AI and relationship-based fundraising: Revolutionizing donor outreach

Since launching a Donor Experience program with EverTrue, the University of Nebraska team has seen a 190% increase in yearly donor meetings, 40+ new major gift referrals, and a $12MM increase in revenue pipeline.

Dr. Nick Linde, Vice President of Advancement at the University of Nebraska, recently chatted with EverTrue CEO Brent Grinna about how the Nebraska team has armed 14 “pipeline generators” with a top-tier tech suite to power thousands of connections with long-overlooked donors and fans.

Brent and Nick explored how the introduction of generative AI will make scaled, personalized outreach even easier – empowering fundraisers to automate manual tasks and stay focused on what they love doing most: building relationships.

Here are some top highlights:

From Overlooked Donor to Trustee: Daphne's Story

Picture this: a donor who was once hidden in the shadows of anonymity pledges a transformative gift and now sits on the board of Trustees, wielding influence and driving change. Sounds like a Hollywood plot, right? But no, this is the real-life transformation of a University of Nebraska Foundation donor, Daphne: a shining example of the power of personalized outreach at scale. Her journey from being overlooked to becoming a trustee showcases the incredible impact of the Donor Experience program at the University of Nebraska.

The Value of Scaling Polite Persistence, for DXOs and MGOs

In the fast-paced world of fundraising, persistence pays off big time, and the University of Nebraska Foundation has embraced polite persistence to nurture relationships and drive results. Whether you’re a Donor Experience Officer (DXO) or a Major Gift Officer, scaling this approach can work wonders in your donor engagement strategy (just look at the numbers from Nebraska’s 3 DXOs: 870 annual donor meetings, 40+ planned or major gift referrals, and $12.6M in donor pipeline from DXO referrals.)

Cadences Are the "Science" of Advancement Work

Ever wondered what sets apart successful advancement strategies from the rest? It’s all about the cadences! These structured sequences of outreach form the backbone of effective fundraising efforts. Think of cadences as the scientific formula for fostering donor relationships – each interaction is carefully calibrated to maximize impact. 

This conversation made one thing abundantly clear – the University of Nebraska Foundation is paving the way for a new era of philanthropy. With innovative strategy and cutting-edge technology, they’re transforming donors into champions and revolutionizing the way we engage with our supporters. And with the integration of generative AI, advancement shops like Nebraska’s are poised to reach even greater heights; allowing for scaled, personalized outreach that strengthens relationships and drives meaningful impact.

Ready to see this in action?

Join us this March for a live session where our product team will unveil all they have been working on to bring Signal, the first-ever Donor Experience Platform, to life.
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