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Bob Burdenski's Latest Annual Giving Departures )
An Update on Regular, Social and Annual Giving Fundraising Strategies March, 2012
The Latest Departures
  • Social Media Annual Giving's The Hot Topic,
    And Bob's Speaking Calendar Covers Four Countries
  • Annual Giving And Golf - Watch A Highlight From
    Bob's Talk At The 2012 CCCU Advancement Conference
  • An Alumni Giving Culture Springs Up In Singapore
  • 24-Hour Social Media "Leap Day" Appeal
    Raises $32,000 For DePauw
  • Northwest Missouri State "Paw-To-Paw" Site
    Encourages Social Giving
  • Don't Stop Here -
    Browse Eight Years of Bob's Email Newsletters
  • It's almost spring in Chicago, which means the calendar is starting to fill up with end-of-fiscal-year annual giving program audits and assessments, as well as planning sessions for the coming fundraising year ahead.

    Social media annual giving strategies are my hot speaking topic this spring, with upcoming international dates in England, Canada and Australia, as well as closer-by appearances in New York State and Southern California. I'm particularly pleased to be teaching as part of Oxford University's INSPIRE Development Series on April 17th.

    My trip to Australia for the 2011 CASE Asia Pacific Institute in Educational Fundraising included a visit with Marina Tan Harper from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She's doing an extraordinary job of building a giving culture in a university -- and a country -- where little broad-based university support has existed before. You can listen to our podcast conversation via the article below.

    You'll enjoy this video clip with a highlight from my talk at the 2012 Council of Christian Colleges and Universities conference, highlighting the similarities between golfing and annual giving. It's just too bad we aren't given more mulligans in annual giving...

    We've been working with a number of great institutions over the past few months, including the University of Queensland, Wheaton College, the University of Sheffield, Loughborough University, St. Joseph's University, Buffalo State University, the Kellogg School of Management, DePaul University, the Diocese of Grand Rapids Secondary Schools, Grand Valley State University and the University of Exeter. Also, check out the new online map with all of the institutions world-wide that I've worked with or taught at over the years.

    Work with us this spring and give your annual giving program an assessment and an update. With social media, regular giving, data mining and other tools, annual giving best practice has never changed more rapidly. Best wishes for fiscal year-end success.


    Social Media Annual Giving's The Hot Topic,
    And Bob's Speaking Calendar Covers Four Countries

    Bob Burdenski's upcoming speaking schedule is as busy as ever, with appearances scheduled from Oxford to Australia. His schedule has gotten particularly busy discussing social media annual giving strategies, including an upcoming one-day workshop for CASE District 7 in Los Angeles. Come on out and say hello to Bob if you're in the neighborhood. More information about all of these speaking engagements is available on Bob's Web site here. Bob's upcoming dates include:

    • March 16-17 - Northeast Annual Giving Conference (SUNY Oneonta): Multiple Sessions and Closing Keynote Speaker Watch Bob's dynamic promotional video for the conference.
    • April 11 - Canadian Council For Advancement of Education (Online Webinar): Young Alumni Giving Strategies
    • April 17 - Oxford University INSPIRE Development Speakers Series (Oxford, UK): The Language of Annual Giving
    • April 23 - CASE Europe Spring Institute in Educational Fundraising (Loughborough, UK): Faculty Member
    • June 4 - Canadian Council For Advancement of Education 2012 National Conference (Toronto, Canada): The Efficient Annual Fund
    • June 6 - AFP Western New York One-Day Symposium (Buffalo, NY): Upgrade Your Annual Fund
    • August 15 - CASE 7 One-Day Workshop, (Pomona, CA): Social Media and Annual Giving
    • August 16 - Meeting of the Minds Annual Giving Conference (Pomona, CA): Opening Keynote Speaker
    • October 3 - CASE Asia Pacific Institute in Educational Fundraising (Melbourne, Australia): Faculty Member

    Annual Giving And Golf - Watch A Highlight From
    Bob's Talk At The 2012 CCCU Advancement Conference

    Are there parallels between a frustrating day on the golf course and your annual giving program today? Bob shares a laugh with the golf-minded attendees of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities 2012 Chief Advancement Officers Conference in Tucson, AZ, by highlighting the challenges common to golf and annual giving.

    In annual giving as in golf, it's important to have the right clubs in your bag, it's important to correctly judge the slope of the green, and it's not always right to make excuses for your game. And just because everyone else on the leader board is struggling, it doesn't mean we should be satisfied that "bogey golf is the new par golf!"

    Watch a 10-minute video from Bob's talk, including a reminder of what we're trying to accomplish in annual giving today. Don't let fast greens and high rough keep you from being innovative with your annual giving game.

