For more than 160 years, Lasell University has transformed good students into great adults by teaching them to lead. Located outside Boston, Lasell is a private liberal arts college serving a diverse socioeconomic base of students. Delivering a high quality and affordable education is a challenge for many small colleges, yet Lasell thrives to meet the needs of the students.
One reason for the success is maintaining an effective donor loyalty program. Lasell understands that key ingredients of a donor loyalty program, such as understanding donors motivations, clear communications, proper recognition and stewardship, result in donors feeling engaged with the school. Lasell believes an investment in sound donor loyalty practices yields a tremendous return.
Dean Hickey, Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations, goes to great lengths to discover donor preferences to maintain loyalty and engagement. One of the methods Hickey uses to communicate effectively with donors or potential donors is to match the platform of engagement with the target constituency. When communicating with a major donor, he suggests meeting in person or sending a personalized email. If communications are targeted at the entire social body, social media is a good outlet. Additionally, especially for older donors, an in-person meeting can foster great relationships.
Lasell takes into account the current level of engagement with donors and prospective donors. Hickey added, “Engaged donors may want to help in many ways, they just need to be shown how. Make sure to know them well enough to be able to align their values and passions with how they can best help the organization move forward.
Benefactor Group helped Lasell University with a capital campaign, which also helps Lasell know donors on a deeper level and use this knowledge to execute a successful campaign. Hickey said, “The greatest value provided to us by Benefactor Group is that they helped us sharpen our focus on important aspects and cut through the noise. They helped us to make decisions founded in data that led us to a successful campaign.”
These donor loyalty efforts are designed to fuel Lasell’s mission to deliver a quality higher education. Strong donor relations help Lasell have a big impact on students and graduates for the future. It’s an investment in donor loyalty that’s well worth the return.