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What does good engagement and communication with your major gift prospect community look like in the COVID-19 era? Ask your donors
This paper will share findings from a piece of research undertaken by the advancement team at the University of York (UoY) into the needs, interests and concerns of its donor community in the context of the global pandemic. This research helped to shape the ways in which the university’s advancement team and senior leadership colleagues continued to fundraise for UoY’s first institutional campaign. Although particularised to UoY, the paper focuses on two key transferable points: those of the importance of gathering insights from your donor community during a time of great challenge and uncertainty and how gathering around a virtual table is not as limiting as we might have anticipated. The paper aims to share some of the learnings from the research undertaken by the advancement team and to encourage advancement professionals to put your donor community at the heart of your case for support. It will provide insights into how colleagues at UoY have continued to engage, cultivate and steward their donor community despite the challenges posed to fundraising for higher education.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal.
Mary Haworth has more than 15 years’ experience of fundraising for higher education. As Director of Philanthropic Partnerships and Alumni Engagement at the University of York, Mary has focused on developing the value and profile of philanthropic partnerships to the university and led the creation of the institution’s first campaign, York Unlimited. The campaign has three goals: to capture gifts of money, of time and of insights from across a diverse range of donors, alumni and other friends. She is an advocate for the use of digital technology in fundraising and engagement work, and the university was the first UK HE institution to create a dedicated crowdfunding platform for its community. Mary is a CASE Crystal Apple Award holder and regular speaker on major gift fundraising. She has an MSc in Charity Marketing and Fundraising from Cass Business School and she is on the Board of Trustees for York Museums Trust.