After years of flat revenue from its in-house student caller program, University of Wyoming Foundation leadership decided in 2021 to retire its phone program and partner with EverTrue to establish a Donor Experience Program.
The results were significant. In the first year alone, the UW Foundation brought in more than six times the gift revenue from donors managed by the Donor Experience Program — supporters who had previously been solicited mainly through the phone program.
“I’m pleased at the results, but I’m not surprised,” said John Stark, president and CEO of the UW Foundation. “When we started this partnership, this is exactly what we were trying to achieve. We are reaching people we never would have otherwise, and we’re doing it in a way that benefits these donors and the University of Wyoming.”
EverTrue’s Donor Experience Programs equip fundraisers (called Donor Experience Officers or DXOs) with technology and training to manage a portfolio of 1,000 people — eight times larger than that of a typical gift officer. Using the EverTrue platform’s continually updated donor insights and fundraising enablement tools, DXOs reach out one-on-one to 24 or more prospects a day. By following EverTrue’s proprietary touchpoint plans, DXOs thoughtfully connect with prospects, book meetings to discuss the donor’s philanthropic interests, make timely asks for support, and provide personal stewardship throughout the entire donor journey.
On average, Wyoming raised $145,000 from a little more than 1,000 donations each year the phone program was in operation. When the foundation shifted to an EverTrue Donor Experience Program, Wyoming tripled its managed prospects by assigning 3,000 people to three DXOs. Most of these newly assigned donors had previously received only mass solicitations and phone calls. In the first year of the program, 3,081 of those donors gave a total of $1.1 million, representing a more than sixfold increase in revenue through guided, personal outreach from UW Foundation fundraisers. These DXOs also partnered with UW Foundation development officers to secure an additional $700,000 in leadership and major gifts in FY22.
This giving increase is remarkable but also expected. Across the organizations with a Donor Experience Program in fiscal year 2022, EverTrue partners raised an average of 47% more from prospects assigned to a DXO than they did the previous year. Top-performing organizations raised an average of 83% more year-over-year. And donors assigned to DXOs received 4.65 times more interactions with the institution than the year before.
“Increasingly we see colleges and universities moving away from outdated, traditional fundraising strategies in favor of high-volume, personal outreach at scale,” said Brent Grinna, founder and CEO of EverTrue. “These Donor Experience Programs allow institutions to treat donors as they want to be treated, prioritize overlooked prospects with the highest potential, and ultimately raise more philanthropic support.”
“We’ve seen the first-year results and it’s been nothing short of amazing,” said Mary Shafer-Maliki, chair of the University of Wyoming Foundation Board of Directors. “It’s gratifying that we’re seeing results this quickly — and I can’t say that I was surprised. We’ve seen improvements in fundraiser productivity and relationships with prospects, and we’re bringing more alumni and donors into the fold. This was the right approach to take and the best is yet to come.”
About the University of Wyoming Foundation
The University of Wyoming Foundation, established in 1962, is appointed by the University Board of Trustees to raise, receive, and manage private gifts to maximize support for the University of Wyoming. It is an independent, nonprofit corporation with a Board of Directors comprised of up to 20 members.
Through the generosity of UW’s many alumni and friends, the UW Foundation raises an average of nearly $50 million a year in private support — funding that goes to students and the faculty, staff, and programs that support them. Visit www.uwyo.edu/foundation to learn more about philanthropy’s impact on Wyoming’s university.
EverTrue’s data, software, and outreach platforms empower higher ed and independent school advancement teams to create personal experiences for donors. More than 1,900 nonprofits use EverTrue’s data sources and modern, mobile-first software and outreach tools to drive fundraising results and build donor pipeline. EverTrue is a remote-first company that’s backed by Rubicon Technology Partners. Visit www.evertrue.com for more information.