by Ryan Phillips

Do you need to provide your dean with an annual giving update in your next meeting? Do you need to know how a specific appeal performed? Do you want to know how your year-to-date performance compares with past years? Do you want to dig a little more into who your donors are?

Well, then do I have some tools for you!

1. Annual Giving Analytics Tool

To access in GAIL: Analysis > Annual Giving under “Analytic Tools”

The Annual Giving Analytics Tool will show your unit’s year-to-date revenue and gift comparisons for the past three fiscal years. You can view this information in a table or a handy graph to see trends over time. The Revenue Details tab helps you drill down into who your donors are—it is even clickable so you can go right to a constituent’s profile if you want to learn more about them and their giving history.

2. Gift Report by Site

To access in GAIL: Analysis > Revenue Reports under “Reports” > Gift Report by Site under “Custom Reports”

This report easily shows you your gifts, donors, fund designations and corresponding marketing efforts. I like to download this data and sort by marketing effort to get a quick overview of how specific efforts performed. Be sure to select “Yes” under the Annual Fund dropdown at the top of the page to only display gifts that count in your annual giving totals.

3. Annual Giving Contribution Details

To access in GAIL: Analysis > Revenue Reports under “Reports” > Annual Giving Contribution Details under “Custom Reports”

The Annual Giving Contribution Details Report shows annual gift or donor summaries by channel in various ways, including by appeal. I use this report to see how gifts are coming in and to gain a big picture perspective about a unit’s donors.

4. Email Statistics

To access in GAIL: Marketing and Communications > Email Statistics under “Custom Reports”

Use this to find out how your email performed. You can see how many people opened your message, who opted out and your link clicks. You can also see email-generated donations and event registrations.

5. Direct Marketing Efforts

To access in GAIL: Marketing and Communications > Marketing Effort Search (Custom) or Direct Marketing Efforts under “Marketing Efforts” 

First and foremost, be sure to activate your marketing effort prior to sending your email or direct mail! This ensures that gifts will be associated with the effort and that recipients will be tagged as having received your communication.

Navigate through the tabs in your marketing effort to view various performance statistics. I tend to focus on these three tabs: Summary, Segments and Revenue. The Revenue tab may be particularly insightful—you can sort from largest to smallest gift amount and perhaps identify future LAG or major gift prospects. The Revenue Pivot Table tab is also informative and fun to play around with.

NEW:  The Revenue Analytics tab was added to marketing efforts in FY23. Was your effort successful with Young Alumni, LYBUNTS, LAG donors, parents, etc.? What was the most popular designation? Should I repeat a similar effort next year? This tool can help you answer all of these questions and more!

6. Annual Giving Dashboard

To access in GAIL: Analysis > Annual giving dashboard under “Analytic tools” > type in your GAIL credentials > filter by site and explore!

Your Dashboard shows a quick snapshot of your program’s performance YoY. By using this tool, you can see YTD gift, revenue, and donor summaries broken down by donor type (renewed, reactivated, or acquired). You’ll also see a summary of your unit’s leadership annual giving numbers, retention rate, and top solicitations. The donor detail tab is filterable, sortable, and clickable, allowing you to really get in the weeds if you have time!


These are just a few of the tools available for you to assess your program’s annual giving health. As always, contact anyone on the central Annual Giving team or submit an AskIT ticket if you have questions!

by Kathryn Kay

Is hiring on the horizon for your team? Whether you have an immediate opening, or are planning for the future, it is important to stay up-to-date on best practices.

Diversifying search committees is one easy step teams can take towards ensuring a more equitable and inclusive hiring process. If your unit is expanding, consider diversifying your search committee by adding at least one committee member outside of your current DAR unit.

Inviting a colleague from another unit to join your committee can help:

  1. Reduce unconscious bias (we all have blind spots!)
  2. Increase a sense of accountability for engaging in intentional, equitable hiring processes
  3. Strengthen collaboration and relationships across DAR units

Interested in asking a DAR colleague to join your search committee, but not sure where to start? Consider asking a member of DAR’s DEI Work Group, or reach out to Talent Management directly for guidance.

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by Caitlyn Richtman

The UGA Alumni Association has a social presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that we post on daily. This will come to no surprise to anyone who has ever worked in social media, but it can be really hard to keep all your posts in order when you are making multiple posts a day across different platforms.

To keep up with our social media posting schedule, DARCOMM uses Airtable, a spreadsheet-database hybrid, with the features of a database but applied to a spreadsheet. Basically, it is a very fancy spreadsheet that you can use for a variety of organizational needs. DARCOMM specifically uses it for social media planning. Here are 4 reasons we have a social media calendar:

  1. Planning Ahead

To say it would be stressful to be a social media manager without a social calendar would be an understatement. It would not be very fun to show up to work every day and wonder what I am going to post. That’s why we use Airtable to plan our calendar ahead of time. Every month I am looking ahead to the next month and organizing our calendar, that way we don’t get to a new month and have a blank page.

Although our social calendar is not set in stone and I sometimes have to change things around last minute if something important pops up, we rely heavily on our social media calendar. DARCOMM is planning strategically about what we’re posting, when we’re posting it, and where on social media we’re posting.

  1. Collaboration

Airtable makes it really easy for DARCOMM to collaborate on our social media calendar. For example, if a unit asks one of the communication coordinators for a post on Instagram, they can login and add all the information I’ll need to make the post.

  1. Keeping Our Priorities Top of Mind 

DAR is a large division with a lot of different priorities and goals, a lot of which we support on social media. Our social calendar is color-coded with different priorities labeled with a different color, that way when our calendar has a lot of color variety in it, I know we are highlighting all of our marketing priorities.

For example, if we are lacking light orange in our calendar view, I know to schedule in posts about our alumni chapters and affinity groups.

  1. Thinking About Our Channels as Connected

Another great feature of Airtable is that it lets us label exactly what platform we are going to make a post on. This reminds us to think about our different channels as connected and complimentary to each other, but also helps us recognize that not all posts need to be shared everywhere. It helps us be strategic about where our posts go and how we can increase our engagement and reach by making posts that suit the platform they’re shared on.