in the phonathon, and one college even trains callers to compare zip codes and area codes, so that alumni with an east coast address and a west coast cell phone number won't be accidentally wakened from their sleep.
Getting out of the office. One school reports a lot of success using reunion surveys as a reason for meeting with leadership annual giving prospects. It's often hard to schedule first-time visits, but the survey helps to give the meeting a purpose. Another school sends a letter requesting a visit and explicitly stating there will be no solicitation. After the first visit, all bets are off.
Annual giving and capital campaigns. They all agreed that it was important to create an annual giving culture at the top of the institution. If annual giving was to remain a priority along with other fund raising initiatives, the leadership of the institution had to position it as important to the college.
Along with credit card statements and electric bills, members of South Carolina?s Gamecock Club will receive something else in the mail this week ? a glossy, 12-page magazine detailing significant changes in the booster club.
Despite checking accounts drained by holiday spending, at least one Gamecock Club member thinks officials picked a good time to announce the changes in giving levels and a revamped pecking order among donors.
?The time to hit people up for cash ? more important than the (Liberty) bowl win ? is after beating Clemson,? said Shep Headley, who has given at the Roundhouse level for 20 years. After a six-month study, the Gamecock Club board of directors approved 10 policy and procedural changes.
Among the highlights: Moving to a new points system that will rank the club?s 14,444 members based on consecutive years and total amount of giving, donations to an individual sport or the athletics department?s ongoing capital campaign, and ? beginning in 2008 ? tickets purchased for football, baseball and men?s and women?s basketball.