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JULY 26, 2013. Measuring Major Gift Officer Performance: A Case Study and Lessons Learned by Matt TerMolen and David Lively. On Metrics… why measure?. What gets measured gets done What gets measured and fed back gets done well What gets rewarded gets repeated. Why Measure?.

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JULY 26, 2013


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    1. JULY 26, 2013

    2. Measuring Major Gift Officer Performance: A Case Study and Lessons Learned by Matt TerMolenand David Lively

    3. On Metrics…why measure? • What gets measured gets done • What gets measured and fed back gets done well • What gets rewarded gets repeated

    4. Why Measure? • Transparency inside the institution • ROI (within Advancement team but also with budget) • Best practices • Helps to define success for fundraisers • Clarifies success for upward advancement within the organization

    5. First: Fundraising is Expensive Major Gift Fundraiser Expenses: Salary $________ Benefits (~28% of salary) $________ Budget (travel, entertainment, etc.) $________ Supplies (computer, phone, letterhead, etc.) $________ Research (% of prospect research/mgmt. staff, etc.) $________ Database (% of license/staff support, etc.) $________ Space (office space, etc.) $________ Other misc. expenses $________ Training (CASE, etc.) $________ Opportunity Costs (i.e. how else could $ be used?) $________ Total Expenses: $________

    6. What to Measure The Primary Goal: Raise more gifts now We will measure relevant major gift fundraiser activities that directly relate to soliciting and booking new major gift commitments. These activities include (but are not limited to): • Number of new commitments • Number of solicitations • Dollars raised in new commitments

    7. What to Measure A Secondary Goal: Identify/Qualify New Prospects We will measure activities that directly relate to identifying, qualifying, and cultivating new major gift prospects, who will be solicited in future fiscal years. (Build the pipeline for the future.) These activities include (but are not limited to): • Qualification calls • (Face-to-face) Visits

    8. What to Measure Collaboration Encourage fundraisers to collaborate on solicitations. These activities include (but are not limited to): • Proposal/solicitation assists • Joint calls • Shared strategies/multiple solicitations • Implementing high-touch engagement across campus (e.g. reunion chairs, visiting committees, etc.)

    9. Case Studies • DePaul University • Northwestern University

    10. Case study: DePaul University AWARENESS: Generating awareness of the need for change • The current system is not working MOBILIZATION: Enlisting resources and stakeholders to undertake change • Identification of best practices: • Georgetown U./Oregon State U.: “The Placemat” • U. of Washington: “Top 25” • Buy-in from Advancement leadership PILOTING: Preliminary testing of new possibilities • Pilot run with business school for six months; full implementation 7/1/06 FULL SCALE IMPLEMENTATION: Adopting fundamental, far-reaching reform • Implementation of Accountabilities Grid • Implementation of Top 20/Next 50 portfolio system • FY2007-2011 results

    11. DePaul University: “The Grid”

    12. Major Gift Metrics & Accountability July 2006: Full Implementation of new goals & accountabilities system

    13. July 2006: Full Implementation of new goals & accountabilities system Major Gift Metrics & Accountability

    14. Case Study: Northwestern Current Status: • Solid Major Gift activity in pre-Campaign • Steady growth in recent years (but perhaps not significant enough to achieve projected campaign goals) • Large pool of rated/evaluated prospects (unassigned) Campaign Needs: • Need to significantly increase major gift outcomes in campaign • Influx of new fundraisers • Increase productivity of current fundraisers (i.e. increase rate of solicitation and volume of gifts) • High number of unqualified but rated prospects in discovery

    15. Case Study: Northwestern • Needed changes to improve fundraising productivity during campaign planning stages: • Need 50%+ Increase in gifts of $100K+ • Need 65%+ increase in gifts of $1M+ • Grow annual fundraising totals from ~$220M to ~$400M during campaign

    16. Case Study: Northwestern Projections

    17. Cumulative Major Gift Totals Per Month

    18. Cumulative Major Gift $ Totals by Month

    19. The NU Accountabilities Grid

    20. The Scorecard

    21. Lessons Learned: what’s working, what isn’t? Lessons Learned: • The system should constantly be improved as more data are available (goals that are too high create anxiety, goals too low don’t motivate) • Metrics improved morale as all fundraisers understood the goals and the roadmap to success • By making the focus on asks/gifts we became more purposeful in our work and in time-management • Improved tools for managers as everyone understood the system, which is transparent and consistent across all teams What is working at NU? • Great buy-in from across all teams • Agreement from all fundraisers and managers that we can and should increase our activity • We created a system that helps focus fundraisers on closing gifts • 20 percent increase in $100K+ commitments through June 2013 (following a record year in 2012) What isn’t working? • It’s still new…fundraisers are still learning the system • Uneven implementation across all teams • Occasional questions regarding how to count various activities against the grid

    22. Creating and implementing an accountability/measurement system • Evaluate your institutional culture/history • Identify short- and long-term goals to assess and reward productivity • Identify relevant performance variables to measure • Build consensus among major gift fundraisers for metrics and involve team in the implementation process • Include senior fundraising staff in the system (i.e. can’t be “do as I say, not as I do”) • Measure your activity systematically • Assess and modify system as needed

    23. Change management • Address the “elephant(s) in the room” • Varying levels of productivity among fundraisers • Varying expectations among management and fundraisers • Uneven levels of programs (e.g. business school vs. school of education) or geographic regions • Resistant deans, volunteers, and fundraisers • Aim for optimal functionality for all fundraisers • Create system that addresses issues above • Consider implementing test period with one program (a high performing program is preferred) • Consider all variables during implementation and assessment • As much as possible, create buy-in among fundraising team • Give new staff a grace period (9-12 months recommended)

    24. Your institution doesn’t/won’t employ major gift metrics? Create your own personal system • Review current/historical institutional activity • Productivity measurements • Stage of Advancement program (new vs. mature program) • Establish personal goals • Measure/assess performance against goals • Are they too aggressive? • Are they not aggressive enough? • Modify and implement needed changes semi-annually/annually • Build consensus from peers and leadership regarding establishment of formal program

    25. Questions? Discussion Thank You! Contact Us: m-termolen@northwestern.edu david.lively@northwestern.edu