Villanova University

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124033-004-F2C33CCCEngagement Highlights

  • A $4 million fundraising return on the initial investment
  • Contributed to a doubling of major gifts at the $100k+ level
  • Helped to build a culture of confident solicitation by increasing the discipline of qualification and improving the quality of cultivation meetings


Villanova University engaged Plus Delta Partners in the third year of a re-focused major gift effort. Major gift fundraising in the re-focused program grew significantly between FY 11-12, but the gains were driven by large gifts. In order to achieve the institution’s fundraising goals for its upcoming campaign, fundraising productivity around the number and speed of major gift closures needed to increase at all major gift levels. The investment in the Plus Delta program was one of several investments made by Villanova’s  development leadership to support the broadening and deepening of major gift fundraising.


The six program participants for whom data is available increased their fundraising productivity by an average of 314% during their year in the program. Collectively, these six gift officers and directors secured $4.05M more dollars in FY13 than they had in FY 12. Four of the six participants produced year-over-year increases in their fundraising productivity of $600,000 or more.

As importantly, these increases were not the result of “one time” large gifts. In all cases but one participant, productivity increases were the result of more volume at the lower- to mid-range of the major gift spectrum ($75k-$250k). This outcome contributed to doubling $100k+ gifts in FY13 compared to FY12.

“The program delivered what Plus Delta promised. We were able to move many of our people toward higher performance through the Plus Delta framework and coaching. It also helped us identify people that were not a good fit to be fundraisers at Villanova.”

Will Green, Associate Vice President of Development