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Advancement Services

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CURRENTS Article Advice on removing a donor name from a building; and why a deck of cards helps one development pro stay focused on making the impossible possible.

How Do You Turn a Car Into a Chair?
CURRENTS Article An anonymous alumnus of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology auctioned off his 2015 McLaren P1—one of the world's fastest cars, which can reach speeds of 200 mph—for $2.39 million, a world-record for that model.

President's Perspective: Mind Your Langauge
CURRENTS Article I advocate looking at our work through different lenses—and no lens is more important than language in the context of culture and respect. When I worked in Wales, for example, I did my best to learn Welsh out of a respect and desire to engage with the community. As our work recruiting students, engaging alumni, and cultivating private philanthropy increasingly transcends borders, we have an opportunity to expand our personal horizons and knowledge of other languages and cultures. It not only will make us more effective (and marketable) as individuals; it will also help us build important bridges and show respect and genuine interest—key to relationship-building.

Vetting Vendors
CURRENTS Article Today, advancement services professionals are inundated with requests to consider products or accept meetings from companies ranging from startups to familiar names that have expanded their product lines. There are at least 20 different companies offering giving day, mobile giving, and annual fund services; dozens of email platform vendors; and several database companies. Advancement professionals say they're seeing more donor stewardship products to help them capitalize on engagement; more back-office solutions to synchronize or standardize data and sources, manage projects, or marry multiple platforms; and more cloud-based services that make advancement systems available anytime on any device.

CURRENTS Article Advice on handling an advancement colleague's inappropriate relationship with a donor; Colorado State's lessons on making a recipe video; and how to avoid errors in your database's list of deceased alumni.

Getting Your Metrics System to Work for You
CURRENTS Article From 2012 to 2016, Reggie Bustinza and Joe Volin were tasked with tracking engagement for the nearly 37,000 alumni at Lewis University in Illinois. They got big results, and their system continues to live on after their time at the institution. Here they share their secrets for taking alumni metrics to the next level.

5 Ways Board Members Can Support Fundraising
CURRENTS Article "I'm happy to do anything, except ask for money." Work in educational advancement long enough, and you'll probably hear those words from a foundation or governing board member. For some volunteers, asking for financial gifts produces anxiety—and most people are already dealing with pressure in their life. The last thing they need is more stress from a volunteer job. Discomfort with asking can be a major stumbling block for fundraising success. But the ask is only one step in a larger creative process that's intentionally managed to attract donor investment. Reluctant board members can still help our cause, even if they're not making an ask. Here's how to play to their strengths.

Talking Shop: We’re All Ducks
CURRENTS Article Vu Le is the brains and comedic voice behind the Nonprofit with Balls blog. As an executive director of a nonprofit, Le often writes from the perspective of a grantee, producing no-nonsense articles such as “9 annoying nonprofit trends that need to die.” His Seattle-based organization, Rainier Valley Corps, trains people of color for nonprofit leadership positions, so he has lots to say about improving diversity.

Grand Gold Rush
CURRENTS Article Inspired design, storytelling, ingenuity, humor, and brevity were hallmarks of this year's CASE Circle of Excellence Awards Grand Gold winners, the highest prize bestowed by the program. Whether attracting international applicants with an ambitious contest, sharing advice through campus fun facts and pride points, demonstrating that campus quirks will garner attention and gifts, or redesigning a magazine in a way that makes class notes inviting and (gasp!) readable, institutions relied on research, knowledge, and creative skill to push boundaries and deliver inspired work—much of it produced in-house.

10 Reasons Why People Give (and 5 Reasons They Don't)
CURRENTS Article Generosity lights up the same part of your brain that responds to food and sex: Neuroscientists at the National Institutes of Health demonstrated this in a study using functional magnetic resonance imaging. When study participants acted equitably, they activated their brain's orbitofrontal cortex, which assesses rewards. Giving not only makes us feel good; it also makes us look good—and we're all concerned with what people think about us. Giving back can make you seem more responsible. Read on for additional reasons people give and to learn how research on generosity and behavioral economics can provide insights on how donors think.

Crazy, Super, Cool
CURRENTS Article With 2016 coming to a close, Currents wanted to reflect on this year’s amazing innovations at universities around the world. Our favorites include a pizza ATM, software to help you pronounce names, innovative helmets, windows made with wood, and microchips engraved with donor names sent into space.

How Well Do You Know Your Alumni?
CURRENTS Article Schools and universities are harvesting information alumni self-report or using behavioral analytics—how people react to content—to drive communications, engagement, and fundraising strategies. Social media insights allow institutions to identify prospects and volunteers and better understand existing ones. Much of the innovation is coming from companies with proprietary software, such as EverTrue, Cerkl, IBM, and QuadWrangle, as many colleges and universities lack the bandwidth to constantly monitor social media. But monitor they must. One recent survey found that 72 percent of people who complain to a company via Twitter expect a reply—within the hour.

CURRENTS Article Advice on endowment terms and a collection of tweets, quotations, advice, and more from the CASE Summit.

Thanking Donors
CURRENTS Article Are You Still Mailing Form Letters? Seven smart ways to say thank you.

The World's Best Stewardship Ideas
CURRENTS Article There are only so many ways to say thank you, right? Wrong! Currents has collected innovative and creative ideas from around the world for thanking and recognizing donors, reporting the impact of their support, and cultivating them for future giving.

Recognizing Donors
CURRENTS Article Consultant Lynne Wester shows institutions new ways to engage their most influential donors.

Cultivating New Gifts
CURRENTS Article There are so many ways to give.

Reporting Impact
CURRENTS Article There's more than one way to tell a story. Here's how four institutions report to donors on how their gifts make a difference.

Donation Inflation
CURRENTS Article Many development leaders grouse that liberal arithmetic for determining fundraising totals is becoming more common and does not comply with CASE's Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines. No one CURRENTS contacted for this story wanted to charge specific institutions with promoting bogus totals, but everyone wanted to talk about what they feel is a scourge on the profession. They cited examples of practices that enable institutions to claim they're breaking fundraising records. Such practices pressure other institutions to keep up, detract from the mission of educational institutions, undermine the promise and joy of philanthropy, and damage the profession's reputation.

Loved, but Lost
CURRENTS Article Your lost alumni have become untethered, drifting away from their beloved campus, and you're not sure how to bring them back. Some don't update contact information when they relocate; others ignore your correspondence because they think you only want money. Still others might like to reconnect but don't know how or are too busy to realize they haven't heard from you. Search-and-rescue attempts aren't easy. Tight budgets don't help, nor do increasing numbers of graduates, many of whom hop jobs and locations early in their career. But even with these challenges, institutions are designing affordable, innovative campaigns for finding alumni who could become a valuable part of the college's mission. Here's what you can learn from them.

