Leveraging Insights From Other Industries to Accelerate Data-Driven Success in University Fundraising

The Parallels between Corporate Sales and University Fundraising

ABSTRACT: This article examines the parallels between analytics teams at large corporate sales organizations and at university fundraising organizations, comparing the overall missions of each organization type, as well as the specific roles, responsibilities, priorities, and challenges faced by their respective analytics professionals. The substantial parallels create a tremendous opportunity for universities to expand the network of organizations to which they can look for replicable examples of data-driven growth strategies. This concept is applicable to universities regardless of timing or macroeconomic trends; however, in times of depressed economic conditions, the need for creativity when building efficient fundraising strategies takes on greater relevance. Thus, it is recommended that universities actively leverage some of the successful strategic data practices more commonly associated with large corporate sales and marketing organizations. To provide examples of such practices, the article concludes with a discussion of technical and quantitative tools that can be adapted in order to address common challenges, and it provides a particularly detailed look at how predictive models can be crafted to address the effects of human bias.

Dries, J., & Kits van Heyningen, H. (2021) Leveraging Insights From Other Industries to Accelerate Data-Driven Success in University Fundraising. Journal of Advancement Analytics, 1(1), 44-53.

Full article: https://utpress.utexas.edu/journals

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