Polls

AGN Members receive exclusive access to the Research Library which includes hundreds of articles, samples, templates, polls, reports and other information on the latest trends and best practices in school advancement.

View our collection of recent polls below, or use the search bar above to explore all of our resources.


Annual Giving in Comprehensive Campaigns

Conducted on June 20, 2024

Which of the following best describes your institution?


Does your institution have a volunteer position (e.g., Annual Fund Chair) who can spearhead/represent annual giving as part of your future campaign efforts?


Do you feel that annual giving is/will be one of the top 3 priorities in your current/next campaign?


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


FYE Time & Efforts

Conducted on June 6, 2024

In the final weeks of your Annual Fund’s fiscal year, where do you focus the majority of your time and effort?


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Websites for Annual Giving

Conducted on June 6, 2024

When was the last time your annual giving web pages had a design overhaul?


In your opinion, how “quick and easy” is your online donation form?


Do you foresee making significant updates to your annual giving web pages in the next 6 months?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Social Media in Annual Giving

Conducted on May 16, 2024

Which of the following channels do you feel is MOST useful for the purposes of promoting and supporting annual giving at your institution?


Which of the following social media content formats would you say is used the MOST at your institution to promote and support annual giving?


Would you say that your annual giving program’s social media strategy is informed by data?


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Fiscal Year Status

Conducted on May 6, 2024

With only a couple months left in the fiscal year for many educational institutions, how is your annual giving program doing at this point?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Loyal Donor Societies

Conducted on April 9, 2024

Do you have a loyal donor society currently?


What is your program’s overall retention rate?


Which of the following models do you think would be the best fit for your institution’s current or future donor loyalty society?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Strategy Updates with US News Alumni Participation Changes

Conducted on March 18, 2024

How has your annual giving strategy changed since last year’s decision by US News to exclude alumni giving rates from ranking criteria?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


A/B Testing

Conducted on March 7, 2024

How often does your annual giving program do A/B testing?


Through which ONE of the following channels, do you think your program is most likely to do A/B testing in the future?


Do you expect that you will be doing more testing in the next 6 months compared to the last 6 months?


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Donor Challenges

Conducted on February 22, 2024

How important are “challenges” to your overall annual giving strategy?


How many challenges has your institution run over the past year?


How many challenges do you estimate your institution will run over the next year?


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Giving Day Planning Timeline

Conducted on February 6, 2024

How far in advance do you start planning your institution’s Giving Day?


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Engagement Strategies

Conducted on January 25, 2024

How strong is the sense of “community” among your institution’s donors?


Does your institution have a clear method for measuring alumni engagement?


Do you think “community” will play a bigger role in your annual giving strategies going forward?


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


International Strategies

Conducted on January 18, 2024

Does your program have a dedicated staff member for International Fundraising?


In your best estimate how many direct appeals do your international alumni receive per year?


Do you anticipate international strategies becoming increasingly important to your annual giving program in the years ahead?


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Giving Day Spring Date (Month)

Conducted on January 10, 2024

If your institution is planning a Giving Day this winter/spring, what month will it be?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Data Confidence

Conducted on December 12, 2023

How confident are you that the quality of the data in your database can adequately support your institution’s annual giving efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


AI and Appeals

Conducted on November 6, 2023

Has your institution’s annual giving program used Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the past 6 months to help with the appeal writing process?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


#GivingTuesday

Conducted on October 6, 2023

How much time and effort will your annual giving program put into #GivingTuesday this year?


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Young Alumni Leadership Gifts

Conducted on October 5, 2023

Does your institution have a lower $ gift requirement for younger alumni for what would be considered a “leadership gift”? 


 

Would you be comfortable asking a recent graduate for a $1,000 gift? 


 

Which of the following do you think would be the most meaningful/effective way to thank a recent grad for making a leadership gift? 


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Giving Definitions

Conducted on September 11, 2023

Which of the following best describes what gifts would count as “annual giving” at your institution? 


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Regional Strategies

Conducted on August 17, 2023

What seems to be the highest priority for your organization as it relates to regional strategies?


 

Does it seem like it’s easier to engage alumni the further away they live from your campus?


 

Do you anticipate regional strategies becoming a higher priority for your organization in the next couple of years?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Prospect Research

Conducted on August 9, 2023

Which of the following do you think is the most difficult to predict? 


 

How much are frontline gift officers responsible for doing their own prospect research at your institution? 


 

In your opinion, how good are your institution’s prospect research efforts? 

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Donor Acquisition

Conducted on July 27, 2023

How would you describe new donor acquisition as part of your annual giving program’s priorities? 


 

In your opinion, which of the following do you think would be the MOST effective tactic for acquiring new donors at your institution? 


 

Without looking at a report, would you be able to accurately “estimate” your institution’s new donor retention rate? 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


FY23 Results Final

Conducted on July 17, 2023

What do you expect to report as your Annual Fund’s final results for FY’23?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Crowdfunding

Conducted on June 15, 2023

How much of a priority is crowdfunding as part of your overall annual giving strategy? 


 

How many individual crowdfunding projects did your institution support over the past year? 


 

Does it seem like your program is going to be increasing its investment of time and resources into crowdfunding in the near future? 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Recognizing Donors

Conducted on June 8, 2023

Do you think that most donors want to be recognized publically? 


 

What format best describes the way you list donor names publically?


 

Do you use “awards” as a way to highlight and recognize important donors? 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


US News Ranking Calculation

Conducted on June 2, 2023

Do you think that annual giving could become a lower priority now that US News no longer includes alumni giving in its rankings calculation?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Direct Mail Calendars

Conducted on June 1, 2023

How many months in advance does your program begin planning its direct mail calendar for the next fiscal year? 


 

How would you describe the majority of your direct mail projects? 


 

What do you feel is the most useful way to communicate with others about planning your direct mail calendar? 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Retention Strategies

Conducted on May 25, 2023

Do you know what your institution’s alumni donor retention rate was last year? 


 

Which channel do you rely on the most to renew donors? 


 

Which of the following metrics will be the highest priority for your program next year? 


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Affinity Giving

Conducted on May 11, 2023

How significant are affinity groups to your overall annual giving strategy? 


 

How many different affinity groups does your program target with appeals in a given year? 


 

Do you expect your program to increase its affinity-based fundraising efforts in the year ahead? 


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Donors Who Received Financial Aid

Conducted on May 5, 2023

Do your institution’s alumni who received financial aid while they were students give at higher rates than those who did not? 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Making the Ask

Conducted on May 4, 2023

How comfortable are you asking an individual donor for a gift “face-to-face”? 


 

Have you ever done “role play” with someone else to practice making the ask? 


 

Excluding major/principal gift solicitations, how do you predict the majority of the individual “face-to-face asks” will be conducted by your institution’s gift officers over the next year? 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Leadership Giving Societies

Conducted on April 27, 2023

When was the last time your institution raised the minimum gift amount required for membership in its annual fund’s leadership giving society? 


 

Does your institution provide tangible gifts (e.g., calendar) to members of its annual fund’s leadership society? 


 

Do you foresee any significant changes to your annual fund’s leadership giving society in the next year or two? 


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Donor Surveys

Conducted on April 13, 2023

How recently have you surveyed your general donor population? 

 


 

If you had a better sense of what your donors wanted from your organization, would you be able to deliver? 


 

What’s the likelihood that you’ll survey your general donor population in the next 6 months? 


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Matching Gifts

Conducted on April 3, 2023

How significant are employer matching gifts to your overall annual giving strategy? 


 

Does your advancement department have a staff person with “employer matching gifts” as a responsibility in their job description?


