Fund liaison assignments for donor stewardship

elizabethmesserlielizabethmesserli Posts: 31 ✭✭✭
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edited February 2022 in Fund Development

We are developing a "fund liaison" program at our community foundation to more proactively serve our fund holders and make sure they know their "person" at the Foundation and we can provide more personalized, ongoing stewardship. Most of our fund liaisons are in our philanthropic services department and a few from development department. We are trying to figure out a system to make the staff assignments and have started with fund type (designated, nonprofit agency, designated, scholarship) and then breaking down DAFs (the majority of our almost 600 funds) by asset level. Because asset levels can rapidly change, we wondered if there's a better way to do this.

Does your community foundation have a similar fund representative - staff assignment process? What do you use for your categories?

Thank you!

Elizabeth Messerli

Community Foundation of Northern Colorado


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    LaurelShulmanLaurelShulman Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
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    Generally our fund types and the staff that steward those fund types are delineated by expertise and team. So our Scholarship, Designated, Agency, FOI, and unrestricted funds are the responsibility of our Community Engagement team. The DAFs, Corporate, and Committee funds are the responsibility of our Donor Engagement team. (Sometimes when a donor has more than 1 fund type they may or may not have 2 "people" at the Foundation. Depends on the situation.) I'm not sure we've found the best setup for our Agency and Designated funds, as they've lived both in DE and CE at various moments. We're still thinking about how we can best serve those donors with our staff. I would love to hear where you land with this @elizabethmesserli!

    Triangle Community Foundation has assigned a fund liaison for each DAF and we have found ourselves realizing that this is a great model for a number of our donors but not all of them want to be engaged at that level (and that's okay!). We are considering shifting away from this model for our more transactional donors. Specifically, we're working to identify the donors who want to engage with us and keep them with a fund liaison vs. the ones who over the years have shown they have no interest in a deeper relationship with us and don't want that level of service, at least right now.

    We're thinking about engagement in the following ways (many of which we can report on in CSuite thankfully):

    • - Legacy gift with the Foundation
    • - Attended a Foundation event
    • - Consistently gifts into their fund
    • - Consistently grants out of their fund
    • - Emailed the Foundation for nonprofit recommendations
    • - Made a grant to a nonprofit that we recommended
    • - Involved their children or partner in their philanthropy
    • - Supported the Foundation's impact areas or campaigns

    Generally, if we move forward with this approach we will review our donors annually to determine if any of our transactional donors are showing a higher level of engagement. Our more transactional donors will have staff assigned to support them however they will not have an official "person" unless/until they show that they want more engagement with us.

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