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Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management

Sloan engaged PDP to create a stronger culture of philanthropy at the school, and to establish a more disciplined approach to qualifying and cultivating donor prospects.


  • Staff were not being diligent or disciplined about qualifying prospects, but rather assuming that everyone in their portfolio was a prospect who simply needed to be cultivated. This led to a long process with reluctance or inability to move to an ask.
  • Gift officers were shopping menus of priorities versus engaging qualified prospects in a dialogue about areas (defined by Sloan) on which they had a desire to make a definable impact through their giving.

Benefits & Results

  • The Sloan team raised $99M following DFF program participation (in the prior capital campaign, it took 9 years to raise $110M).
  • Equipping the frontline gift officers with a shared donor engagement process, language and communication tools, enabled efficient handoffs and a shared culture of performance-based fundraising.
  • Enhanced discipline of qualification across the team coupled with more effective communication tools allowed gift officers to move prospects through a defined philanthropic process more quickly and efficiently.
  • Gift offers stopped defaulting to transactional conversations that left philanthropic dollars on the table and shifted to impact-based dialogues yielding increased dollars in critical bands. Gifts of $250K-$500K and gifts of $500K-$1M increased by 46%.