Since partnering with St. Edward’s University, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with Joe DeMedeiros, vice president for university advancement, and Cheri Sullivan, director of advancement services at St. Edward’s. Not only have they spearheaded a number of amazing initiatives at the university, but they’ve also been thinking strategically about how to incorporate our software platform, GivingTree, into those projects.
In this month’s Fireside Chat, I interviewed Joe and Cheri about their experience bringing GivingTree to St. Edward’s, how they’re using it across the entire team, and how they’re finding value with the platform.
To listen to the full conversation, click the play button above. You can also check out a few excerpts from the chat below.
Missed out on last month’s Fireside Chat with Purdue? Listen here.
On why St. Edward’s chose to partner with EverTrue:
[Joe at 3:33] “We’re in the middle of a comprehensive $100 million campaign, so we have the immediate urgency to raise the remaining $20 million by 2017, but we also understand that… we have to start doing some planning for the future. Part of that strategy includes the partnership that we have with EverTrue and GivingTree.”
On using GivingTree across the entire team:
[Cheri at 4:54] “When we set up this relationship with EverTrue, we wanted to have full-team access because we sat down as a group and talked about how the different areas can utilize GivingTree to meet their goals. We’ve put together a best practices document that talks about the best ways for prospect research to fully optimize what GivingTree has to offer, what the major gift officers can do with it, annual giving, and senior leadership.”
[Joe at 8:40] “I would say we’re utilizing the tool across the division… there’s applications for all parts of the organization. Through our coaching sessions and through our best practices, we’re bringing more clarity to how exactly each of those departments is going to be utilizing it. I can tell you, for example, we’re using it to do identification of new prospects, and that’s for principal and major gifts, all the way down the spectrum. Our annual giving team also utilized it this past fiscal year end, for identifying both LYBUNTs and SYBUNTs, particularly those that we may not have been able to get in front of using our existing data.”
On the immediate benefits they’re seeing:
[Cheri at 7:50] “For me, what we’re looking at is for the gift officers that are using this… being able to share information and identify people when they’re going to different areas. One of the weaknesses we have in our database is really knowing where people are, and [GivingTree] helps with that when they’re going on visits. With social media, what we’re looking at is trying to put together a plan with mini-campaigns when we’re trying to identify potential donors for projects… and then starting to identify people who are engaging with us on social media so that we can do outreach to them and perhaps get them giving to us.”
[Joe at 17:24] “When I first started using [GivingTree]… I came across a couple of individuals that I think, without this tool, would have been a challenge to identify. For me, I see an almost immediate benefit in that you can very quickly identify potential prospects that have existing inclination for the university based on some of their previous behavior… but we didn’t have any tool through Banner that was effective at fairly easily and quickly pinpointing those individuals. And then from that, we’re able to devise a strategy to visit with those individuals and then begin the cultivation process.”