 

Do you use a vendor/platform to support your matching gift program? 


 

Do you have access to sufficient reports for tracking employer matching gifts? 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Favorite Part of Annual Giving

Conducted on April 3, 2023

What do you love most about annual giving work? 

  • That it is so often the entry point for long-term donors. It’s the start of everything else that follows most of the time! 
  • That it keeps evolving. 
  • You get to show donors that their gift makes an impact, no matter how small the contribution. 
  • It’s busy, and I love the diverse projects. There’s always new ground to explore
  • That it forces me to get a little bit better every year. AND that it introduced me to so many amazing fundraisers who want to learn and grow. 
  • Data + People. A perfect blend of both. 

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Gift Impact

Conducted on March 23, 2023

In general, is the impact of annual giving clearly understood by your institution’s donors? 


 

In your opinion, which of the following constituent groups has the best understanding of the impact of annual giving at your institution? 


 

Does your institution allow donors to support “current use” (non-endowment) scholarships? 


 

Does your annual giving program send out “impact reports”? 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Segmentation

Conducted on March 16, 2023

How would you describe your annual giving program’s segmentation strategy?


 

Which of the following areas would you say your segmentation strategy is strongest?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Gender Pronouns

Conducted on March 9, 2023

Does your institution maintain gender pronouns in its advancement database?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Email Appeals

Conducted on February 16, 2023

How many email fundraising appeals could one of your constituents potentially receive from your institution in a single year?


 

Which of the following do you think is the MOST important part of an email appeal?


 

If you could only see one metric for your next email appeal, what would it be?


 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Venmo for Donations

Conducted on February 8, 2023

Does your institution accept donations through Venmo?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Recurring Gifts

Conducted on February 2, 2023

How high of a priority are recurring gifts within your institution’s annual giving strategy?


 

Does your institution’s recurring gift program have its own “brand” (e.g., name, logo, gift society)?


 

Have you defined an “ask ladder” for upgrading recurring gift donors?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Phone Appeals

Conducted on January 24, 2023

Are your institution’s phonathon callers expected to use a script?


 

What do YOU find to be the most difficult part of a phone solicitation?


 

Do you think human-to-human phone solicitations will be a significant part of annual giving strategy 5 years from now?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Reunion Giving

Conducted on January 17, 2023

Which of the following best describes your organization’s reunion gift campaign goals?


 

Which of the following departments would you say is your annual giving program’s most important partner when it comes to reunion gift campaigns?


 

Does your institution do a good job of keeping alumni engaged and giving in between reunion years?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


FY23 Results YTD

Conducted on January 10, 2023

Halfway through the fiscal year, what are your current annual fund results?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Direct Mail Evaluation

Conducted on January 10, 2023

How did your direct mail results last year compare to the year before?


 

Do you include appeal codes on reply devices for all of your direct mail appeals?


 

How much do past results really factor into your future direct mail strategies?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Young Alumni Events

Conducted on December 13, 2022

How would you describe young alumni events at your institution over the past 6 months?


 

Which of the following constituents do you involve the MOST in your events for young alumni?


 

Do you send surveys/evaluations to attendees after your young alumni events?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Athletics Fundraising

Conducted on December 6, 2022

Is fundraising for your institution’s athletic programs well coordinated with its other advancement efforts?


 

Which ONE of the following stakeholders would you like to engage more as it relates to fundraising for athletics?


 

Has your institution increased the donation levels for its athletics giving society in the past 3 years?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Training Phonathon Callers

Conducted on December 1, 2022

Do you feel that your phonathon callers receive sufficient training?


 

How many hours do you spend on new caller orientation and training before they start making live calls?


 

How much of your caller training is in-person vs virtual?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Time in Office

Conducted on November 29, 2022

What is the minimum # of days (excluding travel) that your institution’s advancement staff are currently required to work “in the office”?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Remote Work Choice

Conducted on November 18, 2022

If you could only pick one way to work for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


First-Year Parents

Conducted on November 15, 2022

Does your organization have a strategy for engaging and soliciting first-year parents?


 

Does your institution solicit parents during the first year that their children are in school?


 

Which of the following do you plan to focus on the most after this webinar as it relates to first-year parents?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


First-Year Alumni

Conducted on November 10, 2022

Does your institution solicit alumni during their first year after graduation?


 

What % of your alumni would you estimate attend an event or serve as a volunteer during their first year after graduation?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Online Ambassadors

Conducted on October 25, 2022

Does your annual fund have a formal “online ambassadors” program?


 

Do you provide tools and templates to your volunteers to support their fundraising efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Fund as % of Total Giving

Conducted on October 21, 2022

What % of total donations (i.e., outright gifts & pledge payments) received by your institution last year would be considered annual giving?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Alumni Boards

Conducted on October 18, 2022

How significant is the role of your alumni board in your advancement efforts?


 

How comfortable is your alumni board with fundraising?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Alumni Relations & Annual Giving Collaboration

Conducted on October 11, 2022

How well do your annual giving and alumni relations teams collaborate?


 

How would you describe the volunteers who support your annual giving and alumni relations efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Head of Annual Giving Titles

Conducted on October 4, 2022

What title does the head of annual giving hold at your organization?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Stewarding New Donors

Conducted on September 20, 2022

Does your institution have a clearly defined strategy for stewarding new/first time donors?


 

Do you send a renewal appeal to donors on the anniversary of their last gift?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Giving Goal

Conducted on August 30, 2022

What is your primary annual giving goal for this fiscal year?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Predictive Modeling

Conducted on August 30, 2022

How much experience do you have with predictive modeling?


 

How would you rate the sophistication of your annual fund’s segmentation strategy for appeals and communications?


 

Do you expect to do more predictive modeling in the year ahead?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Developing Portfolios

Conducted on August 25, 2022

What do you think is the ideal number of prospects to have in a portfolio?


 

How consistent/reliable are gift officers at your institution when it comes to writing contact reports after prospect meetings?


 

What percent of the prospects that you manage do you anticipate will make a gift this fiscal year?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Digital Ads

Conducted on August 16, 2022

Are digital ads an important part of your current annual giving strategy?


 

What would your annual giving program need in order to start doing more digital advertising?


 

Do you think your annual giving program will be doing more digital advertising over the next year?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Senior Class Giving

Conducted on August 9, 2022

How long has your institution had a senior class giving effort?


 

What’s the #1 priority for your senior class giving effort?


 

Do you have a senior class giving committee of volunteers?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


FY22 Results Final

Conducted on August 8, 2022

What were your Annual Fund’s final results for Fiscal Year 2022?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Career Mentors

Conducted on July 27, 2022

Is there someone specific you consider to be your mentor?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Biggest Challenges

Conducted on June 29, 2022

What would you say was the biggest challenge for your institution’s annual giving program over the past 12 months?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Student Volunteers

Conducted on June 2, 2022

Do you tell your student volunteers that you expect them to donate money as part of their role?


 

How do you train your student volunteers?


 

Do you feel like you have a good sense of who your most and least productive volunteers are?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Parent Leadership Giving

Conducted on May 26, 2022

Does your organization engage parents as volunteers and through advancement activities?


 

Is your advancement office able to obtain and screen a list of new parent records during the first semester that their children are in school?


 

How well does your organization continue to steward and engage parent donors after their children graduate?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Fund Planning

Conducted on May 25, 2022

Have you started developing your annual fund plan for next fiscal year yet?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


First-Year Students

Conducted on May 24, 2022

How would you describe the relationship between the office of advancement and the office of student affairs/student life at your institution?


