How Baylor University 4x’d leadership-level giving

Baylor University used EverTrue to uncover a $100,000 gift, and as a result, also uncovered the family’s potential to give back even more.

Let’s set the stage: The Leadership Annual Giving team at Baylor was first created in 2018. Baylor defines Leadership Annual gifts as $1,000-$49,999, and the team focuses on portfolios of 200+ constituents but also has a general prospect pool containing around 4,000 people they can activate at any given time. 

Baylor has seen tremendous success since establishing its LAG team. From FY20 to FY22, they increased LAG gift revenue by more than 400% and nearly tripled interactions, increasing donor contact by nearly 275%*. This increase results from three things: a dedicated team, a lot of hard (and intentional!) work, and the utilization of the right tools. The team uses EverTrue to manage trips and portfolios and tap into data like career information, social media engagement, and wealth insights to amplify their donor engagement efforts. And they have seen some incredible results from it.

“Without having EverTrue during the last four years of building a leadership annual giving program, we wouldn’t be where we are now.”

EverTrue assists their processes for prospect identification and trip planning, enabling them to log more contact reports, qualify more donors, and raise more funds – and with the potential to do it all from the palm of their hands. Whether the team is in the office or on the road, they are able to easily access EverTrue data from any device, helping them remain agile, seize special opportunities by shifting travel and visit plans, and keep that forward momentum going. And that functionality helped this incredible story come to life.

EverTrue's mobile app helps gift officers connect with prospects anywhere.

Like many institutions, Baylor’s development teams collaborate to support each other’s initiatives. For example, when the Parent Engagement team hosted events in cities across the state this summer, the Leadership Annual Giving team pitched in to not only help execute the events, but also identify prospects to target with invitations.

While Stephen Sullivan, Director of Leadership Annual Giving, was on the road for these events, he had the opportunity to engage with donors he might not typically be able to meet with on an average work day in Waco. He built a saved search in EverTrue of unmanaged, socially-engaged, high-potential prospects, set geographical parameters for the cities he was going to visit, and generated a list of folks that fit the right criteria.

When reviewing the list, Stephen found one donor in particular who hadn’t been engaged by a gift officer since 2011. 

The donor had a lifetime giving of $3,700, but had only given $1,000 in total of over the  last five years. After reviewing the donor’s constituent profile in EverTrue Stephen knew there was untapped potential. And he was right.

Stephen reached out to the donor and asked for a visit. Instead, they connected on a phone call, during which donor expressed interest in learning about a past family endowment as well as an interest in establishing a new endowed scholarship. It turned out that the donor had been considering making a sizeable gift for some time, but wasn’t sure how or to where to start.

After some further discussion about the process, logistics and gift designations, Stephen presented the donor with a $50,000 gift agreement.

Stephen eventually connected the donor with a major gift officer. Not only did the donor increase his commitment to nearly $100,000 (to be fulfilled by the end of this year), but the team also had the opportunity to learn more about his family’s ties to Baylor and their capacity and inclination to give a transformational gift (7-8 figures) to the place that means so much to them.

Gift officers can save searches in EverTrue and get alerted when a prospect meets that criteria (*this is dummy data)

Weaving the web even further…

Speaking of those other family members, let’s jump back a few years in time. 

Several years earlier, another gift officer from Baylor secured a $10MM planned gift after using EverTrue’s career and company information to assess that donor’s wealth capacity. Fast forward to this year: Turns out that $10MM donor works at the same company of the son of the donor Stephen met with.

There are many ways to assess a donor’s capacity to give (trust us…there is no shortage of wealth indicators with TrueView insights) but, it’s a good inference that If that $10MM donor, who is at a lower level in the company, was able to make a gift of that amount…well, you can likely guess where we’re going with this.

So, what’s in the works now? A team of four Baylor gift officers will be working closely with this family to connect them back with the University, assess the areas where their passions lie, and help them determine how they can pay-it-forward in a way they can feel really good about.

Ask Stephen and he’ll agree: This success story is the combination of the right tool, right time, right people. This donor could have stayed in a larger pool of prospects, with no set time for engagement. But, because he was able to create a search in EverTrue based on an area he was traveling to, he made a connection with a donor that was ready (and waiting!) to make a difference. And now, that donor’s family is on deck to make a lasting impact for years to come.

And isn’t that what it’s really all about?

*Baylor doubled the size of its leadership annual giving team during this period, but the growth in both gift revenue and interactions increased dramatically per fundraiser

Ready to learn more? Request an EverTrue demo and we’ll give you a tour.

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