To cultivate prospective donors, you, as the Development Director, can’t afford to work on instinct and hear-say. You need cold, hard facts, and a donor database gives you the data you need at a click of a finger (well, filter). Still, that database can quickly become outdated and useless without regular and thorough maintenance.
This month, while you tidy your office and home for spring cleaning, set aside some time to clean your donor database!
In a perfect world, every call during a phoneathon would end in a cash donation and a monthly commitment for more. But reality often gives us more awkward—or even angry!—responses when your volunteers call the development office’s list of leads. To prevent your volunteers from becoming the proverbial “deer in the headlights,” give them some direction to try to change that “No” into a “Yes,” even if it’s only a “yes” next year.
Let's say you have reason to believe a parent may have lied on an application based on something you learned "in confidence." Maybe a father neglected to mention a student's learning disability that your school isn't equipped to accommodate, and you discovered the omission after reading a former teacher's confidential reference letter. Perhaps a mother laughed off suggestions of troubles at home that have proved problematic to previous instructors.
The situation must be addressed, but carefully, considering your sources may have requested (or required!) anonymity to come forward. The ways to do so vary, depending on the personality and strengths of the admission staff involved, but we have a few pointers to get you started on the right foot.
Social media can excite your audience. It's an opportunity to connect on a more personal and immediate level with your constituents, drawing them in and immersing them in the daily activities of life on campus. They present a positive picture of your school to prospective students, and remind current families why they chose you in the first place.
Of course, such campaigns require time and resources, which can be at a premium in the Admission Office. To make sure you give your social media strategy the attention it deserves, we've got some recommendations to make good use of what limited time you have.