Delbarton School

Annual fund program

How Delbarton built a robust annual fund program.


The Delbarton School is a Benedictine Catholic college preparatory school in Morristown NJ. Through their partnership with amplifi, the school doubled their annual fund, the Delbarton Fund, over five years.  

Delbarton first approached amplifi for help with their annual fund after their emails became less effective and fundraising dollars plateaued. The goal was to work with Delbarton to build a proactive fundraising calendar, apply advanced personalization strategies, and bring an improved look and feel to Delbarton’s fundraising outreach.

“We found a partner in amplifi who took the time to understand us, our challenges, and our goals. They worked with us to build and implement a plan that helped us increase both direct support and overall engagement and brought our alumni and parents closer to our mission.” – Maria VanKirk, Director of Advancement Operations and the Delbarton Fund.


Our objective was to build a more effective and personalized annual fund strategy. We sought to include the school’s events and external solicitations in a centralized program that anchored the most important fundraising pushes around key events, like Homecoming, GivingTuesday, and the school’s Spirit Week celebrations. We added new and tweaked existing alumni and parent challenges that pushed donors to give earlier in the year, especially during the critical month of June.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the school expanded its giving day from a single day focused on alumni, to a 48-hour community-wide celebration. They also turned the school’s report of donors into a tool that motivated at-risk and lapsed donors to give again.  


Delbarton wanted to create more targeted messaging directed at different constituency groups with the data they already had on-hand. And we expanded this to begin collecting information about a donor’s “giving interests” that will help Delbarton take personalization even further in the future.  

Delbarton maximized their donors’ impact by using personalized ask strings that reflected each donor’s giving history. This allowed Delbarton to present every donor with an ideal ask, whether on a reply card or the personalized online donation pages built for the program.

Delbarton adopted a highly advanced digital program that focused on advancing their email fundraising. This involved building customized email schedules for different audiences, complex personalization, and personalized donation pages that mirror their personalized ask strategy. For example, alumni would receive emails from a familiar sender, like their Class Representative. Delbarton also continues to use A/B testing to optimize their program year-after-year.


Since first partnering with amplifi, Delbarton has:

Improved email engagement  every year, reaching an average 56 percent open rate and 4 percent click rate.

Grown the Delbarton Fund

by 15 percent in year one.

More than doubled

 the Delbarton Fund over five years.

Successfully encouraged donors

who historically gave in June to give earlier in the year.

Improved email engagement

every year, reaching an average 56 percent open rate and 4 percent click rate.

Project Deliverables:

Strategy + Consultation

Data Audit + Report 

Brand Messaging Report

Event Branding

Annual Report (Writing + Design)

Email Marketing for Event

Year-End Fundraising Campaign

Social Media Graphics