Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Donor Relations is booming!

Happy Tuesday everyone. I hope you all have been enjoying the fruits of the acknowledgment swap that were posted last Monday.  In the meantime I've been doing a great deal of reading and recently was ensconced by a great report from the folks at Academic Impressions. It's called HEI Executive: Advancement. Over 300 chief advancement officers responded to a survey they released earlier this summer regarding the state of the industry and fundraising trends. They spent much of July analyzing the data and the 90+ page report is out- you can find it here: www.academicimpressions.com

The news for donor relations is good- Executives are investing more and more in donor relations. I can tell you first hand that the industry is booming. I know of at least 4 current executive level searches for donor relations talent, many teams who are investing in more FTE for their efforts and large shops that are now centralizing and elevating their donor relations efforts. Look at this data from the report.

 This is a great demonstration of forward movement for our profession. As we increase the number of positions, budgets and importance, are we ensuring that we aren't replicating past efforts and that we are building proactive strategic donor relations programs? Doing the same reactive work year after year will catch up to us and cause our profession to stagnate. Of course, sometimes the news helps prove the case for excellent donor relations for us: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20140730/ARTICLE/140739966/2055/NEWS?Title=Sarasotan-s-vast-Asian-art-collection-embroiled-in-litigation

The trend of the past 18 months, the thing most in demand are top and custom stewardship plans, ways to engage our donors who give the most to our organizations- more on that next week, but look at the evidence from the report.

How are we tapping into these new opportunities in donor relations? I can tell you that the buzzword that will be headed into the mix soon will eclipse the past two of metrics and top donor plans and that will be RETENTION. Donor relations can actually move the retention needle significantly and in concrete ways that have tangible ROI. Have you thought about this in your shop? Remember, knowing your numbers is powerful. When's the last time you looked at yours?

How do you feel about this growth target in donor relations? As more resources and staffing come forward, and as expectations increase, what are your thoughts? Where do you see us headed and what are the greatest challenges facing us?

Please contribute in the comments below. Thank you.


No comments:

Post a Comment