Brookings, South Dakota

Since early 2017, the South Dakota State University (SDSU) Foundation built momentum toward the announcement of the most ambitious and extraordinary campaign in the history of the State of South Dakota. The campaign isn’t about raising a half a billion dollars; it’s about celebrating the impact that philanthropy has had on one of America’s most remarkable universities. It’s about cultivating that next generation of Jackrabbit philanthropists while ensuring that the generations that preceded them have their legacies entrenched and celebrated. It is about ensuring that none of the momentum that has been generated in the years leading up to this moment are lost following the campaign’s successful conclusion. To date, SDSU is on track to exceed its initial campaign goal.

Getting here has involved several important initiatives, including conducting a campaign planning study, retaining counsel for both the campaign and prospect development, conducting digital development officer training, using analytics to inform decision making, and implementing business intelligence. All of this work ultimately provided an efficient way for the Foundation to get at its data, automate reporting, and train a staff member who is now able to design and deploy sophisticated dashboards. In addition, dashboard suites were developed that focus on supporting campaign efforts by measuring and benchmarking progress to goals and answering complicated questions in nearly real time.

Our collaboration with BWF meant that we were able to implement Microsoft Power BI to provide dashboards and data visualization tools to help monitor progress and areas for improvement related to our organizational goals. These visualizations provide real-time access to information in a format that is easily shared and reviewed, and they have already been useful in encouraging conversations, determining strategies, and analyzing information. Our BWF partners’ expertise allowed us to significantly accelerate the timing of the implementation of our business intelligence efforts, making sure they will be impactful during this comprehensive campaign and will sustain the momentum beyond as well.
Arian Bunde
Vice President for Strategy and Innovation • South Dakota State University Foundation

And the result of all this effort? The SDSU Foundation has built momentum toward being more data driven, has clearer insights into its operations, has the ability to make strategic decisions and make them faster, and has a better way to validate its strategy, thereby saving time and resources. Keith Mahlum, vice president for development, has touted the significance of having accurate, close to real-time data at their fingertips, which translates into expediting their ability to make informed decisions.

The SDSU Foundation utilized the campaigns and business intelligence services offered by BWF.