University of Delaware

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delaware_imgEngagement Highlights

  • Contributed to a 60% increase in major gift dollars raised from 2009 to 2010
  • Doubled number of overall major gifts and increased major gifts in the $25k-
    $99k range by 250%
  • Established a “Delaware Way” of fundraising that enabled gift officers to have a
    common set of language tools and a common donor engagement process

 

Challenges

Quickly ramp up fundraising levels across an alumni base unaccustomed to major giving while managing a major gift team with very diverse backgrounds, skill levels and fundraising approaches.

A new VP and AVP team arrived at the University of Delaware in the Fall of 2007 tasked with quickly raising the level of donor giving and scaling fundraising operations in preparation for a comprehensive campaign. In the fall of 2008, a new major gifts team was hired composed of officers from a variety of backgrounds including higher education, museums and public broadcasting. Plus Delta was engaged as both an onboarding and training mechanism to equip the major gifts team with the right tools to have more meaningful donor conversations and effectively build giving relationships with an alumni base that was unfamiliar with major giving.

Results

The major gift officers who participated in the Plus Delta PAD program increased their total dollars raised from $5.2M in FY2009 to $8.3M in FY2010, increased the number of major gifts in the $25k-$99k range from 11 to 28 in one year, and secured the institution’s first gift of $10 million. The monthly workshops built team trust and a common fundraising approach and vocabulary, thereby making it easier for gift officers to collaborate, share ideas and donor strategies.

“The PAD program has given us a unified approach to fundraising. We now have a common vocabulary and donor engagement process. Our gift officers have more thorough conversations with donors and we come across as better representatives of the University. It has helped our gift officers manage their pipeline more effectively, leveled the playing field for officers from different backgrounds, increased our confidence, and enabled us to be more effectively transparent with our donors.”

Monica Taylor, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations