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    By Kevin Leahy • January 27, 2021

    SPOTLIGHT: AI Fundraising for Independent Schools with Loyola Academy

    Loyola Academy uses Gravyty & AI to Transform Fundraising

    Loyola Academy is the largest Jesuit High School in the country, with some 2,000 students. Located in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Loyola attracts students from 92 zip codes in Chicagoland — including both the city proper and the suburbs. American culture owes Loyola a 'thank you'; iconic alumni and comedic legend Bill Murray spent his formative years in the school's halls. While wrapping up a $75 million strategic campaign close to 95 percent complete, Loyola chose Gravyty to build on a very successful and sophisticated fundraising program.

    Loyola's fundraising program has raised more than $100 million in the past eight years to support tuition assistance and a new aquatics center. Bob Miller, Vice President of Advancement at Loyola, was looking for ways to enhance the successful advancement shop and knew that facilitating virtual meetings with donors would be important. 

    "Gravyty is a terrific reminder that it's the 'little touches' that can make a difference, especially in the campaign wrap-up phase. The friendly, AI-driven reminders are beneficial and, when coupled with a quality database, can make the process efficient and impactful," explained Bob. "Our team's quick adoption of Gravyty shows the strength of the product and will certainly help us enhance how we manage our personal relationships, now and into the future."

    "I personally thought that Gravyty was the perfect technology." Mark Warner, Associate Director for Information Technology, Loyola Academy
    After taking a Gravyty demo, Mark Warner, Associate Director for Information Technology at Loyola Academy, says he was thrilled. He saw how Gravyty's AI would empower fundraisers to personally connect with the "untapped" donors in the school's database — including alumni, parents, current parents, and more. The enthusiasm from gift officers led to lightning-quick results in the independent school's test period.

    "One of our major gift officers raised about $20,000 from a couple of donors from a Gravyty auxiliary portfolio. These donors were not on our major gifts radar at all. We created that portfolio just to test Gravyty. The results show that it worked," explained Mark.

    Loyola Academy Uses Gravyty & AI to Transform Fundraising

    Loyola's three full-time gift officers each manage portfolios of 175 donors. With Gravyty, they're expanding that universe and unsure where it should stop. In fact, one of Mark's questions is, "Should I ask a gift officer to manage 500 donors?" now that Gravyty's AI solutions are in place.
    "I personally thought that Gravyty was the perfect technology," explained Mark. "I did have some initial worries about gift officer adoption, but — very quickly — those were proven to be unfounded."

    As Loyola gift officers find success, Mark and his colleagues are working on fine-tuning and generating new auxiliary portfolios for them to manage. In less than two months, Loyola's gift officers have personally reached out to 263 donors through Gravyty First Draft and taken action with another 256 donors. One gift officer is already asking for 3-4x more First Drafts per day.

    Because Loyola's fundraising operations are a well-oiled machine, within two months of adopting Gravyty, Mark is building more auxiliary portfolios based on wealthy locations in Loyola's donor database.

    "Universally, Gravyty has been hugely impactful, and we just started less than two months ago, so it's pretty incredible."

    Gravyty is proud to attend/sponsor CASE NAIS and the NAIS Annual Conference this winter. To learn more about how AI transforms what’s possible for fundraising, schedule a virtual conference meeting.

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