Haverford College

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEngagement Highlights

  • Total committed dollars increased by 22.4% from $14.3M in 2010 to $17.5M in 2012
  • Number of proposals increased 146% from 28 in FY 2010 to 69 in FY 2012
  • Ask to grant ratio increased from 83.8% in FY 2010 to 90.4% in FY 2012

Challenges

Fundraising potential was being held back at the start of the current campaign by a new staff with different levels of experience, a relatively small alumni base (13,000), and a highly concentrated core of prior donors. Haverford College needed to expand its philanthropic culture quickly.

The College engaged Plus Delta at the start of the quiet phase of their campaign, at a time when many of the front-line fundraisers were new to Haverford. Haverford’s previous campaign had ended in 2004, leaving only a handful of fundraisers in place. The College’s goal was to get the campaign off to a strong start by defining and institutionalizing their fundraising process. Other issues confronting the College included an undeveloped philanthropic culture among its alumni and a history of returning to the same group of donors time and again. In the new campaign, they needed to instill a sustainable, repeatable approach to fundraising and re-set donors’ experience with the institution.

Results

The front-facing staff improved their dollars raised – from $14.3 M (FY10) to $17.5 M (FY12) – while also increasing the number of proposals generated by 146% and raising their ask to grant ratio to over 90%. The gift officers were able to achieve these performance gains by taking a much more structured and disciplined approach to each donor conversation. They began having much clearer and crisper conversations with donors about philanthropy and building trust through transparency, an approach that had a particularly strong impact with parents. Gift officers became more confident and more effective at disqualifying prospects and moving qualified prospects through the donor engagement process to a gift.

“We found a true partner in working with Plus Delta – one that added to our bandwidth and enhanced our fundraising results. The most important outcome of working with Plus Delta is that they instilled discipline in our process without putting gift officers in a straitjacket. To a person, all the participating gift officers benefited significantly from the Plus Delta training. It was smart money to spend, even when resources were scarce. It more than paid for itself.”  

Ann West Figueredo, Vice President for Institutional Advancement