Outlook: Tackling Touchy Topics
CURRENTS Article For fundraisers, discussing touchy subjects is like mentioning politics at a family gathering: We are not there to debate but to foster positive feelings. We are told that when a donor raises a touchy topic we should not be drawn in—much less offer our own opinion—but listen respectfully and find a way to move on. But should "listen but don't engage" always be our default position? Should we not strive to understand what donors think, even if their worldview makes us uncomfortable? By inviting donors to clarify their views—and by responding with how we see the issue, through the ideals of our institution—we can deepen our awareness of each other's values and arrive at a common goal.

Outlook: Stop "Thasking"
CURRENTS Article Another institution's tactic isn't necessarily a best practice or even a good fit for your organization's needs. Yet bad stewardship ideas continue to resurface. Donors' needs are changing, and donor relations needs to evolve if we want to maximize stewardship to help boost fundraising, transform donor relations, and give donors what they truly want. We must take risks, challenge old assumptions, and use data to determine best and next practices.

Office Space: Ghostwriting Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
CURRENTS Article Writing to key donors and prospects on behalf of institutional leaders is a high-stakes endeavor. Capturing the voice of the various university and development executives who sign the messages you write is challenging. It can be hard to find the right words or to strike the right tone, especially when apologies or condolences are part of the job. But you don't have to be a wordsmith to compose effective, strategic letters and emails. Here are some tips to help your writing.

Office Space: Time for a Better Annual Fund Process
CURRENTS Article As a technology enthusiast and longtime advancement services professional, Michael Pasqua developed a routine to reduce the time required to produce annual fund mailing lists.

First Class
CURRENTS Article In 2015, CASE added the Platinum Categories to its Circle of Excellence awards to recognize the best-of-the-best practices in educational advancement publications, programs, and projects through a tournament-like competition in CASE's eight North American districts.

Breaking Up with a Prospect
CURRENTS Article Dating tips can help fundraisers learn why, when, and how to break up with a hot prospect who has turned into a cold fish. Here are some practical steps for managing the relationship, from the infatuation stage to "where is this going?" based on my 30-plus years of fundraising and 15-plus years of dating experience.

Talking Points: The Bandwidth Battle
CURRENTS Article Net neutrality will only become more important as new technologies transform education and the economy. Higher education institutions and libraries must remain vigilant and defend the need for an open and neutral Internet. We can do this individually or through our professional organizations and by reaching out to our members of Congress and the FCC. Preserving the free flow of information over the Internet is critical to our educational purpose and mission.

The Benefits of Branching Out
CURRENTS Article Many institutions shy away from accepting real estate or convert the gift into cash by selling it. But at Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources, donated land is a gift that keeps giving. Since it started soliciting land gifts through its Bulldog Forest program in 2005, the college has received more than 28,000 acres from 26 families.

A Creative Assist
CURRENTS Article When working with donors, it's important to connect with the heart and the mind.

Twists and TurnsToward a Gift
CURRENTS Article Alumnus Michael Lang wanted to give to an overlooked area that fit his passion.

Stewardship and the Second Gift
CURRENTS Article Barbara Samper would drive through Salinas Valley and see migrant workers in the field and think, "How can I help their children obtain a college education?"

A Friend to the End
CURRENTS Article In 2014, Foxcroft, an all-girls boarding/day school serving 157 students in grades 9-12, received a transformative gift of $40 million from Ruth Bedford, class of 1932.

How I Closed the Biggest Gift of My Career
CURRENTS Article Five fundraisers share the dramatic inside stories of large gifts along with key insights from their experiences, from being creative to collaborating with colleagues.

The Loyal Treatment
CURRENTS Article Higher education can learn important lessons from corporate loyalty programs. So what are their secrets? And how can you cash in on them?

What’s the Deal with Donor-Advised Funds?
CURRENTS Article Offering donor-advised funds can strengthen bonds with longtime donors interested in alternative giving vehicles, but they can put institutions in a tricky place in terms of how they relate to their supporters.

Odds and Ends: Investigating Inventiveness
CURRENTS Article Walter Isaacson on technology—and why smartphones won’t make us zombies

New Leadership: Meet CASE’s 9th President
CURRENTS Article Sue Cunningham will take the helm at CASE on March 9, 2015.

Outlook: Remaking Advancement, Google-Style
CURRENTS Article The standard set by Amazon, Apple, and others recognizes the value of providing a great experience. The widening gap between those experiences and what we offer—one-way communications that don't adapt to reader interests; standard appeals; stewardship that, except for top donors, ranges from one size fits all to awful—erodes loyalty and makes alumni less likely to respond when we make the ask. But a solution exists. It's as simple as creating a relationship in which alumni and donors stay with us because it is in their interest to do so, not just in ours. In which people think of the university as a source of knowledge that engages them, personally or professionally.

Big Question
CURRENTS Article Advancement professionals talk about how they describe their job.

Office Space: Reading the Tree Leaves
CURRENTS Article Genealogists use tactics that can benefit prospect researchers, and the more your institution understands about donors and their connections, the better positioned it is to effectively solicit gifts. Expanding upon donors' (or prospective donors') records can open the door to new prospects, provide pathways to better stewardship and engagement, offer more opportunities to tell an institution's story, and increase the likelihood of cultivating family gifts

The Editor’s Dilemma: How Should You Cover Campaigns?
CURRENTS Article The development office wants stories in the alumni magazine about institutional campaigns and other fundraising efforts, but editors have a mandate to engage readers (and maintain their journalistic credibility). Several colleges and universities have effectively integrated these two interests in the magazine, and CURRENTS reveals the secrets to their success.

Closing Remarks: Standards Issue
CURRENTS Article The science of fund raising requires development officers to measure and evaluate their efforts using rules, definitions, and standards that uniformly measure accomplishments. CASE’s Management and Reporting Standards are a valuable resource for doing so, especially for campaign accounting, crediting, and gift reporting. The author, a member of the committee that revised the M&RS, says standards enable fund raisers to communicate clearly with donors, colleagues, and other constituencies, and contends that fund raising never will be a true profession without the discipline of a common language and the rigor of clear standards.

Outlook: Retention Is the New Acquisition
CURRENTS Article At most educational institutions more than 90 percent of all fundraising revenue comes from just under 10 percent of their donors. Many fundraisers mistakenly accept this as the new normal. Raising more money from fewer donors is not a sign of efficiency. It is a sign of poor donor stewardship. When institutions do not keep the donors they acquire, they sacrifice the future income those donors may have provided.