 

Does your office of advancement have the ability to send communications “directly” to first-year students?


 

Does your advancement program actively recruit first-year students to serve as volunteers?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Evaluating Giving Days

Conducted on May 12, 2022

How many giving days does your institution do in a single year?


 

What would you say are the MOST important metrics for evaluating the success of a giving day at your institution?


 

How would you describe your institutional leadership’s feelings about giving days?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Giving Day Stewardship

Conducted on May 10, 2022

Would you say that your institution is committed to giving days in the year to come?


 

Does your institution have a specific strategy for stewarding giving donors that’s distinct from its other donor stewardship efforts?


 

Does your institution have a specific role for online ambassadors/digital volunteers?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Young Alumni Volunteers

Conducted on May 3, 2022

What do you think would be the MOST valuable role a young volunteer could play in supporting your advancement efforts?


 

Do you feel like your program does a good job measuring the activity of its young alumni volunteers?


 

Does your program have a clear plan/process for stewarding its young alumni volunteers?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Fiscal Year Status

Conducted on April 27, 2022

With only a couple of months left in the fiscal year for many educational institutions, how is your annual giving program doing at this point?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Phonathon Fundamentals

Conducted on April 26, 2022

How do you think the SIZE of your organization’s student calling staff will look next year compared to this year?


 

What format does your organization use to train callers?


 

What metric do YOU think is most important for evaluating the productivity of a phonathon program?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Student Events

Conducted on April 19, 2022

Over the past year, you’ve seen your institution’s student event attendance trend in which direction?


 

How much do you engage faculty in student philanthropy activities and events at your institution?


 

How do you think your organization’s student event activity next year will compare to this year?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Parent Volunteers

Conducted on April 14, 2022

How do you train your parent volunteers?


 

Do you think of parent volunteers and parent prospects as one and the same?


 

Which of the following do you consider to be the MOST important metric for evaluating the success of your parent volunteer efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Faculty & Staff Giving

Conducted on April 11, 2022

Do you have specific/structured ways that faculty and staff can get involved in development activities?


 

In your best estimation, what percent of your institution’s faculty and staff make a gift each year?


 

Do you feel like you have the reports and metrics you need to evaluate the productivity and effectiveness of your faculty and staff giving efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Current Job Status

Conducted on April 1, 2022

How would you describe your current job status?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Stewardship

Conducted on March 29, 2022

Does your program go through the process of creating a stewardship “plan” each year?


 

How segmented and personalized are your institution’s stewardship communications?


 

Has your institution made any changes to its gift societies in the past few years?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Parent Giving

Conducted on March 22, 2022

Do you solicit parents right away during the first few months that their children begin in school?


 

What’s the highest priority as it relates to your institution’s parent giving efforts?


 

Do you have a parent committee or official volunteer group that focuses on fundraising?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Salary Ranges in Job Descriptions

Conducted on March 18, 2022

When advertising its open advancement positions, does your institution require/always include salary ranges with the job descriptions?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Volunteer Management

Conducted on March 15, 2022

How important are volunteers to your institution’s fundraising efforts?


 

Does your institution have a clear way to measure the productivity of its volunteers?


 

In your opinion, which is the more important characteristic in a potential volunteer?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Giving Days

Conducted on March 8, 2022

When will your institution hold its next giving day?


 

Do you feel like you have enough resources to run a giving day?


 

What will be the primary metrics of success of your next giving day?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Student Giving

Conducted on March 1, 2022

How would you describe the relationship between your institution’s Office of Advancement and the Office of Student Life?


 

Do you have any “in-person” student giving-related events planned in the next 3 months?


 

What’s the highest priority for your senior class giving program this year?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Remote Work Policies

Conducted on February 28, 2022

What do you think your institution would be willing to offer to a new advancement hire?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Giving Day Marketing

Conducted on February 15, 2022

Which of the following will be the MOST important channel for promoting your next giving day?


 

How would you describe the role of volunteers in spreading the word about giving day?


 

What will be the MOST important metric in determining the success of your next giving day?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Factors in a Career Move

Conducted on February 9, 2022

Which of the following would be the most significant factor in the decision to make your next career move?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Digital Fundraising

Conducted on February 1, 2022

How important is email to your institution’s fundraising efforts today?


 

Is your institution leveraging social media to promote giving more now compared to 2 years ago?


 

What role do you foresee crowdfunding playing in your institution’s annual fundraising efforts 2 years from now?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Giving Day Volunteers

Conducted on January 25, 2022

Do you list “giving” as an expectation or requirement of your giving day volunteers?


 

Which of the following tools do you provide to your giving day volunteers? (check all that apply)


 

Do you provide token items or “swag” as incentives or gifts for giving day volunteers?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Role of Peer Benchmarking

Conducted on January 18, 2022

Does your advancement program have a group of peer institutions that most staff know and understand?


 

When was the last time you talked about your program’s “strategy” or “performance” with a colleague/counterpart at a peer institution?


 

Would your boss be more inclined to support a new idea if it was presented with benchmarking data?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Gift Clubs and Societies

Conducted on January 11, 2022

Have the levels in your institution’s annual fund gift societies changed at all in the past 5 years?


 

How would you describe the brand of your institution’s annual fund gift society?


 

Which of the following are used by your institution to engage its annual fund gift society members? (select all that apply)

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Recruiting Phonathon Callers

Conducted on January 6, 2022

How have your caller recruiting efforts changed in the past 4-6 months?


 

How do you conduct interviews with potential callers (select all that apply)?


 

How would you describe your system for onboarding new callers?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Parent Giving

Conducted on December 28, 2021

What percent of your institution’s current parents donate annually?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Fundamentals of Alumni Giving

Conducted on December 14, 2021

How do you segment your alumni appeals? (Select all that apply)


 

Do you have a special strategy for soliciting alumni who live internationally?


 

How important are volunteers to your alumni fundraising efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Giving & Planned Giving Collaboration

Conducted on December 2, 2021

Are your major gift officers expected to make triple asks (annual, major, and planned gifts)?


 

Do you invite planned gift donors to your institution’s leadership society events?


 

Does your school leverage student callers for gift planning calls?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Reunion & Class Giving Volunteers

Conducted on November 16, 2021

Does your institution have a formal onboarding and training process for reunion volunteers?


 

How would you rank the volunteer stewardship efforts at your institution?


 

Does your institution currently track volunteer activity through a volunteer portal?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Diversifying Your Donor Pipeline

Conducted on November 11, 2021

How confident are you that you have accurate and complete data on your Black, Latinx, and Indigenous alumni?


 

Do you think that your alumni perceive your institution to be inclusive?


 

Is your institution implementing any new alumni programming or initiatives in the current fiscal year to address DEI?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Upgrading Donors

Conducted on October 28, 2021

In which of the following channels do you incorporate specific ask amounts?


 

In your opinion, which of the following is the best way to get a donor to upgrade from one year to the next?


 

Do you think your gift society benefits serve as a compelling reason for donors to upgrade?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Texting in Fundraising

Conducted on October 20, 2021

How does your institution use texting?


 

Are you encouraging volunteers to utilize text messages in their outreach?


 

Is your team tracking texting response rates?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Appeal Calendars

Conducted on October 14, 2021

How would you describe the level of segmentation in your appeals?


 

Do you coordinate your appeals with campus events, activities, and communications?


 

Where does your appeal calendar live?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Hybrid Events for Alumni & Donors

Conducted on September 30, 2021

How many hybrid events has your advancement program held over the past year?


 

Will hybrid events be a significant part of your alumni and donor engagement strategy in the year ahead?


