How to Identify and Ask for That Next Gift


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This skills lab will focus on strategies, techniques, and best practices for identifying and qualifying prospects for that next gift. Emphasis will be placed on identifying how to segment for annual, mid-level, and major gifts using internal data mining, evaluation of donor pipelines, moves management, and prospect research. We will also highlight aspects of prospect relationship management techniques and how those can assist you in making that next ask.

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How to Identify and Ask for That Next Gift

  1. 1. t<br />How to Ask for that Next Gift?<br />Page Bullington, M.P.A<br />andKristin Ludwig, PhD<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />Common Terms<br />Annual Fund Best Practices<br />Major and Planned Giving Tips and Tricks<br />Prospect Research 101<br />Toolbox Review<br />
  3. 3. Commons terms<br />
  4. 4. Development Cycle<br />
  5. 5. Terms and Definitions:<br /><ul><li>Contact – a face to face visit (also known as a “Primary Move”); significant phone call conversation with forward movement in the relationship (also a Primary Move); one-to-one email exchange that leads to forward movement .
  6. 6. Actions – are recorded in the “Action Tab” in RE and are considered “Secondary Moves” which may include a phone call to set up or confirm an appointment, or a chance meeting where you had a conversation.
  7. 7. Visit – a face to face visit
  8. 8. Suspects – constituents who have been identified by Research as possible major gift prospects for assignment to gift officer prospect pools. Once assigned to a portfolio these are called “Prospects”.</li></li></ul><li>Terms and Definitions:<br /><ul><li>Prospects – individuals who have been assigned to a gift officer to be qualified and moved into cultivation and then forward.
  9. 9. Qualification – occurs during the “Assessment” stage. Includes review of data and visiting with individual to determine if he/she is a valid candidate for solicitation at the major gift level. In this stage an individual is either “qualified” and moved into “cultivation” or removed from the portfolio. An “action” should be filed in either case. A “Solicitation Plan” should be filed within 60 days of having qualified the prospect. (see below)</li></li></ul><li>Terms and Definitions:<br /><ul><li>Move – a strategic and substantial personalized interaction with a prospect which directly and tangibly advances that prospect towards an ask or a close. It can be a personal meeting or visit (preferred), telephone conversation, email or letter. It is not casual interaction at an event or a casual update meeting, phone call or email.
  10. 10. Solicitation Plan – filed in proposal notes in RE, this should include a description of the purpose of the gift, the dollar amount (“Expected Ask”) and an approximate deadline for making the ask (“Ask Date”). The solicitation plan may be modified or edited as needed going forward with explanatory information entered in “Notes” on the Solicitation Plan.
  11. 11. Pipeline – the concept of moving a constituent through various stages to an ultimate closing of a gift and post-gift stewardship.</li></li></ul><li>Terms and Definitions:<br />“Pipeline Movement” includes:<br /><ul><li>ID Suspect
  12. 12. ID Prospect
  13. 13. Assessment
  14. 14. Cultivation
  15. 15. Solicitation
  16. 16. Gift closure
  17. 17. Post-gift stewardship</li></li></ul><li>Process flow<br />Identification<br />Prospect is identified for further research<br />ASSESSEMENT<br />The prospect is being qualified as a major gift prospect. <br />This results in the prospect being QUALIFIED (an action is filed to<br />reflect this)and moved into CULTIVATION or REMOVED <br />from the portfolio. <br />CULTIVATION<br />During this stage, a solicitation plan is <br />created and entered into RE7. <br />REMOVED<br />Prospect indicates no interest or financial capacity<br />to make a major gift. Removed from portfolio.<br />SOLICITATION<br />The ask is made. <br />STEWARDSHIP<br />The prospect is moved into stewardship. After a time, it <br />may be determined that the prospect is ready to move<br />back into CULTIVATION to start the process over with a <br />new proposal. <br />The ask is rejected, the <br />proposal will be <br />re-evaluated and the <br />prospect is put back into <br />CULITVATION<br />SUCCESS<br />The prospect agrees to the<br /> proposal and <br />makes a gift or pledge. <br />
