March 2017

              Volume 15, Issue 3

In This Issue:

In Service: The Column of the ADRP President

A Stewardship Report That Engages for 12 Months

Learn, Share, and Celebrate at the ADRP Midwest Regional Forum!

5 Tech-Savvy Fundraising Ideas for the Modern Nonprofit

Remembering the Relationships: Hot to Engage Donors With the "Two Touches" Approach

Regional Updates

Conference Corner

Readers: We Want Your News!

Member Spotlight

To contribute an article or to share feedback on this issue, please submit an article proposal.

Upcoming Events:

Webinar: Video as an Engagement and Stewardship Strategy
March 28

3rd Annual Midwest Regional Forum
May 10

3rd Annual Toronto Regional Workshop
May 26

Southeast Donor Relations Conference
June 8 - 9

March Poll: Do you use video as part of your donor stewardship?

Participate in the poll now!

February Poll Results:

Fiscal year 2016 saw a decrease in returns for college and university endowments nationwide. Are you planning on addressing this in your donor reports this year?

Yes | 50%

No | 50%

ADRP Members: Join the extended conversation of the monthly polls in the ADRP Poll Discussion affinity circle, in the Member Center of the ADRP site (login required).

Join ADRP!

Network: Take advantage of the Member Directory

Job Search: Visit the Career Center

Learn: Register for a webinar

Support ADRP:
Explore sponsorship opportunities

In Service:
The Column of the ADRP President

Kathleen Diemer, CFRE
Executive Director of Donor Relations and Advancement Communications

George Mason University

The other day I realized that in just a few short months I will celebrate my 20th anniversary in the field of Donor Relations and Stewardship.  Back in 1997, when I started out as an acknowledgment letter writer at my alma mater, I never could have imagined that I would still be working in this field.  I also never could have imagined how much our professional field would grow and change.

Twenty years ago, ADRP was still several years away from existence.  If you could find a conference or educational session to attend, it mainly consisted of other attendees from the higher education sector.  There were few people in the field and determining best practices was a near impossible and time-consuming feat.  If an institution was fortunate enough to have a staff member dedicated to donor relations that person generally wrote thank you letters, provided some basic reporting and planned a few events.  If you wanted to continue to work in the field, there were not many professional options.

Thankfully, our field and our professional options have changed! Healthcare, arts, environmental and other non-profit organizations have seen the light and invested (sometimes heavily) in their donor relations efforts.  With more than 1,600 current members, ADRP is a thriving community of talented professionals who represent a variety of sectors and who readily share their knowledge and professional practices.

Once considered a "background" unit, donor relations has taken its rightful place at the forefront of the professional fundraising universe.  Two decades ago we provided reports and letters to our frontline fundraising leaders and rarely interacted directly with donors.  Now we interact with our donors frequently and are often their first stop when they have questions or concerns. 

We used to base our work solely on anecdotes, but can now provide metrics and data to show our worth.  No longer simply a service area, we collaborate daily with all areas of our organizations - development officers, information technology staff, leadership, prospect research, campaign consultants, planned giving experts, financial management, philanthropic end-users and communications staff, to name just a few.  Whether you are a team of one or supervise a team of 10, your donor relations team is likely the area that has the most interaction and collaboration with all areas of your overall fundraising operation.

And the future of our profession holds great promise. Once likely to top out at a director level, more donor relations professionals than ever before are achieving upper level leadership roles as executive directors and assistant or associate vice presidents.  Some of our colleagues are adding portfolios to their work, or taking the helm of overall campaign and fundraising operations.  With the ability to show the true impact of our work, more and more donor relations professionals are also seeking and obtaining the Certified Fund Raising Executive credential.

Twenty years have flown by fast, and our professional field has gone far.  As I look back, I am amazingly proud to call this my chosen profession and I am even more proud of the fact that future generations of donor relations professionals will have many more options to utilize their experience, skills and knowledge to lead their organizations.

With gratitude,

Kathleen Diemer
[email protected]

A Stewardship Report That Engages for 12 Months

Mary Berger
Director of Annual Giving and Advancement Services
Barbara Belt
Assistant Director of Annual Giving and Advancement Services
University of Pennylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

At Penn Vet, we've struggled with the age-old dilemma common among our fundraisers: to produce and disperse a donor honor roll in paper format or list donor names exclusively on our website. Two years ago, we came up with a solution that has brought impressive results. We write to share our ideas with fellow stewardship professionals in the field.

The PennVet Annual Report Calendar

The first calendar annual report for Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine donors was created for 2016. The calendar acts as both a donor recognition piece and a promotional piece as each month highlights an amazing aspect of our mission. This is a practical use of an annual report because it has a specific purpose beyond listing donors and continues to remind our supporters of the work we do - healing animals. We know our donors love their animals and we know that they love to read about Penn Vet's success stories. This combination gave birth to a calendar that illustrates how that love for animals is mutual through photos and stories of PennVet's world-renowned veterinary teaching, healing and research.