 

Does your program do a good job of using data to inform its event strategies?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Gift Acknowledgments

Conducted on September 16, 2021

How satisfied are you with the level of segmentation in your acknowledgments?


 

Do you utilize multiple communication channels in your acknowledgment process?


 

How involved are volunteers at your institution in the acknowledgment process?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Alumni Participation Rates

Conducted on September 9, 2021

How did your institution’s alumni participation rates for last fiscal year compare to the year before?


 

How confident are you that your program will be able to increase alumni participation rates this fiscal year?


 

Outside of the annual giving team, how much do your advancement colleagues care about alumni participation rates?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Engaging Faculty In Fundraising

Conducted on August 26, 2021

How often do you include faculty in your donor cultivation efforts?


 

Do you enjoy working with faculty?


 

In your experience, do most faculty understand development and fundraising?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Direct Mail Fundraising

Conducted on August 12, 2021

In general, how do you feel about the design of your program’s direct mail appeals?


 

Does your program do a good job of coordinating direct mail appeals with other appeal channels (e.g., phone, email)?


 

Do you track $ ROI (return on investment) for individual direct mail appeal segments?

Want to learn more? Click here to view AGN’s on-demand webinar entitled “Fundamentals of Direct Mail Fundraising.

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Prospect Meetings

Conducted on August 3, 2021

What best describes your current donor meeting strategy?


 

What percentages of your visits do you intend to conduct face-to-face for the remainder of the calendar year?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Donor-Advised Funds

Conducted on July 29, 2021

Do you know what characteristics are most common in people who give through DAFs?


 

How proactive is your institution when it comes to promoting DAFs as a way to make gifts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Incentives in Fundraising

Conducted on July 22, 2021

Do you think offering incentives to prospective donors cheapens/devalues the message/case for support?


 

How familiar are you with the legal/tax guidelines related to offering incentives in fundraising?


 

Where do you think incentives have the highest return on investment?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Year-End Review

Conducted on July 8, 2021

What were your annual fund results from this past fiscal year?


 

Does your team create a summary report of annual fund results to share with key stakeholders each year?


 

How far in advance does your team begin the annual fund planning process? 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Fundraising Videos

Conducted on June 24, 2021

How many fundraising videos has your program produced in the past 12 months?


 

How has your dollar investment in video production changed compared to one year ago?


 

How confident are you in your program’s ability to evaluate the effectiveness of its fundraising video efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Ask Amounts

Conducted on June 17, 2021

Has your team developed an ask matrix to determine ask amounts for your appeals?


 

Which appeal channels include ask amounts at your institution?


 

Does your team conduct A/B testing to determine the effectiveness of your ask amounts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Young Alumni

Conducted on June 3, 2021

Does your institution do an adequate job of making a case for philanthropic support to young alumni?


 

Do you use text messaging to communicate with young alumni?


 

What kind of events do you anticipate hosting for young alumni between now and the end of the calendar year?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Lapsed Donors

Conducted on May 25, 2021

Do you coordinate renewal appeals so that they arrive on/around the anniversary of each donor’s last gift?


Do you include an individual’s specific giving history in your appeals to lapsed donors?


How would you rate the quality of your lapsed donor reactivation efforts?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Stewarding Scholarship Donors

Conducted on May 18, 2021

Will your scholarship donor stewardship efforts include any “in-person” events before the end of the calendar year?

How engaged are your scholarship recipients in donor stewardship efforts?

Has your institution recently done any surveys/research to help gauge the satisfaction of your scholarship donors?

 

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Social Media Data

Conducted on May 13, 2021

Do your organizational leaders talk about social media as an important component of your fundraising and donor engagement strategy?


Do your institution’s frontline gift officers mine social media to identify new prospects?


Does your institution’s donor database help you track social media activity/metrics for individual prospects?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Fund Planning

Conducted on May 5, 2021

Did your annual giving program have a documented plan in place going into the current fiscal year?


Do you feel like you’re doing enough to create customized messages for your prospects and donors?


How complex is your annual fund appeal calendar?


How much do your colleagues outside of the annual fund know about your goals and strategies?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Gift Proposals

Conducted on April 29, 2021

Does your department provide templates for gift officers to use when drafting proposals?


How many people do you think should review/proof a gift proposal before it goes to a prospective donor?


Do gift officers at your institution ever use video when presenting gift proposals to prospects?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Giving for Independent Schools

Conducted on April 27, 2021

What is the maximum number of annual fund appeals one of your prospects could receive in a single fiscal year?


Would you say volunteers are a key component of your annual giving program?


How much is your head of school involved in your efforts to steward annual fund donors?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Gamification

Conducted on April 22, 2021

Has your program tried “gamifying” its fundraising strategies in the past year?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Campaign Planning

Conducted on April 6, 2021

Is your institution currently in a campaign?


When it comes to the success of a fundraising campaign, how important do you think it is for the campaign to have a distinct “brand”?


Does your institution’s advancement program have a culture of volunteer involvement in fundraising?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Phonathons

Conducted on April 1, 2021

In your opinion, which of the following aspects of your phonathon could use the most improvements?


Aside from the telephone, do your phonathon callers utilize other channels/tools as part of their outreach to alumni (e.g., email, text, video, handwritten notes)?


Aside from donors and dollars, has your phonathon started looking more at other metrics (e.g., # of prospects contacted, length of time on the call, number of records updated) as a way to evaluate its performance?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Athletics Giving

Conducted on March 25, 2021

Since COVID began, to what degree have you seen a pivot to digital engagement at your University?


Are you using social channels to engage your athletics donors?


When you think about events for athletics donors moving forward, do you anticipate having a hybrid approach with a mix of both in-person and digital events?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Writing Annual Fund Appeals

Conducted on March 18, 2021

Do you use a postscript (PS) in your appeals?


Does your institution segment appeals based on areas of donor interest?


Do you ask anyone outside your advancement team to read and edit your appeals?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Alumni Participation Rates

Conducted on March 10, 2021

Do you think that alumni participation (i.e. percent of alumni who donate each year) is a good metric for measuring “alumni satisfaction” with their alma mater?


Did your institution acquire enough new donors last year to “replace” those prior year donors who did not renew?


Has your institution coordinated a special campaign or a challenge in the past 12 months aimed specifically at increasing alumni participation rates?


If asked, would you be able to state your program’s alumni donor retention and reactivation rates from last year without having to look them up in a report?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


A/B Testing

Conducted on March 4, 2021

Question 1: Are you currently including testing strategies in your annual planning?


 Question 2: In which of the following fundraising channels do you currently incorporate testing strategies (check all that apply)?


Question 3: Have your fundraising strategies changed at all in the past year as a result of testing?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Parent Giving

Conducted on February 24, 2021

What was your parent giving/participation rate last fiscal year?

 


Does your institution have an active group of parent volunteers focused on fundraising?

 


Have you been actively soliciting parents for donations through the pandemic?

 


Have you used virtual events to steward parents through the pandemic?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Giving Websites & Donation Forms

Conducted on February 23, 2021

In your opinion, how easy is it to make a gift on your page?

 


From your home page, how many clicks does it take to make a gift?

 


Do you track who visits your gift form (without making a gift)?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Scholarships and Financial Aid

Conducted on February 11, 2021

Does your institution allow donors to direct their annual fund gifts to scholarships?

 


Do you utilize volunteers in your institution’s scholarship fundraising solicitation process?

 


Is your institution hosting an event this year to steward scholarship donors?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Giving in Comprehensive Campaigns

Conducted on February 4, 2021

Is annual giving highlighted as a priority in your institution’s campaign communications and materials?

