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Most institutions have barely scratched the surface of the latest innovations in mobile fundraising. Here are key actions recommended by those who are making headway.

It’s extremely challenging and costly to build an in-house mobile donation platform, not only because of the technology, but also because of privacy and compliance issues.

That’s why most universities choose to work with providers that have it all figured out, says Caryn Stein, vice president of  marketing at higher ed consulting firm Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

When vetting a vendor, keep these questions in mind:

What are the biggest roadblocks institutions face when it comes to adding/enhancing mobile donation options?

“Nothing is more frustrating than getting to the end of a payment process only to have it fail. This experience could cause a donor to give up and schools to lose valuable dollars. Advancement offices need a secure and reliable platform that allows them to raise funds anywhere, anytime, via any channel.”

—Heather Richmond, senior director of product management and marketing, TouchNet

Many colleges and universities are ramping up their efforts to teach students how to manage loan payments and other expenses.

In your experience, how common is it for financial aid offices to push in to classrooms with messages to students about financial aid, managing student loan debt, and personal finance—and what may be holding them back from doing this more? 

Scenario: Small college wants to increase its national visibility and recognition.

Process: Matt Spencer, associate vice president for university advancement, zeros in on alumni with an affinity for the university, identifies their interests and plans visits—using a tool that analyzes social media reactions, comments and event responses of 235,000 digital alumni interactions.

ATTENDEE POWER—Virginia State University board members, friends and staff get strategic about their attendance at the Richmond Forum speaker series, which many local influential people attend. The team aims to make new introductions to the university as well as strengthen existing relationships with key constitutents.

Following are four effective strategies any advancement team can use to build donor support.

Rogue spending—buying outside a purchasing contract—can be an issue at colleges large and small. Here’s how the small college pros rein it in.

Help spenders put a face to your name. This is easier at smaller colleges, says Karen Khattari, director of general services and procurement at Cedar Crest College. “Everybody knows me, and I know them.” That leads to more control and better accountability.

REMOTE BUYS—Rural institutions such as Colgate University may have added purchasing woes because of supplier delivery challenges.

These purchasing managers work to save their institutions time and money through a range of strategies that result in purchasing power and wisdom from higher ed peers. Here’s how to do the same.

Adjuncts' short-term, inexpensive contracts, offering no obligation of renewal, provide institutions with much-needed options in managing budgets. But a new wave of activism is challenging the status quo.

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