The best higher education advancement teams consistently convert alumni into to engaged, passionate donors. DonorSearch – a leading provider of wealth screening and prospect research – recently posted this in-depth article: How to Engage Alumni Effectively. We wholeheartedly agree with these data-centric best practices, which can be utilized by any non-profit organization with a large number of prospective donors:

  1. Maintain meaningful prospect profiles for your alumni.
  2. Clean your alumni prospect profiles regularly.
  3. Leverage your alumni engagement survey to improve prospect research.
  4. Use alumni prospect research to plan more impactful fundraising events.

Although these practices will require some investment, they will lead to significantly more successful development initiatives.

For example, we recently served a nationally recognized university with a robust advancement operation. For their first Westfall Gold major donor event, we recommended a focus on alumni and parents who had not yet given a major gift. Based on the results of wealth analytics, the client created an invitation list comprised of prospective donors with significant, unrealized capacity.

By the end of the donor weekend, 31 families committed an average of $135,700 for a total of $4.2 million… almost all of which were first time major gifts. An extraordinary start to long-term relationships that will benefit both the university and the donors.

Insights for Westfall Gold Clients

Wealth analytics is foundational to ensuring the right people are attending the major donor event. Your Westfall Gold Senior Consultant will conduct a wealth screen of your donor file and identify the best prospective donors. Remember that we are primarily looking to upgrade entry or mid-level donors with significant capacity. After reviewing the initial wealth screen, our prospect researchers will audit the results to increase the accuracy of the prospect list. As board members, donors, and friends refer prospective donors, your Senior Consultant will work to qualify them and ensure they have the appropriate capacity to attend the event. Rest assured that Westfall Gold understands how best to leverage wealth analytics to drive the success of your major donor event.

About Lisa Wolf

Lisa Wolf | VP of Consulting

Lisa is passionate about working with nonprofits that work hard every day to improve the lives of others. From 2005-2013, Lisa held senior leadership positions at CURE International, a medical ministry with hospitals and programs in 29 countries throughout the developing world. At CURE, she was responsible for creating the communications strategy for general, mid-range and major donors, as well as growing the organization’s general donor base through development of an online, radio and direct mail strategy. Lisa was also responsible for planning CURE’s major donor communications strategy and fundraising weekends that have raised more than $12 million.

Connect with Lisa by clicking here.

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