Outlook: Thank You Isn’t Good Enough
CURRENTS Article Educational fundraisers should steward annual giving donors, showing exactly where the gifts go, like they do major donors.

Office Space: Give Us All Your Data
CURRENTS Article This column takes the position that advancement services should manage the institution's database of record, not just the segments that pertain to alumni and development. This is the model currently used by Columbia College Chicago, where advancement services tracks relationships with all of the college's constituents, including alumni, parents, faculty, staff, donors, trustees, friends, and students.

Art Appreciation
CURRENTS Article The donor wall recognizing St. Martin's Episcopal School's recent capital campaign reflects its brand and visual identity system. In addition to featuring colors and shapes used in the independent school's communications, marketing, and fundraising materials, the donor wall also doubles as a piece of art that blends in with the building.

Social Prospects
CURRENTS Article This brief article looks at how Cornell University is using the profile information its alumni provide in its social media communities to identify potential donors.

Making Strides
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how higher education institutions are working to keep their communications fresh and engaging through multiyear fundraising campaigns. It discusses how institutions are using websites and microsites, video, and traditional communication channels to engage and inform stakeholders and donors.

Outlook: A Matter of Trust
CURRENTS Article Stewardship is the entirety of what we do to demonstrate that our institutions are worthy of a donor's trust, a trust in our ability to make a difference in a life and society.

Going for Gold
CURRENTS Article The story profiles eight of the 2012 CASE Circle of Excellence Award grand gold and gold award winners.

Demonstrating the Difference
CURRENTS Article Stewardship and donor relations officers, as well as other advancement professionals, must increasingly be able to answer one big question: How do we know that what we're doing is working? Underlying this question is a desire, sparked by an evolution in the thinking of donors, to help donors understand the effects of their gifts.

Seeing Both Sides
CURRENTS Article Development officers who give to their employers or favorite charity see first-hand how well those nonprofits treat donors, and they learn from those experiences.

Dead Serious Campaign
CURRENTS Article Famous U.K. crime writers are involved in a series of fundraisers and publicity events for the University of Dundee's "Million for a Morgue" campaign.

The Brain Trust
CURRENTS Article Historically, advancement services' responsibilities have been to keep donor and alumni records current, process gifts, and send out receipts. Advancement services has taken on more duties in recent years as institutions change the way they collect, analyze, report, and use data for strategic purposes.

Upward Bound
CURRENTS Article With the economy slowly mending, a number of colleges, universities, and independent schools are launching their biggest, longest-lasting, or first-ever campaigns. Campaigns that have recently launched are part of an evolution in which campaigns have become more donor-centric.

Crème de la Crème
CURRENTS Article In 2011, 268 bronze, silver, gold, and grand gold Circle of Excellence awards went to 171 colleges, universities, independent schools, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. Eight of those grand gold and gold award winners are profiled here.

Out of Focus
CURRENTS Article For years, development officers have cultivated prospective donors by listening to their deepest desires. Now, development officers' work increasingly involves devising a strategy for aligning the donor's desires with the mission, goals, and needs of their institution.

Name That Office
CURRENTS Article DePaul University's music faculty have the opportunity to name an office in their new building.

The Science Behind Alumni Engagement
CURRENTS Article As part of an effort to double fundraising over the next 10 years, the University of Waterloo surveyed its alumni and purchased external data to determine how to move potential leaders into a more active role with the university.

Outlook: The Gift Grid
CURRENTS Article Henry E. Riggs, president emeritus of Harvey Mudd College and Keck Graduate Institute, argues that gifts exist along a utility continuum, from gifts of high utility, or great benefit, to gifts of negative utility.

The Naming Game
CURRENTS Article The practice of naming gifts is commonplace at most educational institutions today, but naming opportunities and policies vary considerably from institution to institution. This article examines the ins and outs of naming gifts, including how development professionals can determine price points and what elements a naming agreement should include.

Rising Above
CURRENTS Article This article highlights eight of the 2010 Circle of Excellence Award winners. Each year the awards recognize the best programs and products in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, marketing, and fundraising.

Map Quest
CURRENTS Article Wealth and philanthropy are undergoing a dramatic global shift, and fundraisers at educational institutions must respond by looking beyond their national borders for prospective donors. In this article, consultant Jay Frost provides tips on how to do successful international prospect research using Sherpa guides, database screening, etc.

A Lot of Creativity
CURRENTS Article To help potential donors visualize a new building, the Tuality/Oregon Health & Science Center had a blueprint drawn on the parking lot where the building was to go up. Standing signs labeled the rooms that already had benefactors, and "Your Name Here" signs informed the crowd about opportunities to make significant gifts.

A Piece of History
CURRENTS Article One college crafts donor recognition gifts from wood salvaged from a historic building.

¿Cómo desarrollar los artículos correctos?
CURRENTS Article Michael Kiser de Virginia Tech analiza la forma en que logró que las comunicaciones de desarrollo centraran su atención en índices que no fueran las cifras. Ahora, su oficina escribe sobre los resultados de las campañas y vincula sus mensajes con los objetivos estratégicos de la universidad. Por ejemplo, en lugar de escribir un artículo cuando la universidad recibe una donación importante, espera hasta que el dinero de esa donación se haya utilizado para construir las nuevas instalaciones y escribe sobre lo que éstas significan para la escuela. Los lectores externos no sólo consideran que estos artículos son más interesantes, estos artículos también le brindan al público interno una mejor idea de lo que se logra con la recaudación de fondos.

Outlook: Saying What We Mean
CURRENTS Article The retired vice president of the University of Wisconsin Foundation pens this opinion column on the dark side of some of the most common development phrases. Does anyone really want to describe their best friend as "low-hanging fruit"? Ick!

Developing the Right Stories
CURRENTS Article Michael Kiser of Virginia Tech discusses how he successfully shifted the focus of development communications away from numbers. Instead, his office now writes about campaign outcomes and ties its messages to the university's strategic aims. For example, instead of writing a story when the university receives a major gift, he waits until the money from that gift has been used to build a new facility and writes about what that new facility has meant for the school. Not only do external audiences find these stories more interesting, but such stories give internal audiences a better understanding of what fundraising does.

Research Within Reach
CURRENTS Article Kevin MacDonell's "CoolData" blog focuses on predictive modeling in higher ed fundraising and the process of determining which variables to look at and which are most predictive.

Incremente sus relaciones
CURRENTS Article El procurador de fondos debe estar enfocado en ver la manera de mejorar e incrementar las relación con sus donantes.

