About Mythos Services
MYTHOS® Case Study: University of Rochester

With Great Success Comes Great Responsibility

Using Mythos to Engage Donors at a New Level

In 2010, the University of Rochester Donor Engagement team faced an enviable but challenging problem.

Their campaign was an enormous success.While this was great news, it also meant that the team now had to produce 1,700 reports—more than double the previous number.

The endowment and reporting system they were using had worked well for the number and type of reports they produced to this point, but with the campaign’s success, they needed a more efficient process and a more robust system.

Perhaps more important, with so many new donors, the University of Rochester had a major opportunity to further enhance the quality and impact of the reports to generate even more meaningful engagement with their valued donors.

“Donors want to make an impact. Mythos helped us to demonstrate that impact in ways that engaged our donors at a new level. The positive feedback we received from donors was beyond our expectations.”

Leslie Zornow,
Executive Director of Stewardship,
University of Rochester

The Donor Engagement team jumped into improving the reports but ran into limitations with their existing system.

For example, they couldn’t easily add images or change the layout and spacing options. Most edits had to be made manually. And it required a separate tool for capturing student and beneficiary stories.

Simply put, if they wanted to achieve efficiencies and increase the engagement potential of the reports, they needed more capabilities and flexibility in their endowment and reporting system.

Luckily, the Donor Engagement team had attended the 2015 Association of Donor Relations Professionals conference where they’d met the Mythos team.

Example of the University of Rochester report BEFORE Mythos.

After evaluating Mythos and a few other vendors, they determined that Mythos was the best solution.

They found that Mythos could handle the complex combination of endowment financial performance data, student and beneficiary thank you’s and impact stories, the workflow required to manage the entire process—from start to finished report—and the incredible volume of reports they needed to generate.Not only that, but Mythos helped bridge some of the challenges with their existing system, for an improved product experience overall. The team also saw the significant potential value Mythos offered by having a centralized database of stories to use in both its and the University’s communications in the future.

In 2018, the University of Rochester Donor Engagement team engaged with Mythos for the first time. Mythos offered a combination of beneficial features—integrated survey capabilities for collecting beneficiary stories, customizable workflow tools, integrated content editing, and the ability to vary content by school and donor—that enabled a complex and modern new design.

The results exceeded the team’s expectations. And with the Mythos team’s expertise and report production services, the process was “virtually seamless.”

Example of the University of Rochester report AFTER Mythos.

The result? A volume and engagement from donors they had not experienced in years.

Some donors contacted the Donor Engagement team with letters they wanted to share with students, which had never happened before. Clearly, and most importantly, donors were reading and spending more time with the reports and increasing their level of engagement, like never before.

The Donor Engagement team attributes much of that positive donor response and engagement to the modern, beautiful design that Mythos enabled them to produce.

When coupled with simple but impactful touches, such as including student photos, they were able to make the stories more human and connect with donors on an emotional level. And now with more ways to efficiently deliver relevant stories to those donors and future donors, the conversation is just getting started.