Northwestern expedites gift processing without adding staff

Learn how Northwestern University improved its gift agreement processes to reduce strain on staff and process more agreements in less time.

Video Transcript

Gift Agreement Functionality

I'm Kristin Lewis. I'm Associate Director of Information Management at Alumni Relations and Development with Northwestern University.

In terms of managing gift agreements, we've been a successful fundraising institution for a long time. Our process wasn't necessarily broken, but what's going on in alumni relations and development now is that we've just launched our $3.75 billion comprehensive capital campaign which is a really ambitious goal for the university.

What we needed was a way to manage our gift agreement process so that we could process more of those gift agreement requests, create more documentation with the same number of staff, and possibly even improve that process so it would take less time to make those agreements.

Documenting the terms of a gift is important to make sure that we can manage our understanding of what amounts of contributions are coming in and make sure that we have some sort of legal understanding with the donor that they're going to follow through on that gift.

When you have a normal contract, you are agreeing to provide a service, they're agreeing to pay you. So we are agreeing to provide a service, it's just as more of a service in terms of how we are going to use those funds to further our educational mission, our research, that sort of thing.