    An Alumni Giving Culture Springs Up In Singapore

    Bob traveled to Australia in March to serve on the faculty of the CASE Asia Pacific Institute in Educational Fundraising. While there, he chatted with fellow faculty member Marina Tan Harper and recorded the conversation for his iTunes Annual Giving Interviews series.

    Marina is the director of development at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In the seven years Marina has been leading the development effort, NTU has reached 10% alumni participation, and 80% senior class gift participation -- numbers that are unprecedented in the history of Singapore fundraising for higher education.

    How'd she do it? How do you build a philanthropic culture in a university -- not to mention a country -- where little had existed before? Marina's humor and persistence are both infectious. Listen in her own words as she talks about the culture she has helped build at NTU.

    24-Hour Social Media "Leap Day" Appeal
    Raises $32,000 For DePauw

    Recent graduates raised $32,590.38 on Leap Day - February 29 - for DePauw University's Annual Fund and its Meeker Challenge.

    The Meeker Challenge was a 24-hour event in which alumni could donate money online to their alma mater. Lis Meeker '78 organized the event, challenging DePauw's Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) to donate funds to help educate students.

    Advertising for the event began in the beginning of February through emails, Facebook and Twitter to get the word out to alumni in hopes of getting the best results. The day of the challenge the magnitude of activity happening on Facebook and Twitter was important to the fundraising.

    Kyle Kerrigan, assistant director of annual giving and staff liaison to the Graduates of the Last Decade, was very impressed with how the whole event went. "I was amazed at the conversation and dialogue that was happening on Twitter," Kerrigan said. "The sheer volume [of the challenge] was incredible."

    The challenge was truly a 24-hour event with the first donation being made at 12:10 a.m. Feb. 29 and the last donation being made at 11:54 p.m.

    Mike Stanek, class of 2006, participated in the Meeker challenge and thought it was a smart way to involve young alumni to give back. "I think it was a great idea," Stanek said. "The Meeker challenge targeted young alumni and a lot of the time its hard for the university to engage the alumni who are starting new careers, making new families and moving to new places. This was a great way to bring back young alums to get involved with DePauw University."

    There were a total of 866 donors from classes 2002-2011. Class of 2006 had the most donors having 119 alumni donating. The class of 2008 had the most amounts of new donors having 65 first time donors. Kerrigan was very pleased with the results. "The office was a buzz," Kerrigan said. "Everybody was screaming and smiling. Everyone was so thrilled. Everyone was ecstatic to see that in one day."

    Northwest Missouri State "Paw-To-Paw" Site
    Encourages Social Giving

    On Feb. 6, Northwest Missouri State Bearcats from several organizations and departments around campus took the power of the paw to the people with the University's recently launched Paw to Paw site. Paw to Paw is an interactive Web site that utilizes Northwest's social media presence to encourage Northwest alumni and friends to give back to the University in a modern way.

    Bearing the tagline "social giving for the good of Bearcats," Paw to Paw showcases departmental or organizational needs of the campus in pictures. Donors can visit the site, click on a picture and learn about a specific need for funding on campus. They can then donate in $25 increments to the need of their choice, and the donation bar instantly grows, showing how their gift helped bring that group or department closer to achieving its goal.

    "Traditionally, first-time gifts are made when people are around the age of 40, when they start giving back to the University," Mallory Murray, chief design and marketing officer said. "Our goal was to figure out how can we get younger alumni engaged with the giving process to Northwest, and one of the things we thought was really important was for them to see how their giving made a difference.

    Giving in smaller, more manageable donations employs a tactic known as micro funding. Micro funding is a method of raising funds that asks donors to give in smaller donations that contribute to a need over time.

    "Micro-funding is a growing trend, and they are finding with the younger generation that they are huge givers, but that they do not give in the way that their parents gave," Murray said. "They are not as likely to write a check for $1,000, but they are definitely willing to send a text message, make a quick donation on the Web site to things that matter to them. We didn't really have a tool that allowed them to do that, and that is where the site idea came from."

    According to Murray, the interactive aspect of the site specifically targets younger alumni through a channel they already use to connect with others - social media. "The goal is to start that process at a younger age so that you stay connected with your University, and you can see how your giving can impact the University online and evolve that relationship," Murray said. "This is a very unique opportunity for departments because previously there was no way for them to fundraise for a specific, small need like this."

    Don't Stop Here -
    Browse Eight Years of Bob's Email Newsletters

    All of Bob's previous (although now, not-so "Latest") Latest Annual Giving Departures email newsletters are available for reading free at

    Browse more than 8 years of newsletters - you can track the beginnings of data mining, recurring giving, and YouTube as annual giving strategies during that time. Thumbnail summaries of each newsletter tell you what's included in each one.

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    Phone: 773-351-1728