University of Florida Foundation

University of Florida Foundation Uses Data Discovery and Analysis to Segment and Target Prospects

University of Florida Foundation serves as the fundraising arm of the University of Florida, a major, public research university that is among the nation’s most academically diverse.  Charged with raising and managing private gifts to meet the needs of this large public university, the UF Foundation’s mission is to connect private donors with their passions at the university, all in support of UF’s three-fold missions of teaching, research and service.

In order to accomplish their mission, managers, researchers, and fundraising staff needed access to data.  That meant ordering reports from overburdened reporting specialists and often waiting several days or even weeks for the results from custom queries.  And once it was received, it may or may not have answered their questions!

Audrey Geoffroy, Associate Director of Data Analysis at the UF Foundation realized that if they were going to reach their fundraising goals, they needed a better way.   She and her team selected an ADVIZOR visual discovery fundraising solution as the answer.

ADVIZOR visual discovery allows users to access and analyze patterns and trends that would otherwise be hidden in the complexity of their large data set.  The product pulls data from their main Oracle database and other internal sources, combines it, and displays it in interactive charts that enable end users to analyze business processes that range from staff performance and portfolio balance to annual fund segmentation and prospect identification.  Instead of depending on others to generate custom reports, end users now have their data at their fingertips and can drill down and figure out who, what, how, when, and why immediately, changing their questions and approaches on the fly as they discover answers to their business problems.

ADVIZOR was selected based on a combination of the software functionality and the speed with which it could be implemented.  Most importantly, ADVIZOR allowed the UF Foundation to keep their data in-house as opposed to housing it on a vendor’s server, enabling them to maintain their data security within their own network.

The UF Foundation maintains three core ADVIZOR projects, which are updated nightly and published to the web for access by a group of 30 end users and growing.

The Prospect Research Department uses an ADVIZOR project to find prospective donors with both wealth capacity and philanthropic interest in current university programs.  Since the implementation of ADVIZOR’s Prospect Identification solution, the researchers have increased their proactive identification of good prospects to pass along to fundraising staff for cultivation and have improved productivity within the department.

A second Portfolio Management project helps managers quickly evaluate staff performance and review the balance of their fundraisers’ portfolios to ensure they are building relationships that transform prospective supporters into committed donors.  The software fosters collaboration and helps officers to have meaningful conversations about realistic expectations at both the individual and unit level for success in furthering the UF Foundation’s fundraising mission.  

The third project is organized to answer questions about segmentation, appeals, giving, and participation and helps the Annual Fund staff focus on best approaches for email, phone, and mail-based marketing efforts.  This project has saved time and money by reducing the lag time surrounding data requests from the reporting team.  It has also allowed for better planning and more targeted messaging that has generated higher yields from fewer attempts.

According to Audrey, “ADVIZOR’s biggest strengths lie in its in-memory data management capability and the interactive nature of its data visualizations.  The former allows one to take the details of a very large data set pulled from multiple sources into a meeting on nothing more than a laptop.  The latter allows one to slice and dice the data using a fairly intuitive interface.  Visual displays make analysis not only easier to interpret but also allow for effective sharing of insights since charts and lists can be exported to other applications, such as PowerPoint and Excel.”

To learn more about UF Foundation’s use of ADVIZOR and to hear our conversation with Audrey Geoffroy herself, check out our webinar, “Donor Retention, Acquisition, and Appeal Targeting”.

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