Vital Signs Philanthropic Health Assessment


Receive a customized 6-month action plan to increase giving within your operation.


This assessment provides you with an objective evaluation of the philanthropic health of your operation—as measured by key indicators such as sustained loyalty, substantive volunteer engagement, major gift success, and reinvestment rates—and a prescription for improving your fundraising vitality in the short, mid, and long term.

It also gives your institution a relative comparison to those of similar mission, size, and history, as well as examples of what other institutions have done and are doing to improve their philanthropic health. Key institutional leaders are encouraged to review and discuss the findings and agree on the prescriptive health plan in order to make steady and significant progress and allocate available resources optimally.

The indicators used to conduct the Vital Signs Assessment were discovered through extensive research of philanthropic behaviors and trends, as well as fundraising practices that produced the highest levels of sustained fundraising success. The research includes original work done by Langley Innovations, studies of annual giving data in the U.S. and Canada, and compilations of research conducted by numerous independent organizations, leading practitioners, and consulting firms.

Who Will Benefit?

The Vital Signs Assessment can be particularly helpful to institutions who are:

  • Seeking to rightsize their advancement operations in resource constrained environments
  • Undergoing leadership transitions, including board chairs, presidents, CFOs, and chief advancement officers
  • Unsatisfied with their fundraising results but unclear as to the underlying causes and/or the best way to allocate resources going forward
  • Seeking to stem fundraiser turnover and/or attract and retain high quality advancement professionals
  • Finding that competing theories of fundraising success – between board members and presidents, or presidents and chief advancement officers – remain unresolved


Putting Your Data into Practice: How it Works

After completing your Vital Signs Assessment, you will receive a data intake request from the Academic Impressions team. This data you provide will be used to evaluate the philanthropic health of your organization. Ten business days following the return of your data intake request, Academic Impressions and Langley Innovations will provide you with your customized Vital Signs Assessment, along with key findings and recommendations.

Upon receiving your customized Vital Signs Assessment findings and recommendations, we will schedule a one-hour debrief with Academic Impressions and Langley Innovations to discuss the findings and recommendations. Additionally, Academic Impressions will provide applicable training and/or resource recommendations to enhance your organization’s overall philanthropic health.


Portrait of Jim Langley

Jim Langley

President and Founder of Langley Innovations
Before forming his own comprehensive advancement consulting firm, Jim served as vice president for advancement at Georgetown University. At Georgetown, he led the institution’s offices of alumni affairs, strategic communications and marketing, development, medical center development, and advancement services. During his tenure, he produced record numbers in new commitments and dollars. He also launched a number of innovative programs, including the acclaimed Student Discovery Initiative.

Jim arrived at Georgetown after spending eight years as the vice president for advancement at the University of California, San Diego. At UCSD, he led the planning and execution of the institution’s seven-year $1 billion campaign, then raised almost half the target amount in three years. Jim also previously served as vice president for external affairs at Georgia Institute of Technology, increasing annual gift income from $26 million to $76 million and more than tripling the institution’s endowment to well over $500 million. Operations under his management have won awards in virtually every area of university advancement.

Questions About this Assessment?

Portrait of Jenn Duffield
Jenn Duffield,
Learning & Development Manager,
Academic Impressions