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phi delta theta

Case Study

Phi Delta Theta

How Phi Delta Theta used the power of data to identify new potential major donors, then deploy major gift officers to hold in-person meetings with the right people, in the right place, and the right time.

 
 
 

By the
Numbers

$50k

Donation from newly acquired donor

$100k

Donation from retained donor

$200k+

Raised within 6 months of GivingDNA implementation

By the
Numbers

$50k

Donation from newly acquired donor

$100k

Donation from retained donor

$200k+

Raised within 6 months of GivingDNA implementation

Phi Delta Theta is an Oxford, Ohio-based fraternity, which now has 193 chapters and emerging chapters with more than 278,000 men across 290 campuses. The original chapter began in 1848 at Miami University. Phi Delta Theta was established on three foundational pillars, which the organization proudly touts as guiding principles still in place today: Cultivation of friendship among members, individual acquirement of high mental culture, and the personal attainment of a high standard of morality.

In keeping with a legacy of excellence, current Phi Delta Theta leadership sought to advance their fundraising technology and capacity in 2021 by adopting the GivingDNA donor intelligence tool into their already-robust stable of business development professionals and data collection practices.

The Challenge

With a fundraising staff that is ambitious and well-rounded, yet limited to three major gift officers, Phi Delta Theta’s Director of Annual Giving and Advancement Communications, Katie Shipp, found it difficult to focus on prospects at all potential giving levels. They devoted a lot of effort to current and prospective donors in and around the $10,000 per year level, yet were unable to spare the resources for an official mid-level program. The major gift officers had access to lots of great data, but felt they needed assistance identifying the right prospects in-person fundraising meetings. Visiting prospects in person is the most costly fundraising activity, but has the greatest potential to reap the biggest return on investment of time and travel funds, so it is critical for them to spend that precious resource on the right prospects at the right time.

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We have a high-performing fundraising team, but we knew there was still untapped opportunities hidden in our databases of potential major giving prospects, so we enlisted the help of GivingDNA to help get to the next level. That gambit paid off- sooner than we could have anticipated.

-Katie Shipp, Director of Annual Giving and Advancement Communications


The Potential

With approximately 178,000 living alumni, hundreds of thousands more friends, and loved ones of alums, Phi Delta Theta has a vast pool of both active and potential donors at all levels. Naturally, their small but mighty fundraising team cannot individually track all those people and their life situations, so advanced data analytics must be incorporated as a way of fundraising life.

By adopting and implementing GivingDNA as a virtual ‘eye in the sky,’ Phi Delta Theta quickly realized the software’s potential to meet and exceed their expectations. Katie invited the major gift officers to experience an initial demo, then receive training on how to get the most out of the platform’s ability to call out and segment potential donors in new and unique ways.

 

The Solution

Phi Delta Theta purchased GivingDNA with an intent to boost the organization’s annual fund. However, the platform’s potential to amplify the efforts of fundraising staff across all giving levels quickly became apparent.

The organization’s Major Gift Officers received training on GivingDNA’s interface and learned about the ways it can segment prospects in existing databases according to their giving potential – not just their past and present giving habits.

The Phi Delta Theta fundraising team began using GivingDNA to help identify potential major and upper-mid-level giving prospects based on known giving affinities and projected ability to give based on a variety of factors, including their residential location, employment, and giving history. The team aimed to harness the donor intelligence tool’s power to identify prospects at giving levels that they were previously unable to fully pursue, given their staffing and resource levels. They honed in on prospects with projected giving ability between $10,000-$24,999 and $25,000 and above, which is considered major for their organization type.

The Results

Following training on GivingDNA and integration with Salesforce, Phi Delta Theta staff reported that the platform is “incredibly easy to use.” Being a mostly younger staff (all three Major Giving Officers are in their 20s), GivingDNA’s intuitive design was easy to learn and implement, as staffers already had high competency in software, social media apps, and Web interfaces.

Using GivingDNA, Phi Delta Theta fundraisers successfully refreshed and further segmented their prospective major donor pool, allowing them to plan effective discovery visits in person.

  • Phi Delta Theta received one $50,000 donation from a donor who wasn’t on their radar before adopting the GivingDNA platform.
  • Another donor pledged $100,000
  • Major gift officers continued to see results that put them on a trajectory to raise $200,000-$500,000 within about six months of implementing GivingDNA. At that rate Katie Shipp says GivingDNA has effectively paid for itself at least five times over.
  • Given the initial success in finding and engaging previously untapped prospects, Phi Delta Theta fundraisers will move to implement the platform to increase their Annual Fund’s performance.
  • Katie reported to Pursuant that they love how actionable the GivingDNA platform is. “It’s not complicated to use the data and information,” she said.
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