Office Space: Growing Your Relationships
CURRENTS Article Instead of focusing on the bottom line, fundraisers should really be looking at how their relationships have grown.

Adjusting Your Gaze
CURRENTS Article In an interview with CURRENTS, predictive-modeling expert Peter Wylie discusses his work, including his latest analysis of lifetime giving at a broad range of higher education institutions.

Getting the Full Picture
CURRENTS Article At independent schools, community and small colleges, and large universities alike, CRM is widely used at both ends of an individual’s education experience—during the recruitment and admissions process and throughout the years that follow departure from school. To a much lesser degree, CRM is beginning to be deployed as the student matriculates and advances through school.

Advance Work: Bagged Another One
CURRENTS Article Northeastern University is transforming used vinyl banners into thank-you gifts for donors in the form of tote and messenger bags.

Charting the Progress
CURRENTS Article This chart includes vendor-supplied information on advancement database systems for an at-a-glance look at what is available.

Steering Through Stewardship
CURRENTS Article Stewardship should not be an afterthought in a healthy advancement operation. This article describes how stewardship can be an organizing principle, directing the essential activities of trust building, relationship management, and message delivery.

True Friends
CURRENTS Article Today's donors want deep connections with institutions that matter to them and share their values. If an institution engages constituents just to ask for money, it may miss out on true friendship with donors who want to be more involved.

Advancement Achievers
CURRENTS Article Profiles of selected 2002 Circle of Excellence winners

Tech Support: Laptops Required Here?
CURRENTS Article Advancement officers can be important partners in forming and implementing a laptop policy

Tech Support: Scheduling in Cyberspace
CURRENTS Article The pros and cons of online calendars

Office Space: Sweeping the Data Clouds Away
CURRENTS Article Managing an unwieldy data system can be overwhelming, but by prioritizing projects and assessing processes, the database can become a friend rather than a foe.

Advance Work: A New Level of the Name Game
CURRENTS Article When Tri-State University in Indiana wanted to change its name, it honored the Trine family in doing so. The institution is now Trine University.

Winning Ideas
CURRENTS Article This article gives in-depth profiles of eight of the 2008 CASE Circle of Excellence Award winners. These winners were chosen to represent a wide range of types of institution as well as each aspect of advancement: fundraising, alumni relations, communications and marketing, and advancement services.

Advance Work: Cracking the Code
CURRENTS Article Keying in 300 pledge cards after a phonathon was an all-day activity until Mississippi's Delta State University started tracking alumni by barcode and using a scanner.

Advance Work: Feeling Flush
CURRENTS Article When the ATLAS Institute opened at the University of Colorado at Boulder campus, there were plenty of naming opportunities available. One local venture capitalist had a slightly unorthodox venue in mind for his name.

Hidden Treasures
CURRENTS Article Sometimes the best information you have on the best potential donors is right under your nose. Some prospect researchers are sniffing out their best donors by using data mining techniques, and they've discovered some interesting things.

Closing Remarks: Those Enormous Endowments
CURRENTS Article The endowments of the richest U.S. colleges and universities are big and becoming enormous. The author posits that U.S. higher education is losing its way and proposes a way to rectify the disparity between rich and and not-so-rich institutions.

A Battle of Wills
CURRENTS Article When donors--particularly big donors--come forward with a gift, it's in everyone's best interest to document the terms that come along with it. Recent high-profile donor-intent legal battles are prompting some college and university officials to reexamine their policies and procedures.

Advance Work: Repeat Performance
CURRENTS Article The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reestablishes the Bell Ringers Society to honor donors.

Sweet Smell of Success
CURRENTS Article The 2007 CASE Circle of Excellence grand gold and gold medal winners profiled in this article have taken their advancement publications, events, and programs to a higher level. These featured winners, however, are a small sample of the 319 winners from 195 institutions.

Going Fourth
CURRENTS Article Advancement services, known as the fourth leg of the advancement stool, is about more than gift processing. Advancement services staff funnel massive alumni and prospect data into information that development offices can use to cultivate and steward donors. The more that each operation knows how the other works, the more successful the institution will be in raising funds.

What Is "A" Transaction?
CURRENTS Article Development officers count the total number of gift transactions as part of their performance measures. However, a single transaction can take a few minutes or days or even weeks. It depends on whether it's just a check or a mysterious transfer of stock.

Advance Work: Here We Are
CURRENTS Article Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts in England found the perfect way to get alumni to update their address and job information: offer them the chance of some free publicity.

Do Not Disturb
CURRENTS Article Facts can be taken out of context and used in unwelcome ways. This is the crux of the problem of privacy and the prospect researcher.

Away They Go?
CURRENTS Article Donor fatigue is real, even if your institution hasn't experienced it yet. Development officers talk about how they define the issue and keep it from becoming a problem.

Ethics Case Study: The Beneficent Bigot
CURRENTS Article This is part of CURRENTS yearlong series of ethics case studies that present scenarios that raise ethical questions and responses from advancement professionals who offer their insights and opinion. This case study features a conflict about whether an institution should keep money from a longtime major donor whose views on race have cast the campus in a negative light.

Messaging Donors
CURRENTS Article Generic mass mailings won't receive the response rates you seek. Your fundraising messages have to resonate with donors personally. Just make sure you know your donors well. This article describes some simple, affordable tools you can use to target your communications efforts.

A League of Their Own
CURRENTS Article The 2006 Circle of Excellence award winners profiled in this article are hitting it out of the park. This article describes a few of the grand gold and gold medal award winners.

A Question of Ethics
CURRENTS Article As part of its year of ethics, CASE supports and promotes ethical standards for the advancement profession. This article presents a typical fundraising scenario, followed by responses from several members of the CASE Commission on Philanthropy.

Protecting Donor Anonymity
CURRENTS Article When donors make anonymous gifts, they often wish to protect more than their name. They want to protect their privacy. But sometimes a donor's right to privacy is in conflict with state public disclosure laws. In this article for major gift officers and other development professionals, an attorney and director of planned giving tells how to work with professional advisors and donors' counsel to ensure anonymity and save the gift from being withdrawn because of privacy concerns.

In Plain Sight
CURRENTS Article Accountability involves many policies and procedures. The development professionals in this article talk about what accountability means in their institutions and what they do to ensure it through acknowledgment, stewardship, and other approaches.

No Leaf Unturned
CURRENTS Article Research consultants helped the advancement team at University of Wisconsin-Superior think of their development efforts as a small business and showed them how to grow it, even with limited staff and resources.