[Read More]

Learn, Share, and Celebrate at the ADRP Midwest Regional Forum!

Emily Abrahamson
Associate Director, Stewardshop
Rush University Medical Center

May 10, 2017
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
YMCA of the USA 

Calling all donor relations professionals! Registration is now open for the 2017 ADRP Midwest Regional Forum. Join us for an exciting day of presentations and idea sharing that will leave you feeling inspired. The Forum is open to ADRP members as well as non-members.

Register Online Today
Member registration | $100
Non-member registration | $125 

This one-day event will include breakfast, lunch, networking, and six engaging sessions on topics including Engaging and Stewarding Donors Online, Giving Societies, and Campaign Stewardship.

Keynote speakers, Shanon Doolittle, Born Do-Gooder, High-Five Fundraising Coach & Girl on a Mission to Spread Donor Happiness, and Beth Ann Locke, Director of Advancement at Simon Fraser University, will set the scene for a day of learning, sharing, and celebrating. 

[Read More]

5 Tech-Savvy Fundraising Ideas for the Modern Nonprofit

John Killoran

Now more than ever, donors are going online to interact with organizations and support causes. That's why your nonprofit should incorporate technology into your fundraising ideas so that you can reach out to your online donors and raise more funds.

With so many different fundraising ideas, it can be difficult knowing which ones will be the most effective and well-suited for your nonprofit.

We'll cover five ideas that incorporate technology to engage with your donors online:

  1. Build optimized online donation forms.
  2. Create a crowdfunding campaign.
  3. Use text-to-give.
  4. Start an interactive video fundraiser.
  5. Host an online auction.

Let's get right into the ideas!

[Read More]

Remembering the Relationships: How to Engage Donors With the "Two Touches" Approach

Kathy Drucquer Duff, CFRE
Fundraising Coach, Consultant and Optimizer

Advancement professionals think about donors and prospects regularly - whether we're wondering if a prospect will fund a gift proposal, or a donor will take our meeting request. But as much as these donors and prospects may be top of mind, our actions can send a very different message. We get busy, or focused on just a few relationships, and can let months go by without communicating with those we want to draw closest.

This can be especially true when stewarding long-time donors. Development officers often get so focused on new prospects and upcoming gifts that they forget how important it is to maintain long-term relationships with those that have already given (and often times have the capacity for continued giving). Engagement officers focus on the top tier and in doing so, don't steward their "silver medalists" appropriately.

This pattern is why I'm a champion of a Two Touches exercise: starting every workday with two outreaches, or touches, to donors or organizational partners. This habit is an easy way to ensure we start every day the right way: focused on relationships!

 [Read More]

Regional Updates

Registration for the 3rd Annual Midwest Regional Forum is now open! Join your colleagues for a full day of presentations, networking, and discussion while earning 4.75 CFRE credits. 

Learn more and register >>

Conference Corner

RFPs close on Monday, March 13 for the 14th Annual International Conference! This year's theme, Bright Lights Big Opportunities, is an opportunity for us to explore our profession through a global lens. We welcome your ideas for discussion and presentations to complement our framework, and invite your expertise about topics that are ever-present in our profession. Be sure to submit before the deadline!

[Read More]

Guest Articles for The Hub 

(We Want Your News!)

One of the many benefits of being a member of ADRP is belonging to a community of professionals that shares knowledge and experiences. In an effort to better serve our members this year, we are working to bring you content each month that is helpful, relevant, and cohesive.

We are seeking article submissions from our members that cover any topic relevant to the profession, including those that may coincide with one of the monthly webinars.

share with us your best practices, experiences, successes, or challenges related to this topic so we can collectively learn and grow. Articles must be received the month prior to the scheduled publication month.

Member Spotlight

Name: Melanie Gregg

Institution: Lutheran Homes of South Carolina Foundation, Inc.

Position: Director of Annual Giving and Donor Relations

ADRP member for 9 years

How long have you worked in donor relations/stewardship and how did you get involved in this profession?
I started working at the Lutheran Homes of SC Foundation as the Donor Relations Coordinator in 2004.  Prior to that, I had worked in various accounting positions at several companies. The Secretary/CFO of the Foundation, with whom I had worked at another company, wanted me to apply when the position became available with LHSC Foundation, because he thought I would do well in this field. He knew I cared about the well-being of others and had enjoyed volunteering on the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event committee. It turned out to be the best job transition I ever made.     

[Meet Melanie]


The Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) is a non-profit 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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