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Avoiding staff turnover and strengthening your Annual Giving program

A conversation with Miami University

February 19, 2024

EAB’s Advancement Marketing Services partners with institutions across the country to support and elevate their annual giving programs. Through over 10 years of partnership with EAB, Miami University has tested innovative digital strategies and reinvigorated traditional initiatives, all while avoiding staff turnover and keeping pace in a competitive and changing fundraising environment.

Below, explore a conversation between Emily Berry, Associate Vice President of Individual and Annual Giving at Miami University, and Mark Shreve, Senior Director of Partner Development at EAB, about the growth and success Miami’s annual giving program has seen in the past 10 years.

“It all seemingly happens by magic behind the scenes and it’s not an area we really have to focus our attention on.”

Expanding a Giving Day

Giving Days are the cornerstone of many institutions’ annual giving programs. Through an emphasis on digital expansion, Miami University has seen audience and revenue growth in their flagship annual giving day, Move-in Miami, that has exceeded their expectations.

Creating a digital yearlong engagement strategy

Using e-commerce strategy concepts, Miami University implemented a re-targeting strategy that allowed them to measure when their audience was most engaged with their institution and follow up with content to keep them engaged. This led to more consistent engagement and online giving throughout the year.

Re-invigorating a phonathon program

Miami University was seeing a consistent decline in ROI in their phonathon program, with a steep dip after the pandemic. To boost this program, Miami launched digital ads targeting their phone audience, nurturing them with content leading up to the phone solicitation. This led to a higher conversation rate for this program and showcased the strengths of combining traditional and digital channels.

Avoiding staffing challenges and delays

It’s no secret that the annual giving industry often sees high turnover and ongoing staffing challenges. Through a consistent partnership with EAB, Miami University has been able to keep progressing and building upon their annual giving program without any lag from staff departures.

Building trust with an outside vendor

Deciding on a vendor to outsource your work is no simple task. Miami has been able to rely on the expertise and knowledge EAB provides in annual giving and digital marketing to be at the forefront of fundraising trends. Plus, they’ve been able to offload many of the logistical tasks of their annual giving program to EAB, including their direct mail strategy. This has given their staff more bandwidth to focus on other key priorities, such as Leadership Annual Giving, to further expand their revenue generation.

Want to learn even more about Miami’s success with EAB? Watch the full on-demand webinar or download their case study to explore these insights.

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