Gifts Are in the Details
CURRENTS Article Advancement researchers are helping development officers not only identify prospects more efficiently, but also analyze fund-raising efforts for more successful campaigns.

Making the Big System Switch
CURRENTS Article Switching to a new advancement system can be a bear of a project. This article provides an overview of how to approach system implementation from its three basic phases: pre-implementation, implementation, and post-implementation.

The Pluto Principles
CURRENTS Article The quest for the planet Pluto teaches the need for persistence, research, strategic planning, and thinking out of the box--and why it's smart to sweat the small stuff. Astronomers discovered Pluto's existence by noticing wobbles in nearby planets. So if something in your development programs appears a bit off, it bears looking into. The discovery will be donors who want to make larger and more meaningful gifts.

AdvanceWork: With This Gift, I Thee Wed
CURRENTS Article Maryville College developed the Calvin Duncan Society, named for one of its loyal donors who attended when the college reopened after the Civil War, to encourage class gifts and annual giving. Society members receive silver bookmarks and other gifts when they reach certain milestones, such as five years of continuous participation.

Cream of the Crop
CURRENTS Article This article profiles a few of CASE's 2005 Circle of Excellence award winners in the fields of fund-rasing, special events, campaigns, marketing, alumni programs, stewardship, and advancement services operations.

AdvanceWork: How Do You Spell Relief?
CURRENTS Article Philanthropist Michael Zinman had a dream, albeit a quirky one: He wanted to fund a restroom renovation. When University of Pennsylvania officials decided to renovate the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, the library’s director of development and external affairs suspected Zinman, a former Penn donor, might be willing to support it. This article describes Zinman’s unusual gift to the project and his efforts to promote it. It also should remind development officers that, when it comes to soliciting gifts, it pays to keep an open mind (and a sense of humor).

Believe It or Not
CURRENTS Article If you've been in advancement for two years or 20 years, you've likely heard some tidbit of conventional wisdom that doesn't seem to hold true anymore. This lighthearted article takes a look at some of the truths and myths that circulate within and outside the profession and seeks to separate fact from fiction.

Special Delivery
CURRENTS Article Prospect researchers are tasked with searching for pertinent information about potential donors of all types, including those who might not already be known to the institution, so keeping up with technology is a professional imperative. This article discusses the various push technologies that are available to today’s researchers—including news alerts, Web page monitors, and RSS feeds—and the types of information these technologies can help them access.

Present and Accounted for
CURRENTS Article The new climate of accountability has left many institutions scrambling to demonstrate to donors that their gifts are valued, are doing what donors intended them to do, and are continuing to have an impact on the institution’s long-term success. This article chronicles the development of Donor Direct, an online endowment-stewardship tool developed by the University of Texas at Austin to reassure donors that their gifts are being managed properly. In addition to providing standard financial reporting, Donor Direct allows donors and their beneficiaries to connect directly online, building what UT Austin hopes will become lifelong relationships across generations of supporters.

AdvanceWork: Stuck in Neutral?
CURRENTS Article The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 altered the tax rules pertaining to charitable gifts of used vehicles. As of Jan. 1, 2005, donors can only claim the gross proceeds from the sale of their gift as a tax deduction, rather than its fair market value. This article explores the implications of this change both for donors and for the campus development officers who must process and steward such gifts.

AdvanceWork: Experience Nottingham
CURRENTS Article Keeping track of alumni after they’ve graduated can be difficult. Nottingham Trent University shifted the burden by organizing a contest that rewarded alumni who confirm or update their directory information. More than 4,300 alumni entered the contest, and one lucky winner walked away with a Nottingham weekend-for-two prize package that included a stay at a luxury hotel and tickets to several local attractions.

Inside Out
CURRENTS Article This chart, CURRENTS' sixth since 1986, lists 37 alumni/development database programs along with vendor, contact, pricing, platform, reporting, capacity, client, and access information for products targeting the education marketplace.

One Craft, Different Cultures
CURRENTS Article More alumni directors outside North America are reaching out to their alumni audiences to encourage lifelong relationships with alma mater. However, these alumni directors face unique challenges. In Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Australia, school and university alumni often don’t have the tradition of giving to alma mater that’s a given in the United States and Canada. The institutions might not have maintained close ties with alumni, and poor record keeping can hinder relationship-building efforts. Some institutions' goals for alumni relations include encouraging continuing education and career networking by alumni as well as fund raising. Campus alumni offices also can become resources for groups of alumni who are more connected to each other than to the institution.

All Hands on Deck
CURRENTS Article Turnover can create havoc in an advancement office, leading to holes in the institutional memory and breaking fragile links between donors and the institution. The advancement staff at the University of Massachusetts Lowell has reinvented its operations to create a team approach that strengthens long-term relationships and focuses staff members on securing cash gifts, especially major gifts. Using a structure of four interdisciplinary teams, advancement officers focus on offering relevant alumni programs and services, meeting face-to-face with donors, involving all staff members in gift cultivation, and maintaining an attitude of mutual respect across advancement.

Price Check
CURRENTS Article Many in development say measuring and reporting the cost of fund raising is a vital issue, while others contend it's overblown--that donors don't care about the return on investment of the money they contribute. This article explores why the cost of fund raising is so difficult to measure and compare among institutions, why it matters, and what factors campuses are counting in their expense totals.

Winners at Heart
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 winners of CASE’s 2004 Circle of Excellence awards. The winning alumni relations programs offered creative ways to generate revenue, use technology, or support a campus cause. In the development categories, campuses showed how to use flash e-mail annual giving solicitations and speech-writing students to attract donors. Communications winners relied on humor, creativity, and unconventional publications. And top advancement services shops highlighted the importance of identifying top campus prospects, working as a team, and maintaining accurate data.

AdvanceWork: Where's the Beef?
CURRENTS Article An nfpSynergy study of donor frustrations with United Kingdom charities offers some lessons for education institutions to bear in mind as they communicate with their supporters. The report, titled “Disgusted or delighted,” suggests that UK donors are most concerned about how their gifts are being used. Respondents also cited frustrations with direct-mail appeals (61 percent) and telephone solicitations (43 percent).

Diamonds in the Rough
CURRENTS Article The practice of honoring donors for their support of an institution is a widely embraced tradition, although the manner in which such recognition occurs varies considerably. Today’s donors, the author writes, want something that is different, visually stunning, inspirational, and sophisticated. This article profiles some of the more unique types of on-site donor recognition installations available today, including Rockhurst High School, which hired VisionMark to build a donor recognition kiosk for the main lobby; Delaware County Community College, which commissioned ceramics sculptor Karen Singer to line a campus rotunda with custom-painted ceramic tiles honoring donors; Oregon State University, which worked with Presentation Design Group to develop suspended glass “donor blades” for the library; and the Solomon Schechter K-8 school system, which used Honorcraft to build a mixed-media wall sculpture of Noah’s Ark.

