AI fundraising for independent schools with Loyola academy

Fundraising technology for school gift officers

Loyola Academy is the largest Jesuit High School in the country, with some 2,000 students. Located in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Loyola attracts students from 92 zip codes in the greater Chicago area—including both the city proper and the suburbs. Iconic alumni and comedic legend Bill Murray spent his formative years in the school’s halls. While wrapping up a $75 million strategic campaign close to 95% complete, Loyola chose Raise from Gravyty to build on a very successful and sophisticated fundraising program.

Gift officer toolkit: Using AI to personally connect with donors

Loyola’s fundraising program has raised more than $100 million in the past eight years to support tuition assistance and a new aquatics center. Bob Miller, Vice President of Advancement at Loyola, was looking for ways to enhance the successful advancement shop and knew that facilitating virtual meetings with donors would be important. 

Raise from Gravyty is a terrific reminder that it’s the ‘little touches’ that can make a difference, especially in the campaign wrap-up phase. The friendly, AI-driven reminders are beneficial and, when coupled with a quality database, can make the process efficient and impactful.

Our team’s quick adoption of Raise shows the strength of the product and will certainly help us enhance how we manage our personal relationships, now and into the future.

Bob Miller, Vice President of Advancement, Loyola Academy

After taking a Raise demo, Mark Warner, Associate Director for Information Technology at Loyola Academy, says he was thrilled. He saw how Raise’s AI would empower fundraisers to personally connect with the “untapped” donors in the school’s database — including alumni, parents, current parents and more. The enthusiasm from gift officers led to lightning-quick results in the independent school’s test period.

One of our major gift officers raised about $20,000 from a couple of donors from a Raise auxiliary portfolio. These donors were not on our major gifts radar at all. We created that portfolio just to test Raise. The results show that it worked.

Mark Warner, Associate Director for Information Technology, Loyola Academy

Empowering gift officers to scale outreach

Loyola’s three full-time gift officers each manage portfolios of 175 donors. With Raise from Gravyty, they’re expanding that universe and unsure where it should stop. In fact, one of Mark’s questions is, “Should I ask a gift officer to manage 500 donors?” now that Raise’s AI solutions are in place.

“I personally thought that Raise was the perfect technology,” explained Mark. “I did have some initial worries about gift officer adoption, but—very quickly—those were proven to be unfounded.”

As Loyola gift officers find success, Mark and his colleagues are working on fine-tuning and generating new auxiliary portfolios for them to manage. In less than two months, Loyola’s gift officers have personally reached out to 263 donors through Raise from Gravyty’s First Draft and taken action with another 256 donors. One gift officer is already asking for 3-4x more First Drafts per day.

Build auxiliary portfolios with Raise from Gravyty

Because Loyola’s fundraising operations are a well-oiled machine, within two months of adopting Raise from Gravyty, Mark is building more auxiliary portfolios based on wealthy locations in Loyola’s donor database.

“Universally, Raise from Gravyty has been hugely impactful, and we just started less than two months ago, so it’s pretty incredible.”

To learn more about how AI transforms what’s possible for fundraising, book a free demo today.

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