When I worked in advancement at an independent school, it was a common refrain to hear that everyone was, in one way or another, a gift officer. Sure, each organization has its office of institutional advancement or fundraising or philanthropy, whatever you want to call it. But, without teachers, coaches, dorm parents, deans, athletic directors, administrators, etc, there is nothing. Even outside of the K-12 world, fundraising is rarely limited to those within development. Physicians often make appeals to former patients, board members often connect with supporters at galas or golf tournaments - the list goes on.
So, why do we depend solely upon fundraisers to manage relationships with donors? What if non-traditional fundraisers could manage a smaller, more targeted group of donors?
For example, perhaps the chairperson of your visual arts department has worked there for many years and has greatly expanded the program. Logic would dictate that chairperson should spearhead the relationships with supporters that made that expansion possible. Or perhaps a donor is generous enough to donate funds for a new dorm on campus. How much more meaningful would that "thank you" be if it came from the director of residential life or even the Dean of Students?
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These types of interactions are not commonplace within fundraising because oftentimes these employees are concerned with their primary job function. In their defense, it is a perfectly valid reason not to carry a portfolio. It is not what they were hired to do. However, in many cases, the work that they do for the organization is possible through donors' generosity. Despite this, fundraising is still siloed and managed only by on-staff gift officers.
Setting aside that fundraising appeals are not in the job descriptions for non-fundraisers, the argument can also be made that because of their regular job duties, these individuals lack the time to effectively carry a portfolio of donors. Fortunately, that is where the role of artificial intelligence comes in.
By providing non-traditional fundraisers with individual prompts and authentically drafted emails, Gravyty allows them to personally engage with their donors at the click of a button. This way, traditional stewarding is taken to another dimension and level of specificity. Just imagine: being able to personally connect with a group of supporters while waiting in line for coffee. All without sacrificing any time or focus on their primary job at the organization.
Avon Old Farms School currently has many alumni working on campus in a variety of different roles. Gravyty allows for some of these faculty alums to manage different segments of the alumni base. For instance, there is an admissions officer who graduated in 2014 as the president of the school, so on top of his primary responsibility in admissions, Gravyty allows him to keep the young alumni engaged. The school’s athletic director is a legendary faculty member who graduated in the ’80s, so not only is he engaging with his former classmates, but he is also managing relationships with his former students and their families.
Time, or lack thereof, is no longer an insurmountable obstacle. Gravyty is allowing for non-traditional fundraisers to personally steward donors with whom relationships have already been established. This is providing donors with a much more genuine experience, which contributes to their growing affinity for the organization.
See for yourself how Gravyty's AI makes involving non-traditional fundraisers simple and expanding your philanthropic reach by seeing a demo today: