Happy Friday everyone!
We are having a debate on policy and I would like people's reaction. I sit on a committee that is working through creating and updating gift processing policies. The biggest debate right now is around best practices for gift processing regarding timing.
I believe I have heard/read that the best practice for the time to process a check and get the receipt out the door, or in the email, is 48 hours. I was told that was an unrealistic expectation.
Can people give me an idea of what their policies regarding this practice is so I can take it back to the group.
Am I being unrealistic?
Thanks for your thoughts,
Kathleen E. Stuber Assistant Vice President for Advancement Services Division of University Advancement
University at Buffalo
1010 Kimball Towers
Buffalo, NY 14214
THE CAMPAIGN FOR UB
Thanks John, I agree the pandemic has to be taken out of the equation and I understand and actually would hope that we have an influx of gifts during the holidays where this would not happen, but generally speaking, I am not out of line suggesting this is the industry standard.
Thanks, as always, for your insight.
Thanks so much Gerri,
I think the 48 hours would be what we strive for and we would look to make improvements in processes to get there.
Hey, Kathy. A few more details would be helpful if you want to share those: How many transactions (and how many are physical checks)? Lockbox in place? Caging? Automation of phoning pledges? Other automation? Online gift handling processes? How many FTEs can enter transactions? How many help the process before entry and after (i.e., maybe someone other than the gift entry pros is dedicated to opening the mail and creating batches or handles receipting, etc.)? As you know well, there are a lot of moving parts.
I conducted a benchmarking study of 19 universities that found 2.8 days was the average turn around when all factors and types of gifts are considered. Getting rid of the "slowest" 1% put the average closer to a 2-day range. This also indicated that about 6,500 transactions per 40 hour "FTE" flowed through those shops in a given year. (So, in a simply example, a 2 person entry team, plus a manager, plus maybe an admin who spends 50% time with the mail and gets the letters in the mail might be a 21,000 or so transaction shop.)
And, of course, culture and expectations matter in that accuracy and speed considerations interrelate. For instance, one of my clients is rightfully proud to have a 99.94% accuracy rate for entry, but this is at the cost of speedy handling. I'd welcome a further discussion.
Chris thanks for your response – we have 2.5 gift processors and a manager. We have a separate person who is responsible for the electronic load from our call center into pledges and any gifts secured are loaded into a gift batch. We do not have caging.
We have a good amount of automation: call center pledges and gifts are directly loaded into pledge and gift batches for, some on-line giving is also loaded, but not all. We are working on that part of it.