 


Does your advancement program do a good job of teaching volunteers about the importance of annual giving?

 


How often does your chief advancement officer like to get updates from the annual giving program?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Direct Mail Appeals

Conducted on January 27, 2021

Does it feel like direct mail has become more or less important to your annual giving program over the past year?

 


How would you rate your own skills as an appeals writer?

 


As you think about the direct mail campaigns you manage or are involved with, which of the following do you think is most likely to occur?

 


Do you feel that you have a good grasp of the “Return on Investment” (ROI) from your direct mail efforts?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Planned Giving

Conducted on January 19, 2021

Does your institution allow donors to establish endowed funds through an estate gift with current minimums?


 

Does your institution regularly accept gifts of real estate?

 


 

Does your institution actively advertise the tax benefits of donating retirement plans?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Virtual Meetings

Conducted on January 14, 2021

Which of the following best describes the types of meetings you’re having with donors at the present time?


In your own recent experience, who does the majority of the talking during meetings with your donors?


How long does it usually take you to send follow-up correspondence (e.g., thank you note/email) after meeting with a prospect?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Consecutive Giving Societies

Conducted on January 7, 2021

Does your institution offer tangible incentives/benefits to donors who give in consecutive years?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Donor Challenges

Conducted on January 1, 2020

How much would you say that your institution focuses on “gamification” as a strategy for engaging donors on your giving day?


 

Has your institution used (or is planning to use) token gifts/prizes to incentive donations on your giving day?


 

In the past year, has your institution run a donor “challenge” campaign specifically aimed at acquiring first-time donors?


 

Has your institution run any giving challenges in the past two months, related to the COVID-19 pandemic?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Reunion Gift Campaigns

Conducted on January 1, 2020

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your institution’s reunion plans?


 

Is your team continuing with reunion gift appeals despite the COVID-19 pandemic?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Phonathon Management

Conducted on January 1, 2020

What do you expect your student caller staffing levels to be at the start of the upcoming fall semester, in comparison to last fall?


 

Are phonathon callers one of the highest-paid student jobs on your campus?


 

How has your program adjusted its student calling efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?


 

Do your student callers send individual text messages as part of their outreach to prospects?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Parent Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2020

Since the pandemic began, how would you describe the tone of your interactions with parents?


 

Since the pandemic began, what has been your institution’s approach to parent fundraising appeals?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Matching Gifts

Conducted on January 1, 2020

Does your advancement department have a staff person with “employer matching gifts” as a responsibility in their job description?


 

Do you have access to sufficient reports for tracking employer matching gifts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Stewardship

Conducted on January 1, 2020

Is renewing support from last year’s donors the #1 priority for your program right now?


 

Do your renewal appeals to prior year donors contain messages that are significantly different than what appears in appeals to other audiences? (e.g., new donor acquisition, lapsed donor)


 

Which channel does your program rely on the MOST for renewing prior year donors?


 

Is your institution planning to host any virtual events in the months ahead as a way to steward leadership gift society members?


 

Is your institution planning to host any in-person donor events in the first half of the calendar year, 2021?


 

Have virtual events increased the amount of collaboration your team has with campus partners?


 

How would you describe the level of segmentation of your institution’s gift acknowledgments?


 

Does your institution produce a printed donor roster/list of donor names annually?


 

Does your institution publish an online donor roster/list of donor names annually?


 

How would you describe your institution’s use of events to highlight and recognize donors in front of others?


 

In your opinion, how good is the experience and stewardship you provide to recurring gift donors?


 

From your perspective, is donor relations & stewardship a higher priority for your advancement program now compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic?


 

From your perspective, does your institution do a good job of regularly communicating the impact of annual gifts to donors?


 

Which of the following best describes your institution’s plan as it relates to donor stewardship events?


 

Does your institution do enough to communicate gift impact to donors?


 

Do you anticipate that the messages and/or “tone” of your institution’s donor stewardship communications will change significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?


 

Which best describes your institution’s approach to advancement events at this time?


 

Over the past year, has your institution increased or decreased the number of regional events it has put on?


 

Does your institution put on events specifically to engage young alumni leadership donors?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Alumni Giving & Engagement

Conducted on January 1, 2020

How good is your organization’s data related to the interest and affinities of its alumni and other potential donors?


 

How often does your program customize fundraising appeals so as to include affinity-based messages?


 

Do you know which affinity groups are the most inclined to support your organization philanthropically?


 

How aggressive was your institution at soliciting alumni for donations during the first several months of the pandemic?


 

How often do you segment your alumni appeals and communications by generation?


 

Do your young alumni appeals include lower ask amounts than your appeals to other/older alumni?


 

In your opinion, how prepared are your institution’s advancement staff to work with underrepresented alumni and donors?


 

In your opinion, is your institution taking positive steps to address the existing concerns of its underrepresented alumni and donors?


 

How well has your institution pivoted its alumni relations efforts over the past few months?


 

How optimistic do you feel about the fall semester ahead as it relates to your alumni relations?


 

Has your institution increased or decreased its efforts to engage international alumni since the COVID-19 pandemic began?


 

Relative to domestic alumni, how much affinity do your international alumni have for your institution?


 

Which of the following best describes your alumni event and activity strategy for the next few months?


 

What’s the highest priority for your regional alumni programs?


 

Has your institution solicited (or is it planning to solicit) alumni in the Class of 2020 this fiscal year?


 

Which of the following feels like a higher priority for your institution?


 

How would you rate you/your team’s writing abilities when it comes to producing grant proposals?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Writing Appeals

Conducted on January 1, 2020

Do you consider a “clear and visible ask” to be the most important part of a written appeal?


 

How well does your program adapt appeal messages across various channels (e.g., direct mail, email, social, phone scripts)?


 

When you start writing an appeal, do you usually begin by creating an outline?


 

How confident are you in your writing abilities?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Volunteer Management

Conducted on January 1, 2020

How important are volunteers when it comes to soliciting leadership annual fund gifts at your institution?


 

In your opinion, what portion of your alumni leaders grasp the role fundraising plays at your organization?


 

How many of your alumni leaders are regular donors?


 

How transparent is your institution in terms of sharing fundraising results with alumni volunteers and leaders?


 

What role have your alumni volunteers played in soliciting fellow alumni for gifts since the beginning of the pandemic?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Leadership Annual Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2020

Do you feel that you/your team has enough time and bandwidth to submit all grant proposals you would like each year?


 

Have the “levels” of your leadership gift society changed at all in the past 3 years?


 

Do you find your institution’s prospect rating system to be reliable?


 

What percentage of their time do you estimate gift officers at your institution devote to prospect research?


 

Do you prepare a list of talking points prior to meeting with prospects and donors?


 

How comfortable are you asking for money?


 

Do your planned giving research efforts focus primarily on “older” prospects?


 

How have your program’s efforts to promote planned giving changed since the pandemic began?


 

How collaborative are the annual fund and major giving teams at your institution?


 

Are annual fund gifts included in individual goals and performance metrics for all frontline gift officers at your institution?


 

Which best describes your institution’s approach to appeals and gift conversations at this time?


 

Which channel does your program rely on the most to solicit annual fund leadership gifts?


 

Does your program spend more time soliciting or stewarding annual fund leadership gifts?


 

Does your institution have a discounted gift requirement for young alumni to join your annual fund leadership giving society?


 

How are you feeling about tax year-end giving to your institution this year compared to the same period last year?


 

Have you been referencing the CARES Act in your recent conversations with donors?


