Mythos Case Study: The George Washington University
More Donor Engagement
with Less Work
Using Mythos to Take Impact Reporting to the Next Level
Producing endowment reports is hard work.
Adding in individually relevant impact reporting is even more difficult. It takes a lot of time and resources. And the process can be challenging at best.
Endowment reports require bringing multiple, disparate data sets together and a complex process to produce accurately. Whereas, impact reporting requires gathering personal stories from beneficiaries and aligning those back to individual donors.
Endowment reports must be produced, of course. But “standard” investment reports are often not very engaging to a donor. Obviously, donors care that their money is being invested well, but they care more about the impact that their money is having.
While impact reports with beneficiary stories are not required, they have a distinct and positive impact on donor engagement, intent to give, and actual giving.
The George Washington University envisioned rich and engaging endowment reports. With beneficiary impact stories individually relevant to each of its donors.
There were a variety of challenges with achieving this vision.
- Getting beneficiaries to respond
- Managing the different ways in which they might respond (like old-school survey tools, email, or Word, for example)
- Keeping all those responses organized by fund and donor
- Managing status of responses through the editing and proofing process
- Getting them all approved for inclusion in reports in an efficient manner for management
- And most importantly, bringing all that content and data together and aligning it accurately to the right funds and donors…
It can be overwhelming to say the least. Especially with the variety of people, content and data sources, and individual tools you need to get it all done.
What if these complex processes and tools could be streamlined and consolidated?
Like all universities and colleges with generous endowments, GW already struggled to produce the standard financial reports. Let alone reports that included donor-specific beneficiary stories. But it knew the power that impact stories could have on propensity to give.
GW turned to Mythos to solve these challenges and achieve its vision of endowment impact reporting.
A great impact story starts with the right questions. GW uses built-in, flexible survey tools in Mythos to ask carefully crafted questions of beneficiaries. This promotes both quality and consistency of answers.
Knowing that the final report has limitations in length and format, and requires a photo of the beneficiary, GW sets character limits and asks for a photo with specific requirements. This saves GW editing time later in the process.
Questions are “pre-filled” with beneficiary and donor information. This makes it easier and faster for beneficiaries to submit responses. The donor name is also pre-filled, allowing the beneficiary to address the donor by name, again saving editing time for GW.
Additionally, questions can be branched based on beneficiary answers. A first year student might get different questions than a fourth year student, or a student in the medical school might get different questions than one in business.
As beneficiary survey responses come in, GW uses the integrated review, editing, proofing, and organizing tools in Mythos to manage the work. The process is customized using Mythos workflow options to align with the GW team’s specific needs. Responses and stories are assigned to different team members and then efficiently moved from draft through various steps to approved for use in the reports.
Through this entire process, responses and stories are “tagged,” which brings it all together by making it easy to very specifically align relevant beneficiaries to individual donors.
When a beneficiary submission comes in, it is immediately tagged with the relevant fund, donor, school, fiscal year, etc. Even specific beneficiary answers can be turned into tags, allowing stories to be aligned hyper-specifically to donors by interest or profile.
Finally, the Mythos team’s many years of expertise with data–especially variable data from multiple sources–helps automate and offload the data processing and impact reporting production so that GW can focus on promoting and demonstrating impact in more ways and to more donors.
Mythos has allowed GW to use the same resources to produce more personalized and engaging impact reports in higher quantities.
The George Washington University has been working with Mythos since 2011.
Today, in addition to using Mythos to generate individually personalized endowment impact reporting for thousands of donors, it uses Mythos to create current-use reports on demand, as needed for leadership donors whose annual gifts are designated to support scholarships and other academic programs.
“No other product can deliver this level of gift reporting.”
Executive Director of Donor Relations,
The George Washington University
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