What'd We Expect Major Donors to Say?
Sometimes you have to sit back and scratch your head.
In the last two weeks, The Chronicle of Philanthropy has published two articles that, for any VP of Development, have to be setting off very, very loud alarms.
First, "Major Gift Prospects Get Little Face Time with Fundraisers." I don't understand how this is true. It's not as if this is a terribly mysterious concept that getting in front of folks for major decisions works better (and the inverse is true for the value of annual fund/phonathon that those tactics are highly valuable for scale efforts). So, why aren't we doing the easy stuff? Budgets? Given the ROI on getting in front of our major donors, this seems like an easy place to find investment for.
Second, and this is a special kind of "what?" article: "Superwealthy Donors Say Fundraisers Who Do Their Homework Get the Big Gifts." Um. Yes. Yes. Of course. Did we need research to tell us that.... research is good? I don't think that's really the crux of this feedback from our most prolific donors.
More likely, especially for diversely missioned educational institutions, the issue is about connecting the multitudinous dots. A gift officer can read all the visit notes, look at prior giving and more to never know what a donor is personally passionate about. And, even if they do, what's their course of action for connecting those passions to any of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of potential designations?
Put it all together and flip the script. What if a major accounts salesperson with a steel company called the head of procurement for an auto manufacturer and said, "hey, you buy things to build cars and we have steel parts. Wanna make a deal?'
At QuadWrangle, we're obsessed with bridging this gap all thanks to our AI-powered bot, Isaac. Take a look:
Feed all those trip notes, former gifts, the emails someone has opened, events they've been to, and, heck, even what pages they like on Facebook through Isaac and, voila! Recommended fundraising appeals.
We all know research matters. The mandate, really, is to make research feasible and scalable towards a fundraiser's goals.
Next week we'll be talking about how Isaac is helping universities raise money at CASE Summit. See you there?