Last week, it was announced that Ted McCourtney and wife Tracy, a 1965 Penn State graduate, have donated $3 million to the College of Liberal Arts at Penn state University.
What prompted the McCourtney’s to make their donation to Penn State? Tracy McCourtney would have had an affinity to her alma mater however it’s interesting to note that her husband had several key relationships with prominent constituents there. The image from Prospect Visual shows a quick snapshot of some of the strongest of those relationships. Could these relationships have been the deciding factor when it came to the couple making their donation?
The $3 million donation went to the democracy institute in the College of Liberal Arts whose goals are to educate citizens about political processes, factors affecting politicians and public policy decisions. In a news release, the university called the donation transformative and revealed that the institute will be renamed “The McCourtney Institute for Democracy” in honor of the couple’s donation.
Tracy McCourtney quoted: “We believe that the institute will help advance the best practices of effective democracies and motivate not only Penn State students, but also lawmakers, policymakers and citizens to elevate governing in our country.”
Nothing can replace the power of face-to-face contact in the business of fundraising. As a fundraiser, as a salesperson, as a gift officer, there is no other powerful form of interaction. Which is why, in preparation for such an interaction, you need to be ready. The Internet offers us a wide array of access points, data, and biographical information on an individual. But does it specifically provide us with relationships?
Knowledge of one’s relationships is a key part of face-to-face interaction as a fundraiser. It is important to understand whom this person knows, how they know each other, and how well. Thus, understanding one’s relationships offers you a higher chance at success.
Take the Church World Service for example. When I spoke with them it was apparent to me that most of their fundraising is done face to face as it is for many other organizations and universities. They spoke of going to a certain region to approach current donors. They wanted to better understand their current donor’s relationships, both known and unknown to them. They wanted to approach them with a list prospects in hand to which they could possibly offer an introduction.
So if Church World Service had Relationship Mapping with Prospect Visual, what could we do for them? In short, we could help generate more donations. To be more specific, we can do research on the people Church World Service is interested in engaging face to face in that region. We can show Church World Service, visually, whom that person knows and how they are connected to them in that region. We can give them the ability to give their current donors a list of prospects he/she might know which could lead to numerous introductions to other prospects.
Once an introduction is made by a peer, that individual is 200 times more likely to donate. Relationship Mapping is what makes that statistic possible. In preparing for a face-to-face encounter with a current donor, we give you the ability to uncover that person’s relationships, which quite simply leads to more donations.
Duke University received $10 million from Chicago’s Crown family. Paula Hannaway Crown, one of the lead donors, is a Duke University trustee and alumna who graduated from the university in 1980.
This gift comes at the time when Duke forward, university’s $3.25 billion fundraising campaign approaches the $2 billion mark. This $10 million will be used for upgrades at the student union on Duke’s west campus.
Paula Hannaway Crown quoted: “We wanted to give the Duke community a sense of place, a memorable space that belongs to everyone, especially the students.” The work on 110,000 square foot west union project started in last summer and is expected to complete in early 2016.
Crown family is considered one of the most influential corporate family in Chicago and undoubtedly have many organizations vying for their patronage. The image from the Prospect Visual shows a snapshot of the relationships between Paula Crown and prominent Duke constituents. These relationships that Duke has been cultivating may well be the reason why the Crown family chose to point their donation in Duke’s direction!