Blackbaud Newsroom

Higher Education Institutions Deliver More Donors and More Dollars with Blackbaud Guided Fundraising™

For higher education institutions, there’s a unique balance to maintain when connecting with donors. Blackbaud Guided Fundraising™ helps design thoughtful fundraising appeals to ensure organizations can reach donors at the appropriate time and with the right frequency. 

Leading institutions, including Butler University, Concordia College and Saint Louis University have recently selected Blackbaud Guided Fundraising to help support and optimize their annual giving programs, and many others have already demonstrated success. 

“With Blackbaud Guided Fundraising, fundraisers at higher education institutions are able to make an authentic connection with donors,” said Chris Krackeler, president and general manager, Blackbaud Higher Education Solutions. “We’re seeing so much success with customers who are using this tool to build personal relationships, creating an experience that works for both the donor and the fundraiser.”   

How Does Blackbaud Guided Fundraising Work? 
Blackbaud Guided Fundraising is a cloud-based fundraising solution built for annual giving programs to efficiently coordinate multichannel outreach—through text, email, phone and mail—all in one platform. With Blackbaud Guided Fundraising, constituents no longer need to be sorted into lists or broken into segments based on a single channel. Importing contacts from your existing CRM is a simple process.  “I built the exports and imported them myself,” said Brandon Boyd, director, Crawford Alumni Center, Tennessee Tech University. “It was super easy and straightforward. If it wasn’t a pandemic, I’d hug whoever built this import tool!”  

Blackbaud’s proprietary predictive algorithm ensures universities are targeting the right prospects at the right time, based on demographics and prior giving behavior. Multi-channel solicitation flows automatically start up when donors are approaching their donation anniversary—the time they are most likely to donate. Users can also set up multiple campaigns at the same time to reach specific groups with different appeals. “The Blackbaud Guided Fundraising algorithm determines the best prospect to reach out to on any given day, while also allowing us to customize strategic plays to target specific groups,” said Kristine Miller, strategic communication program manager, Gonzaga University. 

All of this is centered around a personal, one-on-one approach to fundraising. Staff, volunteers and students can use Blackbaud Guided Fundraising to directly connect with donors and have real conversations. Through these personalized and relevant discussions and appeals, higher education institutions are able to execute highly effective fundraising campaigns. At the State University of New York (SUNY) Delhi, four callers were able to raise $3,000 in one hour. “We have surpassed our last, full manual phonathon by 80 donors and more than $5,600. This is really exciting for our small college,” said Lucinda Brydon, director, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, SUNY Delhi. 

We recently added Blackbaud Merchant Services™ capabilities to Blackbaud Guided Fundraising, meaning you can conduct multichannel outreach from anywhere with an internet connection—and trust that your donations are processed through a highly secure and reliable payments processor. Blackbaud Merchant Services is both a credit card gateway and processor, so you don’t have to manage multiple vendors. With 24/7 access to a secure, online portal, you can see your transactions in real-time, process reconciliations, run or export reports and accept credit card payments.   

Learn More 
We’ve seen time and time again that people give to people—and that’s what Blackbaud Guided Fundraising enables. To learn more about Blackbaud Guided Fundraising and its impact for higher education institutions, check out our recent webinar and visit our webpage here.