Boston College

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boston-collegeEngagement Highlights

  • Annual fundraising increased by 24% per year from $117M in 2012 to $147M in 2015.
  • Fundraising for academic priorities jumped from $24.5M in 2012 to $64.8M per year in 2015.
  • Total major gifts increased 50% across gift bands up to $1M, with a particularly dramatic 63% increase in gifts of $100k-$249K.
  • The number of gifts from $100k-$249K grew from a baseline of 59 in FY12 to 96 in both FY14 and FY15.

 

Challenges

Fundraising potential was plateauing at the midpoint of a campaign. A mix of junior and highly tenured staff members were working within unit boundaries and collaboration was limited.

Boston College engaged Plus Delta at a time when they were working to develop a more uniform fundraising approach across its frontline fundraising team as the University reached the midpoint in its comprehensive campaign.   The fundraising team consisted of many long-tenured gift officers applying disparate styles and approaches based on their individual experience, perspective and habits. There was a broad need to improve skills, unlearn habits that were limiting performance, and develop greater consistency across the team in how they managed and communicated with prospects. There was also a need to improve cross-unit collaboration, which was limited in part because each unit had its style of fundraising management.

 

Results

Boston College’s work with Plus Delta began in FY 12 and contributed to three successive record fundraising years in FY 13-FY 15. Fundraising during that period of the partnership grew by 26% a year from a base of $117M in FY 12 to reach $147M by FY 15. The fundraising improvements were achieved through a 56% increase in major gifts annually, with the total number of gifts in the $100k-$249k, $250k-$1M, and $1M+ bands increasing from 104 in 2012 to 162 by 2015. The growth in gift counts was particularly dramatic in the $100k to $250k range with an overall 63% annual increase. Plus Delta’s skill building programs created a consistent way for individual fundraisers to qualify and cultivate their prospects more efficiently, thereby accelerating yields.  Developing and implementing a common fundraising approach, including using the same vocabulary and framework for contact reports and donor strategy sessions, made cross-unit collaboration easier and more frequent. A key ingredient to the success of the partnership was the leadership team’s commitment to building a common fundraising approach.

“Plus Delta’s training enabled BC to implement an effective and uniform approach for our front-line teams to qualify, cultivate and solicit donors. The frameworks and vocabulary helped our team, both long-tenured and relatively new fundraisers, to sharpen their skills and raise more money. Plus Delta also equipped our fundraising managers to implement a uniform framework and approach to managing and coaching their teams to higher results.”

Beth McDermott, – Associate Vice President, Development