A Wealth of Knowledge
CURRENTS Article Fund raisers often fail to leverage the wealth of donor data they have at their fingertips, but the secrets to winning over their never-givers often lie in those numbers. Peter B. Wylie's 2004 CASE book "Data Mining for Fund Raisers" offers tips for data analysis to improve fund raising return on investment.

Standards Practice
CURRENTS Article Revisions to CASE's management and reporting standards clarify gift counting and reporting guidelines, address new gift types, and ensure greater consistency in reporting annual and campaign results, says CASE President Vance T. Peterson.

Mining for Gold
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 CASE Circle of Excellence 2003 winners. Member institution nominees were judged on the creativity of their alumni relations, communications, and development initiatives, including alumni publications, reunions, constituency giving, stewardship, and alumni relations programs. Profiled winners include Brigham Young University/University of Utah; Columbia College Chicago; Georgia Tech Alumni Association; Goucher College; Imperial College London; the Institute for Shipboard Education; Lehigh University Alumni Association; Monroe Community College Foundation; Pennsylvania State University; the University of Chicago; the University of Iowa Alumni Association; and the University of Miami.

Keeping Better Tabs
CURRENTS Article Taking a page from the commercial sector’s customer relationship management playbook, education institutions are developing alumni relationship-management systems that promise to revolutionize how alumni offices do business. This story highlights efforts by the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT, Harvard University, and the Iowa State University Alumni Association.

The Science of Attraction
CURRENTS Article Annual fund directors are starting to use market research to better understand what populations of donor prospects will respond to, target more accurately, and cut the cost of mail and telephone campaigns. This article covers what well-crafted focus groups and surveys can uncover and steps to doing research. Also included is a short article on how to get valid research results. This article is of interest to annual fund directors and advancement services staffs who work with development communications.

Goals and Assists
CURRENTS Article Prospect researchers and development officers must form a partnership to identify potential donors' ability, interest, and desire to give. This article provides three guidelines for building a productive relationship and includes a table showing the differences in the information that researchers and development officers are likely to uncover. This article is of interest to development officers and prospect researchers.

Name Dropping
CURRENTS Article Naming opportunities can create problems under many circumstances: when the donor becomes infamous, the donor can't fulfill the pledge, or the named structure is renovated or torn down. To deal with naming concerns, campuses develop un-naming policies, consider short-term naming opportunities, or handle the issues on a case-by-case basis. This article is of interest to fund raisers and advancement services professionals who handle major gifts, campaigns, and gift policies.

Special Event Production
CURRENTS Article A chart listing 15 special event management software programs, and providing information on vendors, contacts, price, servers, features, report templates, and clients, will be of interest to event planners and information technology staff.

A Symphony of Software
CURRENTS Article A chart listing 39 alumni and development database software programs, and providing vendor, contact, price, platform, reporting tool, capacity, and client information, will be of interest to advancement services and information technology staff.

Ultimate Presumption
CURRENTS Article When should you give up looking for lost alumni who might be deceased? Some campuses draw the line at 50 years after graduation, but others say 65 or even 100 years—and they don't rely solely on the Social Security Death Index for confirmation.

Tech Support: Diary of a Conversion
CURRENTS Article The author recounts her university’s experience with selecting and converting to a new alumni and donor records database just before the campus launched a major campaign. Her account of the decision-making, training, and implementation process should be of interest to all those who use records databases, particularly advancement services officers and those who manage technology or select and deal with software vendors.

AdvanceWork: Feelin' HOT! HOT! HOT!
CURRENTS Article New Mexico State hopes its pepper varieties will fetch a nice price.

AdvanceWork: What's in a Name?
CURRENTS Article The intricacies of introducing a new top gift club

AdvanceWork: Sign of the Times
CURRENTS Article In light of recent events, even customary mailings aren't above suspicion

Tech Support: Worth Every Penny
CURRENTS Article Prospect research online data services aren’t cheap, but they offer advantages over hunting through free online sources: They’re efficient and cost-effective, and they can inform you of news on your prospects faster than you might find it on your own. Hudson reviews three multidatabase services and five targeted services. She also discusses local and regional options that might be useful to prospect researchers.

Tech Support: On the Same Page
CURRENTS Article Intranets--one-stop online communication centers that bring together calendars, office discussion boards, and documents--can improve internal communications in advancement offices. Universities with large or decentralized advancement operations use intranets for coordinating scattered staff and projects, while smaller institutions may also find them helpful for sharing resources and managing schedules. The article offers advice on creating and maintaining an intranet.

Talking Points: The Endowment Mystique
CURRENTS Article News stories in the 1990s called attention to both high endowment growth and rising tuition costs. To many, it appears that higher education institutions are profiting, and some journalists, alumni, lawmakers, and others are calling for institutions to use more of their endowment earnings for tuition relief. This article outlines and clarifies four myths about endowments.

The Many Facets of Data Mining
CURRENTS Article Author Peter Wylie, a pioneer of data mining for education fund raising, says development officers often don't realize the value of the information in their databases. By asking them 10 basic questions about their data, he demonstrates how data mining can help them better target their appeals and prove a correlation between certain data and giving. He advocates for the creation of data analyst positions within advancement offices and argues that data mining and statistical modeling have applications for major gifts as well as annual giving.

Tech Support: Buy or Build?
CURRENTS Article Development offices have three major options for database software: designing a database in-house using basic database software, selecting a ready-to-use package designed specifically for fund-raising offices, or hiring a consultant to create a customized database. This article describes each option and offers advice on making the right choice for your office.

Outgrowing the Annual Fund
CURRENTS Article Top-level annual donors deserve special attention to maintain their commitment. It’s often best to manage these donors within the annual fund office, but with special cultivation and stewardship methods such as in-person solicitation visits, personal letters, special events, gift clubs, and volunteer opportunities on campus boards or committees. Strategies such as challenge gifts can encourage them to increase their annual donations, and some of them will eventually make major gifts.

AdvanceWork: On the Trail of Lost Alumni
CURRENTS Article Locating lost alumni takes time, money, and institutional commitment. Here are seven tips to make the task easier.

Tech Support: The Buzz on Bar Coding
CURRENTS Article Bar-code technology can help streamline gift processing by increasing data-entry speed and accuracy. Pederson describes types of bar-code software and explains how the equipment fits into an office computer setup.