 

Have you been referencing the SECURE Act in your recent conversations with donors?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Giving Days

Conducted on January 1, 2020

As an emergency response to COVID-19, a special #GivingTuesday was organized on May 5th, in addition to the annual #GivingTuesday that will take place on December 1st. Did you promote the May event to alumni and others in a significant way?


 

Which of the following channels will you be using to communicate with your alumni and others about #GivingTuesday? (Please check all that apply)


 

How would you describe your volunteer strategy related to the upcoming #GivingTuesday?


 

When #GivingTuesday is over, do you know how its success will be determined/defined for your institution?


 

What best describes your giving day plans for the fiscal year?


 

How do the budgetary resources you will have for your upcoming giving day compare to your last giving day?


 

Has your institution considered or tried doing more than one giving day in a year?


 

Do you feel that you have enough staff and budget available to run a successful giving day?


 

Have your giving day goals been clearly defined internally?


 

Has your institution postponed or canceled a giving day as a result of COVID-19?


 

How much did your institution promote giving around the special #GivingTuesdayNow challenge on May 5, 2020?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Staff Development

Conducted on January 1, 2020

Which of the following best describes your advancement team’s current work situation?


 

How would you describe the general mood of your advancement team right now?


 

How have your staffing levels been affected since the start of COVID-19 pandemic?


 

How much do you expect/predict your advancement budget will be cut next fiscal year?


 

How has the pandemic impacted budgets and staffing for your alumni engagement program? (select all that apply)


 

How optimistic are alumni engagement professionals feeling about the rest of the year?


 

Besides closing gifts, which of the following appears to be the highest priority for gift officers at your institution?


 

Have gift officers at your institution been encouraged to conduct virtual meetings with prospects and donors since the COVID-19 pandemic began?


 

In your opinion, how collaborative is the relationship between your central advancement team and the various schools and units?


 

How collaborative are your annual giving and alumni relations teams?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Direct Mail

Conducted on January 1, 2020

How has your program adjusted its direct mail efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic?


 

How customized are the ask amounts/arrays in your direct mail appeals to leadership donors?


 

Do you think your program is efficient in the way it allocates resources (i.e., time, budget) to support its direct appeal/solicitation efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Digital Fundraising

Conducted on January 1, 2020

Does your institution do a good job curating giving-related content on its social channels?


 

Does your institution have a process for generating donor “leads” through digital channels and handing them off to gift officers or using them in marketing efforts?


 

How integrated are your institution’s online and offline fundraising efforts?


 

Has your advancement program increased its digital outreach since the COVID-19 pandemic began?


 

Do you think the subject line is the most important part of an email appeal?


 

Are your email appeals well integrated with your institution’s other fundraising efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Data Management & Analytics

Conducted on January 1, 2020

Is your institution tracking virtual event attendance in your database?


 

How often do your organization’s leaders talk about/reference the ROI of fundraising efforts?


 

How often do you benchmark your fundraising results against peer programs?


 

How well does your organization use data to guide its fundraising strategy?


 

If asked, could you accurately/confidently state your institution’s donor renewal rate for the last fiscal year?


 

How much confidence do you have in the information in your database related to individuals’ characteristics, interests, and behaviors?


 

Has your program developed an alumni engagement score?


 

In your opinion, what is a better indicator of alumni affinity?


 

Has your advancement program conducted a survey of its donors in the past 6 months?


 

What’s the primary reason your program doesn’t do more surveys?


 

How often do you review reports on the results of your programs?


 

Do you wish you spent more or less time reviewing reports and discussing results with colleagues and supervisors?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Fund Planning

Conducted on January 1, 2020

Which best describes your program’s approach to segmentation?


 

Which of the following solicitation channels does your institution rely on the most for acquiring new donors?


 

How do you anticipate your institution’s fundraising results will end up in the year ahead?


 

Has your advancement program done a good job of accurately predicting its fundraising results in the past?


 

Who is most responsible for setting fundraising strategy for your organization?


 

Does your recurring gift program have its own distinct name/brand?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Crowdfunding

Conducted on January 1, 2020

Do you have a training program for crowdfunding volunteers?


 

At your institution, how important is video when it comes to marketing your crowdfunding campaigns?


 

Which of the following best describes crowdfunding results at your institution over the past several years?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Donor Challenges

Conducted on January 15, 2019

Has your annual giving program integrated gamification into at least one fundraising effort in the past six months?


 

Has your institution run a donor challenge in the past 12 months?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Volunteer Management

Conducted on January 1, 2019

How much has your annual giving program expanded efforts to engage volunteers online in the past 6 months?


 

Do you think your annual giving program is doing enough to engage student donors/leaders as volunteers and in programs/activities?


 

In your current or most recent campaign, does your institution have annual giving advocates as part of the campaign’s volunteer leadership effort?


 

How much does your team track parent volunteer activity?


 

Does your team offer web-based training opportunities for parent volunteers?


 

Do you have a structured training program for your faculty and staff volunteers?


 

How good are your systems for tracking and measuring faculty and staff volunteer activity?


 

Does your institution currently have roles for affinity-based volunteers?


 

At your institution, are volunteers regularly involved in soliciting leadership gifts for milestone events?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Stewardship

Conducted on January 1, 2019

How often do your institution’s gift officers promote annual fund challenges as potential gift opportunities to their prospects?


 

How well does your organization steward donors who make more than one gift per year?


 

How segmented are your annual giving stewardship communications?


 

Are you doing enough to steward donors who are giving to special campaigns or challenges?


 

Does your institution have at least one staff person dedicated to advancement events?


 

How effective are your institution’s events when it comes to cultivating donor relationships?


 

How much do you acknowledge/celebrate when a donor makes a gift for the first time ever?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Data Management & Analytics

Conducted on January 1, 2019

Does your program utilize predictive modeling?


 

How likely are you to use predictive modeling to inform your direct mail strategy in the upcoming fiscal year?


 

How confident are you that you have the information you need in your institution’s database to support a consecutive giving society?


 

Has your program done any testing of its appeals in the past six months?


 

At your institution, which channel/program do you think would benefit the most from doing more testing?


 

Please rate the quality of your institution’s endowment reporting systems.


 

Do you track the retention rate of your first-time donor population?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Staff Development

Conducted on January 1, 2019

On average, how often do individual members of your team check-in with their supervisor?


 

Is it clear how members of your team measure their success?


 

Does your annual giving team get any support from your institution’s prospect researchers?


 

How often does your annual giving team meet as a group with other advancement/campus units?


 

How strong are the partnerships between your annual giving team and other campus units outside of advancement?


 

How much input does your team have in goal setting?


 

How collaborative is the gift proposal creation process within your advancement team?


 

Do you think your admissions and advancement teams have a clear sense of one another’s goals?


 

How strong is the communication between your institution’s admissions and advancement teams?


 

Does your organization have staff focused on qualifying prospects through personal meetings?


 

How collaborative are your annual giving and alumni relations teams?


 

Do your annual giving and alumni relations teams meet consistently?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Phonathon Management

Conducted on January 1, 2019

How many “practice” calls does your program usually require before letting callers make “real” calls?


 

How strict is your program about requiring callers to read/stick to a script?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Parent Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2019

How much of a priority are first-year parents for your annual giving program?


 

Does your institution solicit first-year parents in their child’s first semester?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Leadership Annual Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2019

In your opinion, does your institution have a clear and transparent system for assigning projects to gift officers?


 

On average, how would you describe the size of prospect portfolios at your institution?


 

How often do you ask for feedback from your annual fund gift club members?


 

Has your annual fund team considered changing the levels of your gift club in the past 12 months?


