Le Moyne College

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Having worked at Le Moyne College for over 20 years, Deborah Reinhardt Youmans has learned how to build value into a prospect research management program. When she first started as Director for Advancement Research, the College was spending significantly on prospect research and wealth screening tools but wasn’t applying the information in a strategic and team-oriented approach to realize strong returns on investment. Today, her strategy involves routine donor and prospect screenings, internal data mining, ongoing prospect tracking, and more importantly, prospect management meetings in close coordination and communication with development officers.

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University of Pennsylvania

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Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) plays an important role in helping to provide the resources to support the mission of the University and its vision for the future. With over 500 employees across the University in more than 25 Schools, Centers and Central functions, DAR operates as a decentralized organization with a centralized management structure. Over the years, Penn has used an integrated approach to institutional advancement, recognizing that a large part of success in fundraising is due to the strength and commitment of over 300,000 Penn alumni.

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William Paterson University

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Creating opportunities for alumni and constituent engagement is a priority in William Paterson University’s advancement office. The culture of the department goes well beyond securing gifts—they seek to create a dynamic community where people want to give because they’ve had a positive experience with the University. In fostering good will, the University looks for opportunities to “give back” and celebrate alumni and constituent accomplishments. One new strategy for building engagement is the application of social media techniques to support networking, prospect research and cultivation.

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Healthcare Charities

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Since 1983, Healthcare Charities has been serving the people of rural central, eastern and northern Maine by supporting the philanthropic efforts of the Eastern Maine Healthcare System (EMHS). With a guiding tenet that philanthropy has a way of bringing people together working for a common goal and realizing amazing success, Healthcare Charities works with its local community to garner support for its hospitals and other member organizations to keep them on the cutting edge of technology. Thoughtful gifts of all sizes make possible the equipment and research that EMHS doctors and scientists need to make the important discoveries today that will help build a healthier tomorrow.

Healthcare Charities has traditionally had a sizable number of donors and prospects; in fact, their database holds almost 200,000 records across more than a dozen affiliate hospitals, programs and healthcare organizations. For the past few years, their management team had been looking for ways to build a segmented and targeted approach to fundraising. In late 2010 they decided to consider screening batches of records in order to identify and target their top prospects and inform their funraising strategy. In February 2011, they selected WealthEngine, Inc.TM and engaged its research and screening services, with the following goals:

  • Screen recent donors and determine a cultivation plan
  • Integrate the screened data into their donor management system
  • Use data mining to compare major donor files with patient records to target grateful patients

Screening Donors for Effective Cultivation

Healthcare Charities started by screening 21,000 records across seven affiliate hospitals and healthcare organizations to get a feel for who is giving, discover what their wealth profile is, and determine if there is room for additional solicitations. This allows the respective development teams to focus on their top prospects and cultivate relationships for additional gifts.

“Our data is separated for each of our affiliates, and while each does their own fundraising, they rely on Healthcare Charities for guidance, support functions, and for managing their gift processing,” explains Marianne Grifasi-Miller, Senior Information Systems Technologist at Healthcare Charities of Bangor, Maine. They have found the screened data to be invaluable in planning direct-mail programs, the first two of which are set to launch this Summer.

Integrating Wealth Data for Better Fundraising Results

Determining the Desired Level of Integration – Healthcare Charities uses The Raiser’s Edge® from Blackbaud® for fundraising and for managing their donor information. Using a mass import approach they looked at the available fields and prioritized which fields they would add to the system based on the criteria provided by the fundraising teams within their affiliate hospitals and organizations.

“While some of our affiliates wanted every bit of information in there, we couldn’t put it all in. We had to prioritize. By working with my WealthEngine client services manager and being able to seek advice from her, I used WealthEngine’s core tables as a starting point and then determined what fields were necessary to include,” explains Grifasi-Miller.

Validating Data – Before importing into the live environment, the fundraising teams conducted spot checks to validate the data. Fortunately, no major discrepancies were found, in large part because the team had first confirmed the accuracy of data already in the system, including contact information, checking for duplicate entries, and standardizing gift tracking.

Benefits Realized – The team has found the wealth data invaluable in analyzing past donor attributes and compiling targets for direct-mailings. They look at charitable giving history, stock holdings and pensions, real estate holdings, hard assets, and propensity to give scores and gift capacity ranges.

“With all of the information in one place, our gift officers can quickly understand the donor or prospect and determine how to best approach that individual,” explains Grifasi-Miller.

Next Steps – Since the initial integration was completed in February and Healthcare Charities has had the opportunity to work with the information, they have added some fields that were not included in the initial mass import.

Data Mining

Moving forward, Grifasi-Miller’s plans to conduct a data mining exercise with WealthEngine to analyze their major donors, so that this data can be cross-referenced against patient data that is stored in a separate system. Essentially, their hospitals will be able to screen patients on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and cross-reference the results against the major donor file, allowing them to spot those who have previously donated and, with some special attention, may give again.

Using this analysis, the gift officers can cultivate relationships that have potential for major gifts and develop a grateful patient program by targeting individuals for repeat donations based on their estimated giving capacity and propensity to give scores. “We are very excited to do this data mining exercise, as it will allow our affiliates to design a grateful patient program and ultimately better coordinate and time their fundraising ask with the patient’s visit or interaction with the hospital,” explains Grifasi-Miller.

Critical Support, Every Step of the Way

Having detailed and accurate wealth data integrated into their donor management system gives Healthcare Charities a boost in the work they do with their affiliates. “We are able to provide our affiliate organizations and hospitals with immediate and direct access to quality, actionable data, thanks to the screening data we integrated from WealthEngine.”

Their satisfaction in having selected WealthEngine is evident. As Grifasi-Miller explains, “WealthEngine staff has been extremely knowledgeable and helpful. We have had a great experience working with their team. Everyone has been quick to respond, eager to help and willing to go the extra mile. It’s been a pleasure to work with fundraising professionals that are dedicated to serving me and my organization.”

Barnabas Health Care System

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Fundraising for any nonprofit organization comes with a common set of challenges. But those faced by Laura R. Tenenbaum are pretty unique since she supports eight foundations at once. Tenenbaum is Director of Planned Giving and Program Development at Saint Barnabas Health Care System, “New Jersey’s largest integrated health care delivery system.” She has been using WealthEngine services successfully for three years to support SBHCS’s six medical center foundations, plus two others.

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Yale-New Haven Hospital

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Qaya Thompson, Development Researcher at Yale- New Haven Hospital (YNHH), doesn’t believe in creating any barriers to prospect research. “I support seven development officers (DOs),” says Thompson, “and I want them to have accurate wealth information when and where they need it, as timing is everything in fundraising. All of our development staff have access to FindWealth Online and use it as their primary prospect research tool.” The development officers have been shown how to use and interpret the analytics, such as the WealthEngine gift capacity ratings and P2GTM (propensity to give) scores, which are also integrated into YNHH’s Raiser’s Edge database. Thompson adds, “If they need further information or justification of data, I do in-depth research and create a more comprehensive profile.”

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Arena Stage

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Arena Stage is a Washington, D.C. based Theater Company that produces, presents, develops and studies American Theater. Now in its 62nd season, they host more than ¼ million audience members each year. Arena’s Chief Development Officer, Danielle St. Germain-Gordon, has been with Arena for 18 months, and has a rich background in arts development, including eight years as Associate Director of Development at The Shakespeare Theater and a three year stint as Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the American Association of Museums. She works with a staff of seven who specialize in individual giving, membership, corporate support, operations, prospect research, grants and donor relations. They raise approximately $5.2MM annually for operations.

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