Talking Points: Grants Today, Gifts Tomorrow
CURRENTS Article To determine how student aid affects giving after graduation, researchers at Vanderbilt University analyzed factors that influence young alumni giving. Data on 2,822 graduates over eight years showed that receiving a need-based scholarship raised a graduate’s likelihood of giving by 12 percent, while need-based loans reduced the probability by the same degree. The amount of aid had no effect.

AdvanceWork: What's in a Name?
CURRENTS Article Six different ways campuses define the term "alumni"

Charting a Course for Donor Stewardship
CURRENTS Article To develop consistency in gift stewardship among its many divisions, Virginia Tech created a stewardship manual outlining practices, policies, and expectations for the entire institution. Development officers conducted an internal audit and performed external benchmarking, then set goals and developed strategies to meet them. The resulting manual includes a mission statement, gift acknowledgement standards, donor recognition standards, and reporting standards.

The Rationale for Donor Relations
CURRENTS Article It’s the job of the donor relations professional to assure donors that their gifts will be used as they intend, and to do so in a way that motivates donors to give more. Institutions that realize that donor relations equals donor cultivation invest time and resources in this task. Barden describes the strategic use of the three main tools of donor relations: acknowledgement, recognition, and reporting.

Write-Minded: Making Things Right
CURRENTS Article When your institution makes a mistake that offends a donor, a well-written apology letter can soothe tension and restore trust. Even in embarrassing circumstances, an apology can also provide an opportunity to connect with a constituent and to demonstrate the responsibility and integrity of the institution and its people. Sincerity, responsibility, sensitivity, and a positive attitude are vital. Sarver provides suggestions for wording and advice on following up.

AdvanceWork: Count the Ways
CURRENTS Article ANU's three-tiered communications strategy is a thing of poetry.

The Reference Shelf
CURRENTS Article A list of directories, who's who books, research guides, and periodicals useful to prospect researchers searching for information about European prospects.

Finding Sunken Treasure
CURRENTS Article Prospect research is still a brand-new field in Europe. The article describes the biggest hurdles that researchers face there—ranging from privacy legislation to linguistic differences—and describes the resources and research techniques that he has found to be most useful.

AdvanceWork: Thanks, but New Thanks
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Tech Support: Special Delivery
CURRENTS Article Push technology, a means of retrieving online data by subscribing to services that send desired information directly to your computer, can enable advancement officers to request updates on donor prospects, to track what's going on in specific industries, or to monitor institutional mentions in the media. Most push services require online registration, but many are free or low-cost. The article lists five sites providing push technology services useful to advancement officers.

Write-Minded: Oscar-Worthy Words
CURRENTS Article Drafting correspondence for another person to send requires a sensitivity to the nuances of personal style, an understanding of context, and the ability to set aside one's own persona. To create realistic letters, ghostwriters should get to know the person for whom they're writing and should also understand the sender's relationship to the recipient.

AdvanceWork: Seek and Ye Shall Find
CURRENTS Article This article covers five tips for tracking down lost alumni.

Software Update 2000
CURRENTS Article A detailed chart provides information on available alumni-development database systems and software vendors, based on data from the consulting firm Grenzebach Glier & Associates.

What's In the Cards?
CURRENTS Article Professionals who work with advancement information systems offer predictions for the field in the next five years. They foresee: 1) easier access to development systems, particularly via the Web; 2) integration of small, separate systems into single, large databases; 3) personalized entry points and reports; 4) improved automation that will anticipate what users want and help them get it.

Did You Say A Billion?
CURRENTS Article Campus communicators must be able to explain, openly and realistically, the need for institutions to seek megagifts and amass multimillion-dollar endowments. The article describes how to address typical questions on these topics from such constituents as faculty, students, taxpayers, trustees, prospective donors, foundation officers, alumni, and reporters.

AdvanceWork: Receipting Year-End Gifts
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

Tech Support: Software Smarts
CURRENTS Article To choose the right software for an advancement office, institutional computer services professionals should follow these steps: 1) Meet with the program's intended user to learn about needs, expectations, skill, budget, and other factors. 2) Collect information from e-mail lists, Web sites, colleagues, and software manufacturers. 3) Test a demonstration copy of the program. 4) Make the purchase, including a maintenance agreement. 5) Set ground rules on what the user should and can expect from you.

AdvanceWork: Take It or Leave It?
CURRENTS Article Legal Issues: What to consider when accepting gifts of foreign real estate

AdvanceWork: Deutsche Marks to Dollars
CURRENTS Article John H. Taylor responds to the question of counting gifts received in foreign currencies.

Write-Minded: Global Vision
CURRENTS Article Cultural, historical, linguistic, and legislative factors affect how people interpret what you write. When writing for an international advancement audience, keep in mind these possible sources of confusion: 1) terminology, because the same word can mean different things in different countries; 2) titles, which vary within and between countries; 3) idioms and jargon, which can be hard for people from other cultures to understand; 4) differences in educational and legal systems; 5) sweeping generalizations, which can be offensive or inaccurate; and 6) references to location and money.

Write-Minded: Everyone's a Critic
CURRENTS Article Collins provides advice on responding to letters from angry donors. When donors request a change that can't be made, make sure you let them know you are not simply dismissing their opinion. Keep a calm and rational institutional voice. Avoid being defensive or combative. When you finish the letter, let it sit overnight so you can give a second look with a fresh perspective.

Tech Support: Putting Paper in Its Place
CURRENTS Article Document imaging (the electronic storage of paper files) can help control paper clutter. Ley summarizes what he learned from establishing such a system for managing development records at Southern Methodist University. He recommends involving computer services personnel, gift records and prospect research staffers, and other development officers and administrators who will use the material.

AdvanceWork: Giving Through Umbrella Agencies
CURRENTS Article John H. Taylor responds to a question about sending a receipt or acknowledgement to donors who give through the United Way.

AdvanceWork: A Doggone Dilemma
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Read the Writing on the Wall (Street)
CURRENTS Article Certain business activities create deadlines for tax-favorable giving for owners, insiders, or major stockholders. Development officers need to monitor their prospects' holdings for these deadlines and to encourage gifts at advantageous times. Individuals who might merit extra attention include public company insiders, intrapreneurs, and private company owners and executives. The article describes how to identify and respond to two important types of deadline-oriented developments: mergers and initial public offerings. A sidebar provides a guide to related business terms.

