If you’re like many of the alumni relations and donor development experts we speak to, you want to have an innovative Advancement department at your school.
Not only is being part of one exciting each day, it also positions you to do the most to help your institution. With the right mix of knowledge, skill, and creativity, you’ll be able to seize the best opportunities that make the most impact.
But if your team isn’t quite there yet, you’re not alone. Here, we have some simple steps and strategies any Advancement department can take to boost their innovation:
Stay aware of popular trends through your students
Being surrounded by students gives your team a great opportunity if you make use of it. It’s no secret that students can be ahead of the curve on many of the emerging trends. This is especially true when it comes to technology and communication. It can be very helpful to pick the brains of students on campus to get a head start on the new mediums your team should be making use of.
Whether it’s a new social media channel to reach supporters on or an improving technology that can help your team be more efficient, these trends can often assist your Advancement department.
For example, your students may be more likely to engage with your campaigns over Instagram now than they are on Facebook. There’s a good chance that this trend will continue, and soon, it will be one of the most important ways to reach alumni and other key donors. Staying aware of changes like this is a small step your team can take to innovate.
Let data drive your innovative Advancement department
In this day and age, teams that make the right use of it can get a big boost from the data at their fingertips.
There are two keys to getting the most of your data. The first is making sure that everyone on your team has access to the analysis they need so that it can inform them. In order to do so, reporting must be simple and dashboards must be readily available. We built Causeview Advancement, donor and donation management software for Salesforce.org's HEDA platform, with this in mind. It enables drag-and-drop reporting and dashboards, and also includes pre-built reports your team can use to access key insights in a flash.
This impacts innovation at your school because it helps us understand what is and isn’t working. Once your team can identify the specific parts of campaigns, appeals or events that could use improvement, you’re able to brainstorm and find the right, unique solutions.
Choose flexible Advancement software
An innovative Advancement department must remain adaptable. A key goal is to always be ready to take advantage of new opportunities to boost alumni relations and supporter giving. Technically speaking, this revolves around the Advancement CRM software that sits in the center of your operations.
Some of the more dated tools for Advancement teams keep them boxed into a group of features and functionality. With Causeview Advancement, in addition to powerful gift processing and alumni relationship management, your team can access thousands of add-ons from the Salesforce AppExchange. This lets you build out the perfect solution for your team, and make additions, subtractions or changes to your tool-set whenever they’re needed.
This also extends to the tasks you perform with the technology that powers you. For example, your online forms for donations and events shouldn't be one-size-fits-all because each initiative is unique. Causeview Impact Form Designer, included with Causeview Advancement, lets you easily build custom, responsive online forms. The drag-and-drop interface lets you control every aspect of your forms from design to mapping and allocations.
To learn more how Causeview can benefit you