Gravyty makes fundraiser enablement tools that fundraisers love. In this series, we feature the stories of frontline fundraisers who embrace AI-enabled fundraising in their daily lives and highlight the amazing impact they return to their organizations. VIA Public Media, through a strategic partnership with CDP, a Boston-based fundraising service for public media, is one of the first public broadcasting stations in the country to take advantage of Gravyty's AI-enabled, cutting-edge technology.
John A. Farkas, Jr., is the Major and Planned Giving Officer at VIA Public Media, a pillar of the community in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the PBS and NPR affiliate serving residents in 22 counties. As the son of two seasoned fundraising professionals, he always knew he would work in development because he loves the opportunity to build relationships that advance important causes. In his role at VIA, John has been tasked with revitalizing the major gifts program, as well as planned giving and other responsibilities. He uses Gravyty to both grow the major donor pipeline for the future and inspire major gifts today.
"I think the way Gravyty brings Al to major gift fundraising will completely revolutionize our field. Gravyty has been a game-changer for me. In one month's, time, I made it through my entire year's portfolio and have secured multiple donations and meetings with lapsed donors."
A Day in the life
Like many gift officers, John's day b egins before he steps foot in the office. Each morning, Gravyty First Draft helps him proactively plan out his day. As he described, First Draft acts as a "roadmap" for daily organization and guidance regarding which donors and prospects he should be in touch with.
Since Gravyty has allowed John to establish a touchpoint with his entire portfolio in one month, he's now focused on managing those relationships and reaching a new level of portfolio saturation, which includes securing meetings with L YBUNTs, SYBUNTs, and new donors.
"I like that Gravyty keeps me motivated. I consistently send First Drafts emails because the tool puts me in touch with donors we haven't been able to reach in the past. I was working on a renewal for nine months, and after only using Gravyty for a few weeks, it helped me reach out at the right time with the right message to secure the gift," said Farkas.
Personalization at scale
When John has downtime, Gravyty helps him convert that into productive time. He's regularly able to use time in between meetings to send First Draft emails and secure new meetings. Even though John is now working at a scale that would not be possible without Al, Gravyty ensures that all of this outreach is personalized.
"Gravyty feels very genuine," says Farkas. "Anytime that I send a First Draft, there's a personal touch. It's not just a computer generating an email. I review the data, the message, and press send. This is a resource and tool that helps enhance VIA Public Media's mission.”
ohn's early success with Gravyty is driving results for VIA Public Media. John has interacted with more than 260 First Draft messages to donors and prospects and moved through his entire assigned portfolio of 196 donors in a single month. Furthermore, he's increased meetings by roughly 25 percent using Gravyty. And, most importantly, he's closed new major gifts and increased giving levels for donors.
John concludes, "Gravyty provides incredible resources and because of this, VIA is able to connect with new and lapsed donors. If Gravyty could fold letters and stuff envelopes, that's the only thing that is missing. I grew up in this field and have worked in it my entire professional career, Al-enabled fundraising brings my work to the next level."