Oberlin College

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Engagement Highlights

  • Doubled the number of campaign donors making gifts between $50,000 and $1 million from 149 in FY 2012 to 302 in FY 2013
  • Major gift officer referrals of planned giving donors increased due to an emphasis on comprehensive gift conversations and increased internal collaboration

Challenges

Heading into the public phase of its campaign, Oberlin had reconstituted much of its leadership giving team. Development leadership wanted to implement a common framework, structure, and language across the frontline fundraisers. Oberlin had also been struggling with the need for more effective collaborate between the planned gift and leadership giving teams, especially in terms of integrating planned giving into more donor conversations.  As the leadership team learned more about Plus Delta’s approach and the experiences of peer institutions, they decided the timing was appropriate to engage in a tailored program to accelerate gift officer productivity during the campaign.

Results

The Plus Delta process changed the way Oberlin’s leadership and planned giving teams thought about engaging and managing their donors. Donor strategy meetings began to draw on the approach and sequencing inherent in Plus Delta’s methodology – for example, establishing prospect status in the process and appropriate next actions and questions to move the prospect forward. The impact of this more disciplined process was significant. During fiscal year 2013, Oberlin more than doubled the number of campaign donors making gift commitments between $50,000 and $1 million from 149 in FY 2012 to 302 in FY 2013. Oberlin also experienced much greater productivity from the leadership gifts team around planned giving.

“Plus Delta Partners has given us the power to communicate more effectively with each other, our volunteers and our donors. This process provides a way to engage with prospects meaningfully. We are now able to accelerate the donor engagement process without the donor feeling like an ATM. It creates a more donor-centric way of fundraising and leads to better and more productive conversations with a focused discussion on impact.”

  Bill Barlow, Vice President of Development and Alumni Affairs

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