AdvanceWork: Return to Donor?
CURRENTS Article Legal rights of unhappy contributors

AdvanceWork: On This Date in History
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

Write-Minded: Noteworthy Thank-yous
CURRENTS Article Writing thank-you notes to donors is simple if you remember the basics. When thanking someone for a significant gift, make it sound believable, and be specific and personal. For small gifts, take a more realistic view of the gift's impact. To ensure that your best supporters always feel appreciated, write notes that recognize their ongoing commitment. Be sure to fact-check and proofread.

Tech Support: Protect Your Computer from Viruses
CURRENTS Article Computer viruses can destroy software and stored data. The first line of defense is to make regular backups of vital data and to invest in an antivirus program. Goldsborough, a technology columnist and author, summarizes the potential risk of common computer uses and tells how to distinguish between a legitimate virus warning and a hoax.

Manager's Portfolio: Dogs Watching Television
CURRENTS Article Development head Helm describes lessons he learned after overseeing a database conversion at Colby College. He notes that the characteristics that make a good development officer -- such as optimism, outward orientation, a generalist background, diplomacy, and the ability to delegate -- can interfere with effective technology management. He offers some suggestions on managing technology: 1) Establish a good relationship with the information services staff. 2) Invest in training. 3) View technology as an operating cost, not a capital investment. 4) Value and nurture technology gurus.

AdvanceWork: All Access Required?
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

Great Catches
CURRENTS Article A creative approach to fund-raising appeals involves identifying and targeting unconventional prospect segments. Examples include first-time donors (University of Michigan), constituents who have requested no solicitations (Syracuse University), disillusioned older alumni (Stanford), donors whose gift level has "plateaued" (Wheaton College), alumni with ties to particular extracurricular activities (Mesa Community College, University of North Alabama), residents of certain states (Iowa State University), concertgoers (Baldwin-Wallace College), and grandparents (Reed College). These institutions relied on information they already had in their databases, collected useful new information, and sought new prospects.

Model Behavior
CURRENTS Article Statistical modeling can make fund-raising efforts more productive by predicting which groups of donors are most likely to respond to appeals. The process, which involves segmenting donors based on behavior and traits, makes solicitations more cost-effective, produces a high return from a minimal investment, and shows its worth quickly. Statistical modeling requires input from a fund-raising expert (usually the annual fund director) and both a computer expert and a statistician (who may be consultants or campus employees). Wylie, a fund-raising consultant, describes the modeling process and provides examples. In a sidebar, he answers common questions about statistical modeling.

AdvanceWork: A Stock Answer
CURRENTS Article AdvanceWork: A Stock Answer

Eternal Gratitude
CURRENTS Article Effective planned-gift recognition and stewardship can prevent donors from changing revocable gifts and help cultivate future planned and outright gifts. An initial problem is identifying planned-gift donors, who sometimes do not wish to make their plans known. Once you do identify them, you can thank them with personal visits, letters, or phone calls; by maintaining personal contact; by developing a planned-gift recognition society; by offering token thank-you gifts; by conducting special events for planned-gift donors; and by naming them in publications. For donors of life-income gifts, mail checks with a personal cover letter and conduct periodic "customer satisfaction" surveys. Endowment givers should receive annual letters from the beneficiaries of their gifts and be invited to annual endowment appreciation events.

AdvanceWork: Double-Checking?
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

Write-Minded: In Time of Sorrow
CURRENTS Article When a donor dies, writing a sympathy letter is a difficult but required part of the development officer's job. Take care that your words are in proportion to your actual relationship with the donor. Be sincere, not effusive. Refer to the donor's connection with the campus. Acknowledge past generosity by talking about the people and programs the donor supported in a way that illustrates how his or her memory will live on at the institution.

Tech Support: Recipe for a Successful Conversion
CURRENTS Article Transferring old data into a new alumni-development database involves three major steps, each of which requires the right selection of workers, as follows: 1) Map the fields in the old system with corresponding fields in the new one. Involve a staff member who knows the data, a person who knows the technical details of the new system, and the programmer who will do the work. 2) Program the conversion so data flows into the new system's formats. This requires a skilled programmer, possibly from an outside source. 3) Test the new system. Everyone who uses the system can help, including fund raisers, alumni officers, data-entry staff and receptionists.

Up Where They Belong
CURRENTS Article Donor recognition societies, also called gift clubs, are a time-honored technique for encouraging regular giving, but they require careful administration. To ensure that gift clubs are effective, officials need to determine where to best set club levels, how and when to count gifts, and how to reward donors within legal parameters set by the IRS. The answers to these questions depend on the specific goals the institution is trying to achieve with its club system. A sidebar discusses how to choose gift club names.

Their Names in Lights
CURRENTS Article When designing web sites to recognize donors, remember these tips from University of Pennsylvania pros: 1) keep the design simple, such as using a photograph of a donor with a few simple words; 2) feature volunteers as the subjects of your first recognition pages; 3) remember to get permission to use any copyighted materials before posting the information on your site; and 4) seek advice from donors about why gifts are made.

Your Noncash Gift Questions Answered
CURRENTS Article Duke University director of alumni and development records Taylor creates and answers some sample questions that address some common concerns about noncash gifts. He tackles questions such as on what date do gifts of stock become the property of the institution; how to value gifts of art; whether gifts should be valued at the retail or wholesale price; how to value gifts of advertising; and how to value gifts that have no history of valuation. A list of guides on noncash gifts is included.

Learning the Ropes
CURRENTS Article Kelly reviews the use of several common models of the fund-raising process and discusses the value of using her five-step process of research, objectives, programming, evaluation, and stewardship (ROPES). Each of these components is described in detail. This article is adapted from chapter 10 of Dr. Kelly's book, "Effective Fund-Raising Management".

End Notes: Psst! Want a Match?
CURRENTS Article As institutions struggle to increase their numbers of matching gifts, staff need to be aware that over-zealous donors may go to great lengths to have their gifts matched. Staff must adhere to the matching gift guidelines established by participating companies, and be mindful of whether to recognize the gift as coming from the employee or the company, among other issues. Several problem areas related to the acceptance and recording of matching gifts are described.

In Advance: Technology vs. Reality
CURRENTS Article The real deal on eight common misconceptions about hardware and software

Having Double Trouble?
CURRENTS Article If matching gift programs are to succeed, colleges and universities must institute procedures that make it clear which donor gifts are eligible for matches and make it easy to go after them. First, it is important to spread the word about your matching gift program, using volunteers if necessary. Other ways to announce your matching gift program include: 1) highlighting potential matching gift donors before a phonathon and training callers to ask for employer information; 2) sending information with pledge reminders; 3) mailing leaflets, such as those available through CASE; and 4) promoting the program in donor newsletters. Another approach is to focus on several companies that employ large numbers of your alumni and establishing a corporate agent program.

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