There are nine folks in the advancement office at Wilkes University. Which means there are nine full plates and dozens of hats. Budgets are tight, and as much as Luciana Musto would have loved to hire a prospect researcher to support the team, she simply couldn’t.
So, instead, Wilkes partnered with EverTrue.
After one year, the Wilkes team is breaking new EverTrue user records. A few of their wins include identifying new prospects, such as:
- 251 high net worth donors who have high engagement but are not assigned
- 26 Giving Day donors who have high net worth and are not assigned
- 389 formerly assigned constituents who have high net worth and need to be reengaged
- 485 constituents from target markets (PA, NY, And NJ) who are donors, have high net worth, and are not assigned
Also, 6 members of the Wilkes team are already EverTrue Power Users. Jess Melby is the EverTrue Customer Success Manager who works with the Wilkes team on a regular basis. In her words, “We are one year into the EverTrue-Wilkes partnership. And I love them.”
Watch the whole Wilkes story below, or read on for the highlights.
If you’ve ever worked in a small shop, then you know that there are so many upsides to a close-knit team. You get direct experience in all facets of advancement work. Your outputs have an immediate impact on the bottom line. There are no communication silos. You operate kind of like a start-up within the larger organization, so your team can be more creative and iterative.
But, you also are expected to do a whole lot with very few resources. And here is a list of things that small teams simply don’t have time for.
- Pulling reports from slow, clunky databases
- Manually updating one-off job changes
- Verifying wealth screening data
- “Fire-alarm” prospect research requests
Dealing with these pain points leaves a small team susceptible to burnout and turnover. The Wilkes staff couldn’t afford to lose a team member, nor did they have the resources to hire additional staff. So, they brought EverTrue on board, instead.
Social engagement and enriched profiles
The Wilkes team operated in their alumni database, Banner 9, for a long time. (Much too long, in our book!) It wasn’t that Banner 9 was lacking historical student, alumni, and giving data. Like any alumni database, the necessary “stuff” was in there. But, true to alumni databases, it was a huge headache to access the information in aggregate, nevermind doing anything with the information.
So, when the Wilkes team learned about EverTrue’s one-click filtering, list collaboration, and enriched constituent profiles, they were pretty excited.
On a super-small team, there really isn’t time for training in a new tech tool. Knowing this, we strive to make the EverTrue platform to be easy to access, mobile friendly, and most importantly, useful for our partners. As in, you can log in and do your thing. Suffice it to say, it’s a whole lot different than Banner 9.
With a new, usable tool, the small-but-mighty Wilkes team can now do things like this:
Digital engagement: They monitor and follow-up on Facebook engagement to build affinity and rapport:
Easy filtering: They use one-click filters to segment and send annual giving appeals:
Automatic prospect alerts: They save searches and receive weekly updates of high-net-worth, unassigned alums in target markets.
Targeted invites: They use the map function to draw a radius around an area with a dense prospect population, add a few filters for LYBUNTs, SYBUNTs, or digitally engaged folks, and then export the list to send invitations to a regional event.
Trip planning: They tag colleagues on prospect profiles with notes like “Check this person out!”, or “Let’s add them to the invite list to our upcoming trip.”
Windfall: "A Godsend"
A key aspect of the Wilkes-EverTrue partnership is the incorporation of Windfall data. Windfall allows Wilkes to automatically identify households with over $1MM net worth.
This is a game-changer for the Wilkes team.
It’s not that wealth screenings are new to the Wilkes crew. They’re not. But most wealth screenings scrape wealth data from public sources and produce a mass list based on names of alums in the database. And then it’s on the prospect research team (aka Lucy) to decide if the wealth rating for John Smith, class of 1974 is actually accurate (it’s probably not). It’s an incredibly manual process, and it’s one of the pain-points that a small team simply doesn’t have time for.
The Windfall-EverTrue integration requires no manual entry for the Wilkes team. And every screened profile is verified by Windfall before it matches with the EverTrue constituent profile. So, this means that Lucy doesn’t have to click in and out of Banner 9 to view an alum and compare them alongside a spreadsheet of wealth information. With Windfall, wealth indicators are living and breathing alongside career updates, digital engagement notifications, and giving patterns in EverTrue.
It’s a one-stop solution for a small shop’s problems.
From Reactive to Proactive
All prospect researchers know the wave of anxiety that comes when the boss knocks on our door (or calls us on Zoom) and requests a last-minute research brief for a big alumni meeting. A slow, clunky alumni database doesn’t exactly lend itself well to the hustle.
For the Wilkes team, those rush moments still pop up, of course. But the panic is much less given that they can see all pertinent information about an alum in one place on a TrueView profile: past interactions, digital engagement, physical assets, a street view of their property, career information, giving patterns, and affinity and interest.
With EverTrue and Windfall insights, Lucy can be proactive in her prospecting, so rather than gift officers knocking on her door, she knocks on theirs to add new unassigned, high-net-worth, previously disengaged prospects to their radars.
Wins from Wilkes
The Wilkes advancement team is definitely small, and with the right tech tools to take the place of frustrating and manual guess work, they are also mighty.
We’re one year into the Wilkes-EverTrue partnership and the sky’s the limit, given these early wins:
- A first-stop for their work that combines insights from the alumni database with social media engagement, wealth indicators, and affinity insights.
- Easily filtering and segmenting.
- Proactive prospecting thanks to the EverTrue-Windfall integration.
P.S. This post was published on Lucy’s last day at Wilkes. She’s a rockstar and we’re excited to see the innovation she brings to her new gig at the Diocese of Scranton. (She’s officially EverTrue Donor Experience Certified, after all!)