Archive for category: Fundraising

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center using Advizor for advancement analytics

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center …. TDWI 2018 Best Practices Award Winner in BI, Visual Analytics, and Data Discovery

Recent changes in HIPPA regulations have permitted Pitt Medical Center to integrate their advancement data with patient data, using Advizor’s in-memory mart.  This has provided a more complete view of their prospect pool, enabling the team to better identify and segment prospects based on multiple factors.  The benefit…more focused target lists generated more quickly for contact and follow up.  The result…the right messages getting to the right prospects for increased giving by grateful patients.

Dartmouth College using Advizor for advancement analytics

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth uses ADVIZOR as a strategic solution across its fundraising and alumni relations teams.  Our visualizations have allowed their teams to see stories in the data that were simply not visible with standard reporting and query tools. ADVIZOR’s data discovery and predictive modeling are used regularly for answers that need a quick turnaround. The dashboards help the Dartmouth team see what’s working, and enable them to create segments and prioritized lists for follow-up and assignment.

The results have been substantial:

(1) Annual Giving improved the yields of its appeals and the efficiency of its call center.

(2) Major Giving has found new prospects and shared best practices across its team of field officers, improving performance.

(3) Alumni Relations has found the right volunteers for committees and generated more focused target lists for mailings (trips, events, etc.).

(4) Portfolios are optimized with the best prospects, with the help of ADVIZOR’s predictive modeling in Prospect Research.

(5) Senior Management receives the high level overview and deeper understanding critical to managing a complex operation.

Wake Forest University using Advizor for advanced analytics

Wake Forest University

Wake Forest has deployed several ADVIZOR projects across a wide cross-section of its team, including Annual Giving, Major Giving, Field Officers, and Senior Management.  The goal has been to enable the various fundraising teams to make fact-based decisions on their own, without relying on advancement services to produce and prepare custom reports and queries.  This became especially important when, a few years ago, Wake Forest went through a database conversion.  While IT was focused on moving to the new system, fundraisers were able to continue to access the information they needed when they needed it.

The results have been multi-facted and include a much more “data centric” culture with improved performance.  Bottom line…more money raised more effieciently!

Hear the Wake Forest story first hand…Staff Performance Management for Fundraisers: Case Study with Wake Forest and Marts & Lundy.

UNC Charlotte using Advizor for advancement analytics

UNC Charlotte

UNC Charlotte (UNCC) has been putting ADVIZOR to work to facilitate data-driven discussions with the major giving team.  Data analysis has identified what’s working and what’s not and enabled constructive and collaborative conversations around best practices.  The result has been a more efficient major giving effort with larger asks and more money raised.

Purdue University using Advizor for advancement analytics

Purdue University

Purdue originally acquired ADVIZOR for the Prospect Research team and the Prospect Management & Tracking team.  Their initial project was a Prospect Identification project.  Once they experienced the power, convenience, and flexibility of the tool, they saw the potential for other use case applications and using in-house resources, got to work!  Most recently they have added ADVIZOR’s predictive modeling to their toolbox.


International Prospecting
This project is a smaller version of the Prospect Identification project, focused on database entities with interantional addresses, which were excluded from the original Prospect Identification project.

Sponsored Research Grants
This project is used to compile, format, and provide data on sponsored research grants for use in corporate reports.  It accesses grant data not currently in the database, links it with the Advance data, does a fair amount of formatting, and enables the export of the data in a format that can be directly ported into several corporate reports.  What had been a manual and very time-consuming process is now automated.  

Prospect Management & Tracking

Portfolio Management
Used by the Prospect Management & Tracking director, this project facilitates portfolio reviews with the development officers.

Proposal Management & Tracking
This project facilitates the tracking of outstanding proposals, by state, size, solicitor, days, active, etc., highlighting proposals that may be “stuck” and in need of a new strategy as well as enabling forecasting and tracking against fiscal year goals.

Development Operations

Planned Gift Inventory
Used by the Director of Development Operations, this project tracks the inventory of planned gifts currently in the system and categorizes them by type, allocation purpose, allocation school, etc.  It contains a number of audit fields to identify uncollected gifts where both donor and spouse have been deceased for a number of years.  It is also used to forecast expected fulfillment, using age and other relevant factors, to better manage cash flow. 

University Pledge Inventory
This project tracks pledges, excluding planned gift pledges, by size, type, allocation, days past due, etc.  It also includes historical data of paid and written off pledges for analysis purposes.

Annual Giving

Donor Segmentation
The newest ADVIZOR project, it is used by staff to quickly segment populations for mailings, by class year, current segment (e.g.lybunt, sybunt), appeal type, time of year, and other factors.  It also facilitates analysis of the non-donor pool, with the ability to prioritize likelihood to give using predictive modeling, and to focus efforts on the best prospects. 

Georgia Tech using Advizor for advancement analytics

Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech has been working with ADVIZOR for several years and has developed a variety of small, focused projects for various end-user communities and purposes.  They have used these projects to help the whole team gain awareness of the wealth of data available for the prospecting and decision making processes.

The projects have had strong uptake, allowing the team to more effectively use existing data to answer questions. These questions range from: “Where are my alumni?” to “Who are my best engineering prospects in Georgia?” to “How should I develop rules for subsetting aged proposals?”

Berklee College of Music uses Advizor for advanced analytics

Berklee College of Music

Berklee has deployed ADVIZOR to simplify information access and analysis across its fundraising operations.  ADVIZOR has been most useful in bringing data-centric discussions directly into Berklee’s Board of Directors meetings.  Since the board can now “see the stories” in the data, they can ask more informed questions. And, with ADVIZOR’s visual and interactive display, answers are immediately accessible.

The result…more informed, more engaged decision makers, and quicker turnaround across the “Board.”

Northern Illinois University uses Advizor for advanced analytics

Northern Illinois University

NIU uses ADVIZOR as a strategic application in both Annual and Major Giving.

In Annual Giving, ADVIZOR’s data discovery and predictive modeling have allowed the team to segment their non-donor pool to find those most likely to give, and to identify the method of contact, timing, and messages that best connect. The result has been significant improvement in non-donor acquisition rates and higher overall participation.  But best of all, more money was raised with fewer sends of the most costly direct mail and holiday cards!

In Major Giving ADVIZOR is used by the development team to assess performance and share best practices, improving qualification, stage moves, and ask levels.

Emory University sees success in using Advizor for analytics

Emory University: Prospect Identificatoin

Emory began with a Prospect Identification project.  They just completed their 20th project, with more in the works!   In reponse to increasing demand, they recnetly deployed ADVIZOR campus-wide, providing schools and departments with browser and iPad access to the tool.

The secret to Emory’s success with ADVIZOR has been simple, focused projects that meet the specific needs of their various user communities.  Current projects are in use by deans, development management, staff, and analysts.  Use cases include prospect identification, financial aid, alumni relations, and campaign tracking, analysis, and reporting. They also use ADVIZOR to analyze and implement some unique metrics for prospect management.

ADVIZOR is now an integral part of their campus reporting and analysis, serving as the cornerstone for positive change in their fundraising operations.  Their strategy to “win with simplicity” has been instrumental in creating a culture of analytics.

University of Florida Foundation uses Advizor for advanced analytics

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”.