Lafayette College

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lafayetteEngagement Highlights

  • Contributed to a year to date $3 million (~30%) increase between FY ’10 and FY ’11 in major gift giving
  • Moved 115 relationships (8% of the major gift portfolio) from “lingering / stalled” status to qualified donor prospects actively considering a gift.
  • Enabled major and planned gift officers to actually increase fundraising in a difficult economic environment by giving them tools and a vocabulary to approach difficult conversations.

Challenges

Translate alumni engagement into higher major gift fundraising yield in the midst of an uncertain economic climate.

Lafayette’s fundraising leadership knew that they had a loyal donor base of alumni who were very engaged with the College.  They also knew that their gift officers were good at building alumni and donor relationships.  However, alumni loyalty in combination with gift officers’ relationship building skills were not translating into the level of major gift output the College needed to achieve its strategic goals.

Lafayette’s fundraising leadership wanted to improve their gift officers’ fundraising productivity through more intentional donor engagement and effective relationship management.   They were particularly interested in building gift officer skills during the quiet phase of their campaign, in order to accelerate their success in the public phase.

Results

Plus Delta’s program for front-line fundraisers gave the major gift and planned giving teams the tools they needed to move from strong relationships to more closed gifts.  Developing the team’s skills around Plus Delta’s methodology allowed the gift officers to be more intentional and direct in the way they engaged donors, increased their confidence and professional demeanor, and enabled donors to better understand and participate in the philanthropic process.

Plus Delta has had a significant impact at Lafayette in a short period of time, contributing to the College’s increase in annual major gift fundraising by $3 million despite the recent economic downturn.  It helped bring 115 new donors into the major gift pipeline, all of whom had previously been “lingering” relationships engaged with the College but not yet donors committed to working with the fundraising team to ensure Lafayette’s ongoing excellence.

“Plus Delta is not like many other consultants that come and go and do not leave an impact on the organization.  The whole point of Plus Delta’s program is to get gift officer’s to implement changes in their day-to-day practice.  Plus Delta has made our gift officer’s more intentional and directed, more confident in their ability to have difficult conversations, and better at educating our donors about the philanthropic process.  Both donors and gift officers have responded very positively to the changes and our major gift fundraising has increased measurably as a result.”    

James Dicker ’85. Vice President of Development and College Relations