 

How proactive are your institution’s gift officers at promoting current-use scholarships to prospective donors?


 

Do you often feel nervous or uncomfortable prior to calling on prospects or donors?


 

In general, how much effort do you put into preparing for phone calls?


 

Is your institution effective at “humanizing” the impact of endowments?


 

How transparent is your organization’s system for assigning prospects to prospect managers?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Giving Days

Conducted on January 1, 2019

How many giving day promotional emails should a program send in the weeks/months leading up to a giving day?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Direct Mail

Conducted on January 1, 2019

Does your team track and report on direct mail results following each campaign?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Digital Fundraising

Conducted on January 1, 2019

Do you collect social media handles for your donors and store them in your database?


 

In general, do you feel that you’re doing enough to integrate annual giving emails with other types of annual giving communications?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Fund Planning

Conducted on January 1, 2019

How aggressive is your program at soliciting annual fund donors for increased gift amounts from one year to the next?


 

How integrated or coordinated is your direct appeal strategy/schedule?


 

Does your annual giving team maintain a central calendar of appeals/activities that other units can access?


 

How segmented are the audiences for your annual fund appeals?


 

How well integrated are your unrestricted appeals with other, restricted appeals?


 

Does your annual giving program do a good job of communicating the impact of unrestricted support to donors?


 

Does your institution plan to launch a consecutive giving society in the next fiscal year?


 

Does your team create a comprehensive annual fund solicitation calendar for each fiscal year?


 

How coordinated are your annual giving and campaign communications (in your current or most recent campaign)?


 

Does your organization have a deliberate and coordinated strategy for making second asks?


 

Do you think increasing the number of current-use scholarship gifts at your institution would have a significant and positive impact on annual giving results?


 

Does your department have specific guidelines for creating gift proposals?


 

How much do you customize messages in your reactivation appeals?


 

How strongly does your institution encourage donors to make multi-year pledges?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Alumni Giving & Engagement

Conducted on January 1, 2019

How clear is your department’s definition of “alumni engagement?”


 

Has your program ever used alumni engagement information to determine segments for appeals?


 

Approximately how many young alumni events did your institution produce last year?


 

Is your institution increasing the number of young alumni events you hold, compared to last year?


 

Does your institution have any giving circles for diverse donor groups?


 

How do you think your diverse donors would rate your institution’s current diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts?

 


 

How involved in fundraising efforts are the alumni board members at your institution?


 

Does your institution offer advancement training to your alumni board members?


 

How would you rate the quality of your institution’s affinity-based programming for alumni?


 

Does your institution offer volunteer opportunities that allow alumni to interact directly with students?


 

How often do your institution’s alumni relations and student affairs teams interact?


 

Does your organization conduct surveys of its first-year alumni to identify their interests and preferences?


 

How much does your institution engage first-year alumni through volunteer opportunities and events?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Leadership Annual Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2018

In your opinion, how productive was your last out-of-town trip to visit with donors and prospects?


 

Does your team require gift officers to share itineraries with all advancement staff prior to prospect meetings and trips?


 


 

Is there a private space available at your office for you to make fundraising calls?


 

How often do your major gift officers include the annual fund as part of the gift proposals for major donors?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Direct Mail

Conducted on January 1, 2018

How personalized are your annual fund appeals currently?


 

How segmented are your annual giving program’s direct appeal efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Digital Fundraising

Conducted on January 1, 2018

In your opinion, is your annual giving program stronger online or offline?


 

How often do you point prospects and donors to your institution’s website for more information?


 

Does your advancement team have someone who monitors the social media activity of your constituents?


 

Has your institution ever used any form of texting as part of its annual giving efforts?


 

Does your office receive frequent complaints from constituents that you send too many fundraising emails?


 

How well-coordinated are your emails with other annual giving communications (e.g., print mail, phonathon)?


 

In your opinion, how good is your annual giving program at creating digital content?


 

Has your annual giving program tried digital ads or retargeting in the past?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Data Management & Analytics

Conducted on January 1, 2018

How much testing of new strategies and ideas does your team do?


 

Which of the following best describes the quantity of the reports used by your annual giving team?


 

Does your team have a single-page annual fund “dashboard” report that you share with your senior management on a regular basis?


 

Do you utilize database codes to flag individuals who have specifically requested that you not communicate with them via text?


 

How important do you think predictive modeling is to identifying strong leadership annual giving prospects and allocating resources to support those efforts?


 

Has your institution ever built a model to predict donor propensity for leadership annual gifts?


 

In your opinion, how strong is your team’s data on the individual interests of your prospects?


 

Do you know your program’s new donor retention rate?


 

Has your advancement department ever used “Net Promoter Scores” to evaluate its events?


 

How much time do you spend analyzing your data?


 

Does your annual giving team have at least one person dedicated to data analytics?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Crowdfunding

Conducted on January 1, 2018

Does your advancement program have a dedicated budget for crowdfunding?


 

Does your team know how many crowdfunding campaigns your institution will run over the next 6 months?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Athletics Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2018

Which of the following are important elements of your institution’s athletics annual giving strategy?


 

How concerned is your institution that recent changes to tax laws will have a negative impact on your athletics fundraising efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Fund Planning

Conducted on January 1, 2018

Does your annual fund appeal schedule evolve and change throughout the year?


 

How segmented are your annual fund gift acknowledgments?


 

How much have your annual giving program’s tactics changed in the past 3 years?


 

Has your annual giving team tried creating “personas” for donors?


 

Does your annual fund have a documented plan for the current fiscal year?


 

What are your percentage revenue growth targets for your annual fund in the 2018 fiscal year?


 

Which of the following channels do you rely on the most for acquiring new donors?


 

If you could increase your annual giving budget by ten percent, where would you allocate those funds?


 

What’s the higher priority for your annual giving program – revenue or participation?


 

In your opinion, how personal are your institution’s communications to first-time donors?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Alumni Giving & Engagement

Conducted on January 1, 2018

Does your team use unique messaging and segmentation in appeals to young alumni?


 

How well does your institution explain the impact of annual fund support in communications with young alumni?


 

Does your institution do an adequate job of articulating the importance of participation to alumni?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Staff Development

Conducted on January 1, 2018

Have you ever practiced active listening?


 

How would you rate your listening skills?


 

How good is your organization at holding individual staff accountable for achieving annual performance goals?


 

Does your institution set both quantifiable and qualifiable performance goals for individual staff annually?


 

If you had the choice, would you add an additional staff member or additional budgetary funding to your annual giving program?


 

How willing are your advancement colleagues to help with annual giving efforts?


 

Approximately how often do your annual giving and major gift teams meet together?


 

How integrated are your annual and planned giving communications?


 

Do your institution’s annual and planned giving teams communicate regularly about prospects?


 

Does your annual giving program have enough resources (staff and budget) to effectively market a loyalty program?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Reunion Gift Campaigns

Conducted on January 1, 2018

How much does your institution use volunteers to support your reunion gift fundraising efforts?


 

Are your reunion gift appeals and reunion event communications well-coordinated?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Phonathon Management

Conducted on January 1, 2018

Is your leadership encouraging you to downsize or eliminate your phonathon program?


 

How much has your phonathon’s fundraising productivity declined in the past three years?


 

Are your phonathon callers required to use a specific script or do you offer them suggested talking points?


 

How well-coordinated is your phonathon strategy with other annual giving appeal efforts (e.g., direct mail, email)?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Parent Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2018

How important is parent support to achieving your annual giving goals?


