MIT Sloan School of Management

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mitEngagement Highlights

  • The staff raised $99M in the most recent two years of the campaign (last capital campaign took 9 years to raise $110M).
  • We have continued to see leadership annual fund revenue grow from $2.69M to $5.56M during the campaign, representing $25M in unrestricted revenue to the School.
  • Gifts of $250k-500k have more than doubled over the last two years, and gifts of $500k-1M have increased by 46%.

Challenges

  • Staff were not being diligent or disciplined about qualifying prospects, but rather assuming that everyone in their portfolio was a prospect who simply needed to be cultivated. This led to ongoing/long-term cultivation of suspects and reluctance or inability to move to an Ask.
  • Gift officers were shopping menus of priorities versus engaging qualified prospects in a dialogue about (Sloan-defined) areas on which they had a desire to make a definable impact through their giving.

Results

  • Equipping the frontline gift officers with a shared donor engagement process, language and communication tools enabled efficient handoffs and a shared culture of performance-based fundraising.
  • Enhanced discipline of qualification across the team coupled with more effective communication tools allowed gift officers to move prospects through a defined philanthropic process more quickly and efficiently.
  • Gift officers stopped “menu-sharing” and defaulting to transactional conversations that left philanthropic dollars on the table and shifted to impact-based dialogues yielding increased dollars raised in FY ’15 & FY ’16 in critical bands including $100k-$500k, $500k-$999k, and $1M-$5M.


“Plus Delta approaches the advancement field with a sales model.  At Sloan they introduced a disciplined way for gift officers to approach their work and the results have been remarkable.  Rather than going to see the same prospects over and over, Plus Delta has given us a framework that ensures that prospects move through the pipeline more quickly and that the conversations are more substantive. Having a shared language for the whole team helped us manage and hold staff accountable. FY16 was our best fundraising year ever and I believe that the work we have done with Plus Delta directly impacted the totals.  I participated in the program myself even though I have been in the advancement profession for 35 years and I found that I developed new skills and acquired new language to use when talking to my prospects.”

 

Kristina Gulick Schaefer, Senior Associate Dean
Office of External Relations and International Programs
MIT Sloan School of Management