George Washington University’s Giving Funnel delivered 700+ new prospects, $6MM in proposals, and $300k in new gifts — Now let’s build yours!

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I love sharing success stories. It pumps me up when a team uses the Giving Funnel approach to hit goals in record time.

And that’s just what George Washington University did. Anne Dean (an EverTrue 40-under-40 winner) and the Division of Development and Alumni Relations at GW built a major gift pipeline for three hard-to-fund projects.

In less than eight months, the team used EverTrue to identify 700+ new prospects. Ninety of them are now in gift officer portfolios, there’s $6 million in proposals they expect to close soon, and they’ve already raised $300,000 in gifts.

They started by looking for Facebook engagement among past donors, digging into TrueView interests, examining wealth indicators like home values, and mining contact reports to find the most engaged, likely-to-give, unassigned prospects.

Check out the story and see how they did it.

If you want to use EverTrue to build your own Giving Funnel, it’s easy. First, check out our Giving Funnel guide for an overview of the approach. Then jump into EverTrue and follow these tips.

Engage

The GW team understands the importance of engagement. They used our Facebook content filter to find posts that mentioned the projects they were trying to fund (Thurston Hall — a dormitory, Hillel’s new building, and Colonial athletics).

They also used EverTrue’s keyword search to mine contact reports for phrases like “Jewish life,” “baseball,” “Thurston,” or other related words to find people who had mentioned those topics to a gift officer in the past.

As you do the same, add the people you find to a shared list in EverTrue to keep track. Then it’s time to see who on that list has the capacity to make a major gift.

EverTrue shows you who's interacting with Facebook posts. Search by user, keyword, or reaction.

Qualify

Anne and the research team used their own ratings, past giving, and the “Lives in a wealthy neighborhood” filter to look for engaged prospects who were also broadcasting wealth indicators. 

Since you can layer filters in EverTrue, it’s really easy to keep running searches until you strike gold. And you can save those searches so they run continuously, notifying you anytime a new hot prospect pops up.

(You can use our Windfall integration to look at continually refreshed net worth information, too.)

Assign

Beyond just sending a list of the 778 new prospects to development officers, GW tracked progress as their frontline team followed up on the leads. That way, they made sure no one slipped through the cracks AND they got to show off the impact of their work.

It’s key to track the results of gift officer outreach. That’s why we give fundraisers Launchpad — a customizable, always-up-to-date dashboard that helps guide meaningful activity.

Lauchpad automatically guides gift officer activty and tracks success.

Ask

Once you know a prospect has both affinity and capacity, it’s much easier to make the ask. That’s why this GW project has delivered six- and seven-figure results in such a short amount of time. Engagement is the best indicator of future giving, which brings us back to the beginning of the Giving Funnel.

Engage your audience in meaningful ways that match up to your fundraising goals. Then use new, fresh data to identify your best leads. Put those prospects in front of gift officers to make the ask. Then demonstrate the impact of those new donors’ gifts so they continue to give.

It’s smart fundraising. 

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