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Donor Engagement

Personalized Gift Arrays Drive Revenue for Swarthmore College

During 2021, after considering various options, Swarthmore College elected to partner with Arjuna Solutions to pilot the ExactAsk A.I. Service in their direct mail fundraising campaigns. The adoption drastically reduced the amount of time Swarthmore invested in calculating gift array values, and the services made a material impact on fundraising success without changing Swarthmore’s existing business rules, systems, personnel, or fundraising practices.

This is what Fritz Ward, Director of Alumni & Parent Engagement Marketing at Swarthmore College, had to say about partnering with Arjuna:


“As the number of donors steadily declines across higher education, reaching our fundraising goals is demanding greater creativity and innovation. This well-documented trend has caused us to reconsider our fundraising strategies and tactics, with a keen focus on improving the efficacy of our activities.

One of the most challenging and tedious aspects of direct response fundraising is knowing precisely how much to ask of an individual donor without knowing them as personally as a major giving officer. I typically invested a significant amount of time each year attempting to create personalized and optimized ask amounts for each donor in each campaign.


“I would spend days creating ask amounts. During the past 12 years at Swarthmore… the time-consuming nature of the asks was one of the primary barriers to creating successful ask strings.”


While I had donor history and some sense of our donors’ nature, my insights were still limited, and I agonized over the right formula to apply to optimize giving. During the past 12 years at Swarthmore, I’ve tackled this problem in several different ways. However, regardless of how I tried to streamline the process, it inevitably consumed a vast amount of my time. Too often, I’d get lost in the weeds, which meant I was unable to invest time engaging the bigger-picture aspects of fundraising.

The process of setting ask amounts was so laborious that once we set them in August, we didn’t have the resources to reevaluate the arrays until the next fiscal year. Likewise, we didn’t have the time to analyze trends and respond to them accordingly in real-time.

I am happy to report that we’ve now found a unique service that addresses this challenge. Arjuna Solutions has made the entire process of creating individually optimized ask amounts much more efficient with their patented A.I. services. With Arjuna, we piloted A/B tests within our various giving campaigns.


“One of the values that Arjuna has provided is helping us with A/B testing and truly showing our team the measurable results without having to dive into the weeds ourselves.”


After the first 6-months of using Arjuna’s services, we experienced a 5.5% lift in giving, increasing donations by $38,000. The return-on-investment equation has also been compelling, as we realized $29 for every $1 invested. Most importantly, the long-term Donor Lifetime Value from this group of donors is estimated to be $467,000.


Arjuna’s simple-to-adopt Behavioral Economics Modeling A.I. services deliver material improvements for fundraising teams without the need for changing existing systems or processes. Arjuna’s A.I. services continue to learn and generate better results as it optimizes giving levels across donor bases in real-time.

Arjuna’s ExactAsk A.I. service is reinventing how nonprofits improve the efficient and efficacy of all direct response fundraising activities. For more information about how Arjuna can help your organization improve fundraising, please schedule a time to meet with a team member.


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