QUT uses data to deliver better engagement strategies that help fund world-leading research

In 2021 the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) advancement team were looking for a way to improve the efficiency of their engagement reporting and get better insights about their donors and fundraising program performance.

While the existing reporting system worked well enough, the advancement team needed an easier and more efficient solution going forward. They also knew there was an opportunity to improve the quality of their fundraising reports and get tailored insights about their donors to help them generate more meaningful engagement.

Dataro first partnered with QUT in 2020 to help improve their appeal targeting using AI-powered donor predictions. When Dataro launched Fundraising Intelligence in early 2022, QUT knew this was the solution they needed.

With Fundraising Intelligence the advancement team have uncovered new insights that are informing changes to their engagement and fundraising strategy which will deliver improved fundraising outcomes in 2023. 

For example, using the second gift rate and donor flow reports in Fundraising Intelligence, QUT discovered the typical annual giving day donors were one-off givers with a low lifetime value. In 2023 they will pivot their focus and investment away from annual giving days to more relationship-based engagement activities.

Dataro’s fundraising technologies are enhancing QUT’s data-driven approach to fundraising and helping them make better strategic choices to improve engagement and increase fundraising returns and impact.


Key results

  • Empowered advancement team with an easy-to-use reporting tool
  • Saved time on reporting and improved understanding of performance
  • New reports on second gift rate and donor flows generated new insights
  • Pivoted investment in annual giving days to more sustainable relationship-based fundraising (appeals and major giving)
  • Enhanced QUT’s data-driven approach to fundraising

How we did it

Fundraising Intelligence is a fundraising analytics and benchmarking tool that helps nonprofits report on their fundraising performance and identify opportunities for growth.

The live web app is connected directly to the nonprofits’ CRM data via an API and provides a library of one-click reports that are tailored to each fundraising program. Reports are flexible, accurate and easy to use (no technical skills necessary) and enable fundraisers to benchmark their fundraising performance against other nonprofits. 

In this case, Dataro’s Fundraising Intelligence was integrated directly with QUT’s CRM data using Blackbaud’s fast and secure API. Unlike other BI tools, integration with Fundraising Intelligence is done in a few simple steps, with no additional cost outlay.

Once logged in to the Fundraising Intelligence web app, the QUT advancement team were able to access the full library of fundraising reports with live benchmarking data to analyse their performance across appeals, annual giving days and more.

Analysing the results

The QUT advancement team uses Fundraising Intelligence on a near daily basis to measure the effectiveness of their engagement activities and shape future plans. 

Fundraising Intelligence has bridged the challenges with QUT’s internal reporting system and resourcing gaps. It has equipped their advancement team with a suite of new fundraising-specific reports that are flexible and easy to use and are generating better insights about their donors and fundraising performance.

Using the second gift rate and donor flow reports in the Fundraising Intelligence web app, the advancement team discovered new donors acquired in their annual giving day had very low retention rates and responded poorly to second gift solicitations. Put simply, these donors were not the best prospects to engage for long-term support. 

Knowing the annual giving day does not drive long-term donor support, less effort and resources will be invested in this activity going forward. Instead the advancement team will focus efforts on identifying and retaining donors who are truly engaged with the University and their mission.

As an example QUT have implemented a new retention strategy to thank all first-time donors with a phone call. They are using the donor flow report weekly to identify newly acquired donors and monitor their retention.

What they said

“Fundraising Intelligence has informed our strategic decision-making and provided us with deeper insights about our donor base. It has shown us that the typical Giving Day donor is not deeply engaged with the University, so we've decided not to invest much effort into this fundraising activity going forward. Donor Flows is my favourite report - it’s so much better than any of the reporting we’ve been able to do internally.”

Myan Phamtran

Manager Advancement Services & Operations

More Case Studies

Testing Dataro across Australia for UNHCR direct mail appeals

Testing Dataro across Australia for UNHCR direct mail appeals

Australia for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national partner in Australia, raising funds and awareness to support displaced people across the globe.  Direct mail appeals form a core part of Australia for UNHCR’s fundraising calendar. So in September 2021 the team embarked on a partnership with Dataro

Read more
How UNICEF Australia use AI to raise more for children in need

How UNICEF Australia use AI to raise more for children in need

UNICEF is a leading global non-profit working to improve the lives of children in need. As an organization that is 100% donor-funded, UNICEF Australia relies on the generosity of individual donors to fund their work. In 2020 UNICEF Australia partnered with Dataro to improve their direct mail appeal

Read more
Erskine donors leave a lasting legacy for Scottish veterans

Erskine donors leave a lasting legacy for Scottish veterans

Charitable income from legacies has quadrupled over the past 30 years and was forecast to top £4 billion per annum by the end of last year, experts say. It is little wonder that legacies (Gifts in Will) have become a key focus for charities that have one eye

Read more
Red Cross uses AI to find mid-value donors that help support communities in times of need

Red Cross uses AI to find mid-value donors that help support communities in times of need

Australian Red Cross have a bold objective to increase their mid-value program income from $7 million to $9 million by FY26/27 to help them improve lives and build resilient communities in times of need. In 2021 the charity launched a new mid-value strategy and communications plan, including a

Read more