Meet our Donor Experience Program Managers: Nic Emery

Meet our DXPMs Series: Nic
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Donor Experience Programs by EverTrue are changing the game in shops all over the country, letting you manage thousands of your best, overlooked prospects. What’s our secret ingredient? Our Donor Experience Program Managers. 

DXPMs are by your side from day one, helping to build out your team, mentoring new Donor Experience Officers (DXOs), and providing nuanced data-driven reporting to keep your program on track. 

Get to know our DX experts, how they got into fundraising, what a typical day is like, and why they’re so excited about the future of advancement.

Your name: Nic Emery

Location: Great Barrington, MA

Alma Mater: Middlebury College (BA in International Studies; MA in Italian Studies)

Did you pick up any hobbies recently? I have become pretty darn good at crafting cocktails. I also started getting out on my bike more!

Scenes from Nic's bike adventures...inclusive of chocolate croissants. Yum!

What’s your signature dish or drink? In the summer I’m drinking a spritz or negroni, in the colder months you’ll find me with a manhattan.

negroni cocktail with orange
Nic's signature summer drink: a Negroni

What is your favorite part of working at EverTrue? The feeling that my values directly align with the company mission statement makes me feel great about coming in to work every day.

How would you describe your role as a DXPM? My job is to set our partners up for success in raising funds for their institutions. I assist with the tech/software side of this as well as strategy and execution, and finally, I provide data and analysis to leadership so that we can measure results.

What skills do you find most critical to your job? At the end of the day, I think the most critical skill for me is the ability to relate to people. Data analysis and the ins and outs of the software can be learned, but when it comes to training and the daily management of teams, connecting with people on a personal level and building those relationships is so important and lays the foundation for everything else. Much like fundraising! 

Can you tell us about your previous job and how you think it has helped set you up for success as a DXPM? 
Previously, I worked in Alumni & Development in independent schools, and prior to that, I had an 8-year stint in the student travel industry. Both experiences laid the foundation for my work as a DXPM: working in development gave me a valuable understanding of the world of fundraising at educational institutions, and my time building programs at a startup travel company showed me the value of exceeding client expectations as well as the importance of continually seeking to improve our strategies and approach.

Since you’ve worked in advancement before, how is this approach different from traditional approaches? In a nutshell, DXOs are responsible for much larger portfolios, and at the same time are expected to personally contact every single household they are assigned to every year. This is made possible through a combination of the unique technology we bring to the table, and the ability to improve our processes quickly and work efficiently.

Which customers do you work with? I have the privilege of working with the University of Memphis, Virginia Commonwealth University, Vassar College, Fairfield Prep, the University of Idaho, and Purdue University.

Are there any common observations or results you’re seeing across your DX teams? There are so many donors out there who are just waiting for the moment that somebody from their alma mater personally contacts them to engage in a conversation around philanthropy. They are absolutely delighted to have that conversation, and the outcomes speak for themselves.

How about any recent wins you’re particularly excited about? A DXO I work with reached out to a donor who had never been personally contacted by the institution. They booked a meeting immediately upon receiving the first email and ended up committing to a $2,500 gift over five years—more than doubling his lifetime giving to date. What’s more, as the owner of a custom clothes shop, he offered to design and create a suit jacket for the new president of the institution. This led to a campus tour with the DXO and a jacket fitting in the President’s office. I love this story because it highlights the infinite possibilities when it comes to engaging with donors and giving them the space to give back in ways that are particularly meaningful to them.

How do you encourage your DXOs? Any advice for someone just starting out in the role? Any fundraiser can feel discouraged when you put effort into personal outreach and you don’t get a response. My advice is to trust the process and follow through on the strategies we have put into place. It takes patience. If you put in the work, over time you will see results!

Learn more about Donor Experience Programs firsthand in our latest Ask Me Anything: Donor Experience webinar, where three current and former DXOs detail a “day in the life” and the tangible ROI from over 35 EverTrue Donor Experience partner institutions.

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