Development Research and Systems

The Office of Development Research and Systems (ODRS) provides research, information management, technology, and training support to Resource Development and its partners in the Institute's fundraising enterprise. This year the office continued to focus on three key strategic areas: research, information management, and technology, while engaged in two research projects in collaboration with Institutional partners.

Research takes two forms: a multi-tiered, proactive effort to identify new potential donors of $50,000 or more over five years, and ongoing research support of the activities of the field staff, senior officers, and campaign volunteers.

In FY2003 three major initiatives were implemented to identify new donors: a predictive modeling/data mining project with an outside vendor to identify alumni whose characteristics match those of existing major donors; screening meetings with volunteers in Boston and New York, and with faculty in the School of Architecture; and electronic screenings using commercial databases. As the staff has qualified the information from these efforts, several hundred potential major gift donors have surfaced.

ODRS produced more than 1,200 backups and research reports to support their clients' activities, including 150 specialized backups for senior officers.

The reorganization of Foundation Relations and Academic Development Support transferred three headcount to ODRS to shift School-based individual prospect research support to this office. As a result ODRS now supports the research needs of the development staff in each School, as well as staff with fundraising responsibilities for the Libraries, the Arts, and specific departments.

To collect data to help inform MIT's academic and development enterprises, ODRS launched the 2003 Survey of MIT Founders, in collaboration with colleagues in Resource Development, the Alumni/ae Association, and the Technology Licensing Office. The office also completed two years of participation in an Institute effort with eight Boston-area universities to research and launch The Engines of Economic Growth: The Economic Impact of Boston's Eight Research Universities on the Metropolitan Boston Area.

ODRS continues its partnership with the Alumni/ae Association to manage and maintain ADONIS, with particular focus on the management of gift and prospect subsystems, information, and reporting. ODRS staff supported 160 users across Resource Development, in the Schools, and in the Treasurer's Office, and produced close to 4,000 reports on a production schedule and almost 1,000 in response to specific requests.

Several major development projects occurred in collaboration with Institutional partners: an upgrade of the ADONIS software with the Alumni/ae Association; improved recording and reporting of fund information with the Controller's Accounting Office and the Treasurer's Office; enhanced functionality for stewardship, planned giving, and foundation relations with Resource Development staff.

ODRS provided its users with desktop and ADONIS documentation and training, created a curriculum and collateral materials for ADONIS training and conducted nearly 100 individual or group training sessions.

Technology efforts this year included upgrades in the desktop, laptops, and printer configurations as well as a migration to Mac OS X for selected areas; the migration of the departmental file server to a Mac OS X server; technical support of the Exponential Occasion gala, and the anniversary celebrations for Sloan and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Shelley S. Brown

return to top
Table of Contents