Concordia University, St. Paul is a comprehensive Christian liberal arts university, one of 10 affiliated with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. One of the University’s major goals is to educate students and prepare them for life beyond college within a Lutheran Heritage context. The majority of the University’s advancement team are alumni, including Ryan Marshall, Prospect Research Analyst. “Personally, I’m the recipient of scholarship dollars that made a significant difference to my education. It’s about paying that kindness forward.” For the advancement team, helping expand the University’s mission is a true passion.
“Compared to many other institutions, we have a small team and a small budget,” says Ryan. Historically, the University’s constituency consisted mainly of pastors, church workers, and alumni. But this donor base is ageing (70+ years). Part of the advancement strategy depends on diversifying the donor base by finding people with wealth capacity who connect with the University’s mission. “It’s not so much about raising money, but meeting with people and finding their passion, and then connecting those passions with Concordia.” But to refresh the University’s donor base, Ryan and his team first needed to quickly identify new prospects with data they could trust. Enter iWave.
“I was initially hesitant about using screening,” says Ryan, adding that he was concerned about where the data comes from and how to set up a new prospect research tool. “But I was hand-searching and verifying every record as I went — literally looking at thousands of people was really slow and involved a lot of guesswork. Now I can screen 200 alumni in a certain area across all kinds of datasets and pinpoint 50 who came back above a certain threshold — that takes half an hour. Then I can verify each of those people.” So, is iWave helping?
“It’s helped us exceed our fundraising goals every year.”
Organization: Concordia University, St. Paul
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Industry: Higher Education
Key Challenge: Diversify an ageing donor base by identifying potential donors from tens of thousands of prospects.
Key Benefit: With iWave’s depth of data and customizable features, the University’s advancement team has been able to work more efficiently and exceed its fundraising goals year-over-year.