The Hub

January 2019 Volume 17 Issue 1
In This Issue...

Upcoming Webinars

Getting to Know You: Improve Your Donor Relations Program through Constituent Feedback
Thursday, February 21

View all 2019 Webinars


New England Regional Breakfast Panel
Tuesday, January 29
Cambridge, MA

Ninth Annual NYC Regional Conference
Friday, March 22
New York City, NY

Help Us Plan a Regional Event!
Contact the ADRP Office if you'd like to help plan a Regional Event in 2019 or learn more.

What We're Reading

Benchmarking in Fundraising: Pitfalls and Benefits
Roberta O'Hara

In this article on Linkedin, Roberta explores seven pitfalls and seven benefits to consider when approaching colleagues at other nonprofit organizations for their solutions to the issues you are grappling with.

Have you read an article or blog recently that might interest ADRP members? Submit the link and a description of the piece and it may be featured in an issue of The Hub.

ADRP Resources

Connect with ADRP Online


In Service: The Column of the ADRP President

Jen McGrath
Senior Director, Donor Relations & Stewardship
MIT Resource Development 

Happy New Year! There are two times of year when I feel like I get access to a giant "reset" button. My birthday (in July) is one; this is the other.

For me, it's really about using the occasion to take stock of what's working and what's not and evaluate what I want to do more of and what I'd like to do less of in the future. After all, as creative, energized, dedicated donor relations and stewardship professionals, one of the biggest limitations we face is simply the finite number of hours in the day and days in the week.

So how do we "find" time? And how do we decide how to use the time that we do have?

In order to continue to meet our own high standards for our programs, we may need to determine which activities no longer meet our needs (i.e. the needs of our donors, our institutions) and sunset them. Last year as part of a goal-setting exercise for our team at MIT, I shared this article about figuring out what to stop doing before starting something new.

Then comes the decision of what to do next and the omnipresent challenge of not letting the urgent crowd out the important—and not letting the new and shiny distract from strategy. Along these lines, be sure to check out fellow-ADRP-member Roberta O'Hara's thoughtful reflections on the pitfalls and benefits of benchmarking.

So, what am I doing in the year ahead at MIT? Rather than a resolution, I’m letting a word guide my work. That word is “experience.”

For every project, what is the experience we want to impart to our donors? This orientation will help us create new experiences with the donor at the center, re-examine our tried and true practices, and evaluate whether we might want to reframe or stop some activities. 

And, it just so happens, this month's issue is all about donor experience and events. Be sure to read on for some great reflections from Suzanne Bellanger and Krystina Wales, and check out Liz Jacoby’s great December webinar, “Live, Learn, Play: Creating Behind-the-Scenes Donor Experiences,” in the 2018 Webinar Library.

Agree? Disagree? Have ideas or reflections of your own to share? As always, I'd love to hear from you directly on LinkedIn or Twitter @JenNesbit. Please also engage with ADRP on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @ADRPtweets.

Fighting the Curse of "We've Always Done it This Way"

Krystina Wales
Director of Donor Relations & Stewardship
GMBC HealthCare

GBMC HealthCare revamped our Donor Recognition Event last year with a host of new changes to try and increase attendance. It was a change some liked and some didn't. But what we learned through the process is that sometimes it's more effective to flip an event on its head, rather than to try to patch all its perceived holes.

Read more

Ask Not What Your Donors Can Do For You...

Suzanne Bellanger
Manager, Direct Marketing & Strategic Stewardship
Brown University

According to Charity Navigator, more than 70% of charitable giving comes from individuals. In 2017 that translated into $287 billion in donations. That’s a powerful number! Individual donors are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations—a nonprofit’s ability to fulfill its mission and achieve its goals is directly related to its ability to attract and retain private citizen donors. That’s why it’s critically important for non-profits to approach fundraising from a donor-centric perspective. Fundraising programs that put the donor at the center of every decision can yield much higher revenue and achieve larger year-over-year growth than ones that are more internally focused.

Read More

Member Spotlight

Name: Stacey Schewaga

Institution: College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan

Position: Leadership Giving & Donor Relations Officer

ADRP member for six months

What do you like most about being a member of ADRP?

The reason I joined ADRP was to connect with other Canadian professionals across Canada in donor relations roles, like mine. I was also interested in the learning opportunities, including webinars and conferences.

Read More

Write for The Hub: We Want to Hear from You!

The Hub is seeking article proposals for new monthly issues!

Do you have a success story you would like to share? How did you handle a particular problem or project that seemed insurmountable? Have you discovered effective tactics that help gain a seat at the table? What are your thoughts on best practices or new, emerging ideas that take a donor relations/stewardship program to the next level?

We want to encourage our members—new and experienced—to share their insights, best practices, and what works (or doesn’t work!) when planning their shop’s programming and responsibilities.

We welcome all submissions related to donor relations and stewardship, but we especially encourage ADRP members to step forward and share their expertise and experiences in the profession.

The submission form is available any time you have an article proposal to submit. We have included the webinar topics for each month, in case you would like to tie your article to a specific webinar topic.

Please submit your article proposal today! We can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

Submit an Article

The Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) is a nonprofit business league organized under the laws of the State of New Hampshire. Its goals are to offer professional development opportunities, to promote the donor relations and stewardship professions, and to foster networking. ADRP is an international organization with members from all sectors of the non-profit world: education, health care, arts, and community organizations.

Our core organizational values are:
Visionary leadership • Absolute integrity • Member empowerment and connection
Service and program excellence • Responsible philanthropy

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Association of Donor Relations Professionals