For today’s advancement professionals, the pressure is enormous.
As colleges and universities face challenges like declining enrollment, depressed student retention, and mounting student debt, along with shifting perceptions of the value of a college degree, higher education’s leaders must find a new mix of funding to achieve sustainability, let alone to expand and invest. No longer able to rely on tuition revenue to support growth, institutions are now looking to their gift officers to secure more significant contributions and secure them now. In a recent Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey, 90 percent of chief advancement officers identified dollars raised as their top priority. To add to that pressure, gift officers report that current fundraising practices lack the necessary level of effectiveness and efficiency to meet higher goals. Institutions are now in an age where they must raise more dollars on tight timelines without proportional increases in resources.
The only way fundraisers can meet these demands and the expectation to do more with less–or even the same amount–is by intelligently leveraging new technologies, applications, and practices to reach more of the right people more efficiently. In most cases, today’s gift officers are still being asked to sift through more data, build deep relationships, personalize their outreach, and manage bigger prospect pools–all with outdated approaches and outdated technology.