 

Does your institution have a parent council/committee that’s focused on fundraising?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Writing Appeals

Conducted on January 1, 2018

How personalized are the majority of your institution’s appeals?


 

In the past, do you think your institution’s appeals have done a good job of making a compelling case for support?


 

Do you regularly include gift impact stories in your appeals?


 

How complex is your segmentation strategy for soliciting patients?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Volunteer Management

Conducted on January 1, 2018

Does your team set clear and specific giving expectations for your volunteers?


 

Do you provide a formal written job description for your volunteers?


 

Does your annual giving program do an adequate job of providing useful tools and information to volunteers?


 

In general, how much does your team rely on volunteers to support your annual giving efforts?


 

Does your institution have a formal committee or advisory board specifically for its annual fund?


 

Does your institution have a reliable way to track and evaluate the productivity of annual fund volunteers?


 

Does your annual giving program do a good job of engaging volunteers based on their interests and affinities?

 

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Student Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2018

How involved are student volunteers in your school’s graduating class gift campaign?


 

Does your institution communicate with students about the importance of philanthropy prior to their senior year?


 

How closely does your team work with your institution’s office of student life/services?


 

Is a portion of your annual giving budget dedicated to student philanthropy programs and activities?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Stewardship

Conducted on January 1, 2018

Does your office have a documented plan for stewardship and donor relations?


 

Does your institution have a loyal or consecutive donor society?


 

Does your recurring gift program have its own distinct name or brand?


 

In your opinion, how positive is the experience you provide to recurring gift donors?


 

Does your institution have a donor loyalty program?


 

Does your institution include special recognition for loyal or consistent donors in its annual report roster or donor roll?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Writing Appeals

Conducted on January 1, 2017

Who is at the center of the stories in your annual fund messaging?


 

Are you currently using storytelling techniques in your fundraising?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Volunteer Management

Conducted on January 1, 2017

Do you have a written job description for student volunteers?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Student Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2017

How aggressive do you feel your institution is when it comes to soliciting graduating seniors for a class gift?


 

Do you think your institution does a good job of preparing students to be engaged alumni?


 

Is your student giving program focused primarily on participation as opposed to dollars raised?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Stewardship

Conducted on January 1, 2017

Does your institution publish a list of donor names annually?


 

Has your institution conducted an audit of its stewardship efforts within the past 12-18 months?


 

Which segments do you think your institution is doing a great job recognizing? (select all that apply)

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Staff Development

Conducted on January 1, 2017

Do your annual giving & alumni relations teams meet consistently to discuss alumni communications plans?


 

Do you feel like most of your colleagues can make a strong case for annual fund support?


 

What percentage of your annual fund staff does some type of frontline work?


 

Do you feel your department is adequately staffed to support a productive class agent program?


 

Which of the following best describes the longevity of your class agent program?


 

How would you describe your annual giving team’s morale?


 

Would you say your department is collaborative?


 

Do you feel like annual giving is less of a priority than major gifts at your institution?


 

Does your annual giving program do a good job allocating resources to areas with high ROI?


 

Which area gets the largest share of your annual fund’s operating budget?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Reunion Gift Campaigns

Conducted on January 1, 2017

Does your program do a good job of upgrading donors to higher gift levels as part of their reunion cycle?


 

What percentage of volunteers on your reunion committees do most of the work?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Annual Fund Planning

Conducted on January 1, 2017

Does your annual giving strategy make a clear distinction between “engaging” and “soliciting” donors?


 

How many solicitations from all channels do your non-donors receive in a year?


 

When do you set your mail segments?


 

How much time do you think you spend on planning for your next annual fund year?


 

What do you think is the biggest challenge for your annual giving program currently?


 

Has your annual giving program been through an audit in the past 5 years?


 

Is your annual giving program doing enough to upgrade donors through mass appeals?


 

How effective is your annual giving program in upgrading donors on a regular basis?


 

How integrated are your annual fund communications?


 

Does your program focus more of its time and resources on donor acquisition or reactivation?


 

Has your institution conducted benchmarking or donor surveys in the past year?


Are you optimistic about the future of your annual giving efforts?


 

Has your institution had to face a significant challenge in the past year?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Alumni Giving & Engagement

Conducted on January 1, 2017

How well-coordinated are volunteer efforts between your annual giving and alumni relations teams?


 

Do you have a gift society specifically for young alumni?


 

Do you solicit alumni during their first year after graduation?


 

Do you include the senior class when reporting alumni participation rates?


 

Who on your team sets alumni participation goals?


 

Do you have a young alumni leadership council?


 

What is your typical first ask amount for young alumni?


 

Does your institution have a discounted leadership giving level for young alumni?


 

How would you describe the relationship between your alumni and your institution?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Faculty/Staff Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2017

Does your institution run a faculty/staff campaign to support your institution along with a separate employee appeal to support the United Way?


 

Does your institution have a formal committee of volunteers to support the faculty/staff campaign efforts?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Direct Mail

Conducted on January 1, 2017

Do you think your team is doing enough to integrate your direct mail appeals with other channels?


 

How much do you change your direct mail pieces from one year to the next?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Digital Fundraising

Conducted on January 1, 2017

In general, how often does your annual giving program use video to support its efforts?


 

Is your annual giving program currently paying for any social media placements?


 

Which of the following social media channels does your institution use to post messages related to giving?


 

Are your giving forms responsive for different device formats (phones, tablets)?


 

Do you track the “channel migration” of your donors?


 

Is your institution’s annual fund spending significantly more money on digital programs than it was 5 years ago?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Phonathon Management

Conducted on January 1, 2017

Does your program offer cash bonuses for callers?


 

Has your program produced a video to help with recruiting callers?


 

How many different reports do you use to monitor the progress of your phonathon program?


 

How much time do you spend planning and revising your phonathon calendar and calling schedules?


 

Do you think that you’re getting the most out of your phonathon program?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Parent Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2017

What group at your institution is in charge of parent engagement?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Leadership Annual Giving

Conducted on January 1, 2017

How much time has your annual giving team spent thinking about the donor experience?


 

Is it clear how your annual fund’s leadership gift strategy measures or quantifies its success?


 

How difficult is it to get meetings with your institution’s donors and prospects?


 

Do you send handwritten notes to prospects after a visit?


 

Do you have monthly visit goals?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Giving Days

Conducted on January 1, 2017

Which of the following groups do you consider to be key stakeholders in your giving day efforts?


 

Do you have volunteers specifically recruited to help with your giving day?


 

How much time did you allocate to planning in advance of your giving day?


 

Do you have money in this year’s budget specifically allocated to support a giving day?


 

What will be the primary goal of your next giving day?


 

Has your institution held a giving day before?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Data Management & Analytics

Conducted on January 1, 2017

How robust is the contact information for young alumni in your database?


 

In your opinion, how data-driven is your annual giving strategy?


 


 

What priority are you most interested in using analytics to advance?


 

How would you describe your overall level of familiarity with predictive modeling?


 

Have you ever used analytics to determine what drives users to your institution’s giving page?


 

Do you know what percentage of your donors last year were reactivated lapsed donors?


 

How often do you evaluate the results of your direct appeals?


 

How often do you conduct appeal tests?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.


Donor Challenges

Conducted on January 1, 2017

Do you believe you have the resources necessary to conduct a successful donor challenge in the current fiscal year?


 

Is there an expectation from senior leadership for your annual giving program to regularly conduct challenges?


 

Did your annual giving program do a donor challenge in the last fiscal year?

This data was collected as part of AGN’s ongoing research into industry trends and best practices. It represents the perspectives and priorities of today’s advancement professionals. Click here to view the results.