Saint Joseph's University

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st.josephs_imgEngagement Highlights

  • Increased major gifts closed by $10 million in 2007 over 2006 and sustained giving level
    in 2008.
  • Increased the number of major gifts closed by over 33%.
  • Established a common set of disciplines across the major gifts team including a donor engagement process and advanced communication skills.

Challenges

Increase solicitations and closes without sacrificing the quality of the solicitation process across a group of frontline fundraisers with varying degrees of experience.

Saint Joseph’s was in the early stages of the largest comprehensive campaign in its history and it was clear that the major gift fundraising effort needed to be stepped up to achieve campaign goals.  Gift officers had proven themselves capable of building relationships but converting those relationships into gifts was more of a challenge.  In addition, a faster “pace” of donor engagement (moving prospects through qualify to solicitation and stewardship) was required to achieve campaign goals.  The management team needed to accelerate activity but was concerned about not compromising the personal nature of each donor relationship.

Results

The major gift officers improved their dollars raised – from $10M (FY2006) to $20M (FY2007) – while also increasing the number of gifts closed by 33%.  The increased gifts all came in at the six-figure level with the exception of one gift in the amount of $1m. The team derived a higher level of confidence from having an effective donor engagement process and strong donor communication skills, which contributed significantly to their performance improvement.

“With the PAD program we have raised the fundraising caliber of the Major Gifts team and it shows in their self-sufficiency and results.  Through PAD we’ve also gained a common language. Perhaps most importantly, the confidence level of the entire team has increased dramatically as each officer now has a greater sense of control over the process.”

Joseph P. Kender, Vice President (through 2008)