News and Resources

Helping in Hard Times: Leveraging Advancement Services to Increase Productivity

The U.S economys downturn is affecting fundraising results. In times like these, perceived cost centers are sometimes slashed through staffing and budget cuts. Increasingly sophisticated nonprofits are finding, however, that such cuts to cost centers can be counterproductive. This is particularly true of advancement and development services. Smaller staff using fewer resources will yield inferior results. These inferior outcomes can negatively affect donor relationships, retention, and acquisition. If your organization needs to consider some belt-tightening due to sluggish giving, consider these advancement services solutions in lieu of budget cuts. Improvements in these areas will maximize your return on investment and help you generate fundraising momentum.

Innovations and Opportunities in Advancement Services

The best of higher education institutions are leveraging advancement services to enhance productivity. New tools and processing are being adopted to address data quality and quantity, databases, reporting tools, and people. Read how in the quest for innovation, advancement services teams need to be nimble without compromising accuracy and integrity.

Fundraising Analytics: Using Data to Guide Strategy

Learn how to turn your donor data into actionable knowledge for a vibrant, donor-centered nonprofit organization that makes maximum use of data to reveal the unique diversity of its donors.
Written by Joshua Birkholz, a leading practitioner and creative thinker in the world of analytics and philanthropy, to help nonprofits recognize the opportunities provided by fundraising analytics, this innovative book explores how analytics can be optimally used to drive success in fundraising. It provides step-by-step instructions for conducting analysis in-house and invaluable advice.
Organizations are seeing remarkable results through development of sophisticated systems for understanding their customers and using data to guide strategy. Part of the Wiley/AFP Fund Development Series, Fundraising Analytics is an easy-to-use, relevant book that can be used by all development officers with a vision towards deepening connection with donors and increasing nonprofit fundraising.

Giving During Tough Economic Times

Is the U.S. economy headed into a recession? How will the current downturn in the stock market affect philanthropy? What can fundraisers do? Our January 2008 Client Advisory addresses these questions.

Development Reports

Reporting fundraising results can be complex, and organizational standards may vary. But you can reassure donors and prospects that you are reporting solid, accurate numbers and also avoid negative publicity if you follow these three principles.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A Guide to Development Research Resources

As the size and complexity of development offices have grown, the demands for more efficiency and effectiveness in constituent analysis and prospect identification are increasing. Resources designed for prospect development have changed dramatically in the last year. Creative and strategic thinking supported by the best technology available have re-invented prospect development as we have known it. You will find amazing new designs for prospecting in many of the references included in the 2007-2008 issue of the BIBLIOGRAPHY: A Guide to Development Research Resources.

BWF Occasional Papers: Just Do It, or Should There Be A Plan?

It is planning time! In many development shops leaders have accelerated planning to get a jump on the fiscal year, but for most, annual planning takes place around the turn of the year. The prevalence of the exercise we know as planning suggests that it is beneficial, yet the groans that greet the announcement of a planning process suggest that many are not convinced of its value or are unsure how go about it. How can we determine what makes for good planning?

A Disconnect with the Board

The May 11, 2007 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education features a special report on the results of a survey of college and university trustees. This includes two articles written by Jeffrey Selingo that highlight the importance of the recruitment and orientation process for boards. These articles are an opportunity to open another round of discussions at the president’s executive staff level or with the development committee of the board. We suggest three steps for senior advancement officers to consider.

Year-End Thoughts

By this time of the year, the last of the year-end annual fund appeals have been dropped in the mail, and you are busy focusing on donor retention by calling on your traditional year-end major gift donors. You are also most likely looking ahead to the next year and crafting an operational plan and strategy for 2007.

Initial Public Offerings

Ernst and Young’s 2006 Global IPO Survey points to the following: Following the turning point in 2004, IPO activity gained momentum for a second successive year in 2005. Overall, the total capital raised in IPOs saw healthy growth while deal numbers remained steady. Due to the cyclical nature of the IPO markets, it is difficult to predict trends in activity in 2006; however, there is a strong pipeline of companies ready to come to market, and if conditions remain favorable, then 2006 should be another good year for IPO activity.

Managing the Governing Board for Fundraising Success

Boards drive fund raising. They are one of the most critical elements in any successful program. Unfortunately, our expertise at managing this critical factor is not always as well developed as our expertise in managing other inputs and processes.
Bentz Whaley Flessner has worked with boards and board management for years. We surveyed the nation’s leading private colleges to document how the various approaches to board management impact fund raising. Among the management practices tested: new member recruitment, new member orientation, member participation in setting formal expectations, fund-raising assignments, board solicitation, moves management with and of members, and board focus on fund raising.
This paper presents the summary of these findings and some recommended courses of action that follow from the findings.

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