Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University uses multi-channel, person-to-person fundraising techniques to boost annual giving funds.

Blackbaud Guided Fundraising™ helped the annual giving team at Western Carolina University empower student fundraisers and increase its revenue by approximately 100 percent year over year. 

Western Carolina University’s Office of Development and Annual Giving recognizes the impact of having a thoughtful, person-to-person donor solicitation strategy. Prior to implementing Blackbaud Guided Fundraising, the annual giving team relied on its legacy calling software and an outdated model that was cumbersome for students, which prevented them from being able to fully execute on their fundraising strategy.

Understanding the value of their phone program for university advancement, Director of Annual Giving Jonathan Brooks championed fiercely to expand the program. “For us, it was a no-brainer that Blackbaud Guided Fundraising was the right solution to support our future campaigns,” he said. Both the implementation and adoption of Blackbaud Guided Fundraising were seamless, according to Brooks. “Students were really impressed with its interface, and from an administrative perspective, it was an easy transition with minimal challenges to overcome,” Brooks added.

Personalizing Fundraising Appeals

Upon refining their different strategies for audience and segment preferences, the team established a benchmark that would enable them to reach future campaign goals more effectively. “Our program is designed with our students essentially acting as mini development officers and managing portfolios, and it provides mentoring and professional development opportunities,” Brooks explained. “Empowering students with an experience that not only fosters a creative atmosphere but one that supports their success has been equally exciting for them and us.”

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