Background

The Graduate Theological Union is one of the leading centers for interreligious scholarship in North America. Faculty and students learn from and with each other in an environment of respect, curiosity and deep appreciation for their commonalities and differences.

Christopher Cox is the Associate Director of Development at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) and has worked there for over 11 years. He is part of a small two-person team, and is in charge of prospect research and fundraising.

The Challenge

GTU shares the same common problem as many other nonprofits: a small budget. For their team, it was difficult finding individuals with major gift capacity who were also interested in their unique mission. And beyond that, it takes time and the dedication of substantial resources to maintain and develop those relationships. GTU has also been interested in expanding the pool of educational programs they offer, but as many educational institutions can attest, finding the financial resources for that is a challenge in itself.

The Solution

GTU embarked on a joint initiative to create a brand new educational program, a center for Mormon Studies. iWave helped GTU staff provide qualified information about individual and foundation prospects that were identified by the Bay Area Mormon Studies Council as potential donors for this initiative. According to Cox, that meant that one of the world’s largest religions would now have representation within the GTU’s interreligious educational landscape.

The research done in iWave helped to validate relationships and giving capacity among prospects and allowed the team of solicitors to move forward. Cox found that iWave stood apart from other tools he evaluated because of, “the ability to find both broad stroke overviews and granular details under one login. It is a significant point of differentiation for iWave from other research software options.”

With funding gained through direct donor asks, GTU is on its way to creating an endowed fund whose annual disbursements cover the salary and benefits of the professor teaching Mormon studies. The professorship will also support the school by teaching in an educational program of interest to the Mormon community. This new program not only expands their educational reach, but also provides new revenue opportunities by offering programs of interest to a larger and more diverse group of prospective students. “One of our goals with this program is to create a new stream of tuition revenue by enrolling Mormon students into GTU’s MA and PhD programs,” says Cox.

The ability to find both broad stroke overviews and granular details under one login is a significant point of differentiation for iWave from other research software options.

CHRISTOPHER COX Associate Director of Development

At a Glance:

Organization:
Graduate Theological
Union

Location:
Berkeley, CA

Industry:
Faith and Education

Key Challenge:
Small budget

Key Benefit:
Level of quality in iWave’s general and granular data