As Students Return from Winter Break, DonorSearch Helps Private Schools Hit the Ground Running

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” is a perennial favorite that’s been recorded by holiday music stalwarts Perry Como and Bing Crosby, along with more recent versions, including a rendition by Canadian crooner Michael Bublé. But along with lyrics about holiday cheer, the song includes a line everyone involved in educational nonprofits can identify with: “And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.”

Students breathe life into schools and other educational facilities. But beyond educators—who are just as eager for kids of all ages to return to school as their parents are to get them out of the house—the end of the holiday season can play a key role for fundraisers hoping to kick off the year right.

Being so proactive is essential. Private K-12 schools and other educational nonprofits relying on legacy concepts of fundraising typically deal with a glacially slow first quarter. This suits the weather in much of the country. Thankfully, both tend to “thaw out” by Spring break which is when many nonprofits play catch up for the rest of the year. But your nonprofit needn’t follow this pattern any longer, thanks to DonorSearch.

DonorSearch helps K-12 nonprofits and educational organizations transform winter break into a productive fundraising period. Our clients are empowered by the data our AI tools deliver to check engagement scores within their community and to build an effective plan based on actionable intelligence our systems deliver. In fact, DonorSearch AI is particularly effective in the K-12 space as there are more moving parts to consider. (As opposed to universities emphasizing alumni, K-12 level nonprofits focus on a wider community, including families of their current students and alumni.)

The power of DonorSearch AI to point fundraisers in the right direction is quite a revelation, even for our clients in education. Kristin McCormick, Advancement Associate for Saint Andrew’s School, a boarding school in Delaware serving students in grades 9 to 12, explains the immediate impact DonorSearch had on her work. Her team’s exposure to engagement data proved to be eye-opening. As Kristin told us, “There have been some capacity ratings that have come back through DonorSearch that we have been pretty wowed by!” Beyond being impressed by the power of AI in fundraising and the new prospects it uncovered, Kristin also benefitted from the responsive service our team provides. “My questions were answered quickly, and it wasn’t a ‘Oh, just go watch this video.’ There was patience and I left the meeting and went ‘wow, thank you.’”

As Executive Vice President and Co-Owner Sarah TeDesco explains, “Our K-12 educational clients enjoy the benefits, not only of our AI-powered data, but also our market-leading customer service. Getting the right level of support, whether it’s help creating a dataset or even interpreting scores can mean the difference between achieving your goal and missing the mark, so the entire DonorSearch team values responsiveness.”

Mark Barchony, Director of Advancement at DuBois Catholic School, explains how important our AI-powered data has become to his fundraising operations. “I couldn’t imagine doing our capital campaign without DonorSearch.” When asked why he feels this way, he elaborated, “It would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. DonorSearch makes the haystack much smaller.” Mark considers his school’s campaign to be “part art, part science,” adding that “DonorSearch provides the science part.”

 To this point, DonorSearch Senior Vice President Nathan Chappell adds, “Mark makes an important point. DonorSearch AI doesn’t replace fundraisers because we believe contact between humans is a crucial engagement driver. What we focus on when refining our AI tools is how to provide the most accurate data that empowers fundraisers to do their best work. When the haystack is smaller, as Mark puts it, every outreach is more effective.”

 The benefits of working with DonorSearch go far beyond traditional K-12 nonprofits like private schools. The Future Farmers of America (FFA), the premier youth organization preparing members for leadership and careers in the science, business, and technology of agriculture, has enjoyed great success partnering with our team. National FFA Foundation Prospect Research Manager Abby Christensen explains, “We have identified individuals through research with DonorSearch who were not on our radar. Some weren’t even FFA members but may have served on a board at one time or attended our national convention…so it puts them on our radar. DonorSearch scores have become a key metric for determining who to target with our mailers.”

 The experiences of Saint Andrew’s School, Dubois Catholic, and the FFA all share one thing in common: our unparalleled service level and actionable AI-driven data combine to empower their fundraising campaigns—from day 1. While some fundraisers may spend winter break wondering how to achieve a successful result this year, these nonprofits are already well on their way to hitting their fundraising goals.

To learn how we can help you transform your first quarter for maximum results, please contact DonorSearch for a demo today. And if you are an experienced non-profit professional interested in helping new nonprofits build for future success every day, consider a career with DonorSearch.

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