AASP: Gifts and Record Management Best Practices

Presenters: Debbie Anglin of GG&A and Caroline Chang of Stanford

GG&A looked at Stanford's gifts and record management business processes and made some recommendations. Here are some gleanings:

*Advancement Services often considered a cost center, not a revenue generator. Consider how operations contribute to positive donor experience.

*Use benchmarking to convince leadership to change processes to match best practices. GG&A did a huge benchmarking study with a dozen top fundraising institutions.

*Look at gift processing workload by month, and use to plan staffing needs and workflow. Most organizations studied were over-staffed, maintaining enough staff to address highest-volume months. Cross-training is key.

*Focus on reducing processing time for major gifts.

*Track gift receipt date and processing date so business process can be better examined.

*Cost per gift processing transaction ranged from $2.26 to $18.21. Most were around $3 to $5.

*Most processed gifts within 3 to 5 days. Per Debbie, 48 - 72 hours is best practice.

*Adjustments should be less than 5% of gift transactions.

*Debbie encourages empowering end users to update biographical data. This increases ownership. Caroline doesn't agree.

*Records per FTE records staff ranged from 44K to 200K. Debbie recommends somewhere in the middle.

*Lost alums ranged from 4.9% to 34.6%. Should be less than 7%.

*Data management plans and goals are key to decreased lost alum rates, as well as decreased manual entry.

*Evaluate processing staff on accuracy and productivity.

*Implementing change: prioritize based on cost savings, importance, quick wins, "doability."

*Stanford reorganizing: instead of gifts, records, central files -- Automated Services, General Processing, Specialized Processing (high-value gifts, encourage independent thinking), Customer Service.
Amanda JarmanComment