Chico State University

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Higher Education Institutions
North America

Chico State University uses innovative fundraising tools to strengthen donor cultivation, improve gift officer efficiency, and boost funds raised. 

An organizational restructure combined with Blackbaud Fundraiser Performance Management™ empowered California State University – Chico to revamp and enhance its overall fundraising strategy.

“Partnering with Blackbaud has been great — the services team knew our university’s unique qualities and continues to share insight that helps us optimize our use of the  software and our data,” said Evelyn Buchanan, Chico State’s associate vice president for university advancement. 

Buchanan’s team—which manages all fundraising and advancement services—depends upon Blackbaud Fundraiser Performance Management to record and use data, and they’ve seen the results. User productivity has improved at Chico State with officers taking full advantage of the ability to seamlessly track and manage their contact reports in the activity center, Buchanan explained.

Advancement leaders can track progress toward the goals and metrics on which officers will be evaluated, tying in to Chico State’s new organizational structure. “We now have development officers actively recruiting new donors and qualifying alumni, significantly improving the connections between prospective donors and the university,” said Buchanan.

Empowering Data-Driven Decisions

The advancement and development office at Chico State realizes the importance of having fundraising software that includes custom predictive models and easy-to-use technology. “The quality of data, dashboards, and analytics provided would be nearly impossible to get if not for Blackbaud Fundraising Performance Management,” Buchanan said. “The reporting capabilities help us make more informed decisions and allows us to track and compare our progress as needed.”

When all advancement work at Chico State moved remote in response to COVID-19, Blackbaud solutions made it possible for the university’s gift officers to continue without compromising efforts—meaning the ability to access data anytime, anywhere.

Another way Chico State’s advancement office sets fundraisers up for success is through the ongoing meetings with Blackbaud’s consulting services to maximize their use of the software. “It gives us an additional opportunity to gain new university-specific guidance for using Blackbaud Fundraiser Performance Management, our data, and gift officer outreach,” Buchanan said.

Bolstering Stewardship Efforts

Understanding many of its students were impacted by COVID-19, Chico State participated in #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5 to raise additional funds for students in need. “We have been focusing on stewardship and nurturing personal connections during a time when giving may not be a priority,” said Buchanan.

Blackbaud Fundraiser Performance Management has provided critical support for Chico State’s comprehensive campaign, which is targeted to conclude June 2021. “Blackbaud’s solutions have allowed us to learn more about our officers’ stewardship activities, their tracking approaches, and how they differ in terms of solicitation outcomes,” said Buchanan.

With the right solutions in place, Chico State has been able to be much closer to the information needed to be effective and efficient. As the university identifies priorities for the future, Buchanan and her team will rely on data, technology, and strategic consulting guidance to meet their goals.

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Chico State University
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