  18. 18. Annual fund<br />
  19. 19. Annual Fund<br /><ul><li>RFM is a method used for analyzing behavior and defining market. It is commonly used in database marketing and direct marketing. RFM analysis can work in tandem with reporting you already do.
  20. 20. RFM stands for
  21. 21. Recency - When was the donation?
  22. 22. Frequency - How many donations have been made?
  23. 23. Monetary Value - What is the value of donations?</li></li></ul><li>Annual Fund<br /><ul><li>To create an RFM analysis, create categories for each attribute.
  24. 24. Example:
  25. 25. Recency attribute might be broken into three categories:
  26. 26. Donors with donations within the last fiscal year
  27. 27. Donors with donations last two fiscal years
  28. 28. Donors with donations last three fiscal years
  29. 29. Frequency might be broken into two categories:
  30. 30. Donors with monthly gifts
  31. 31. Donors with yearly gifts
  32. 32. Value can be segmented at many levels:
  33. 33. $1-$50
  34. 34. $51-$100
  35. 35. $101-$250, etc.</li></li></ul><li>Annual Fund<br /><ul><li>Once each of the attributes has appropriate categories defined, segments are created from the intersection of the values.
  36. 36. If there were three categories for each attribute, then the resulting matrix would have twenty-seven possible combinations
  37. 37. We may also decide to collapse certain sub-segments. If the gradations appear too small to be useful.
  38. 38. The resulting segments can be ordered from most valuable (highest recency, frequency, and value) to least valuable (lowest recency, frequency, and marketing).
  39. 39. It is highly recommended that secondary data be applied when looking at RFM analysis. </li></li></ul><li>Annual Fund to Major<br /><ul><li>One of the best tools will be trend analysis
  40. 40. Review trends that occur in several ways
  41. 41. Pull data on $25 donors –
  42. 42. Look for common constituency codes
  43. 43. Look for events occurring before gifts
  44. 44. Monitor successful solicitation
  45. 45. Pull data on specific constituency codes
  46. 46. Do all alumni typically give a $25 gift first or is it $50
  47. 47. Reviewing data in this manner can help with both major and annual gifts
  48. 48. Establish “trigger” amounts or events that can help move individuals into major gift cultivation and / or research</li></li></ul><li>Major giving<br />
  49. 49. Metrics for Evaluation <br /><ul><li>The level of activity and success are the best indicators of the value of major gift officers.
  50. 50. Activity may be assessed in terms of visits, solicitations, qualifications, active movement of all portfolio prospects.
  51. 51. Success is assessed in terms of movement within a portfolio. As suspects are qualified and moved down the pipeline to closing of a major gift. All prospects should be moved forward within 90-120 days (3-6 months) of receipt into the portfolio</li></li></ul><li>Metrics for Evaluation <br /><ul><li>Initial qualification of suspect pool may take about 90-120 days and a clear move forward should occur every 3 months for each prospect. Once the qualified prospect pool is determined, active cultivation and solicitation are the next steps.
  52. 52. Number of qualified prospects in a portfolio may range from 30-50; the entire portfolio (including those being qualified) may range from 100-125</li></li></ul><li>Metrics for Evaluation<br /><ul><li>Reasonable Goals include:
  53. 53. A minimum of 12 visits per month for assessment and/or cultivation (130 annually) (This factors in vacation, holidays, etc.)
  54. 54. Add five new prospects to the portfolio through officer discovery and identification
  55. 55. Remove unqualified prospects each month through assessment.
  56. 56. Contact reports should be filed within 5 business days of the contact. The 15th of the month is the deadline for the previous month’s contact reports</li></li></ul><li>Resources to Support the MGO<br /><ul><li>Prospect Research Team – brief, profiles, wealth analysis, gift capacity ratings, prospect screenings, prospect identification, prospect management reports and moves management training CRM
  57. 57. Database Team – query support and training; biographical data updating; targeted mailing lists
  58. 58. Director of Development – strategic portfolio planning; trouble shooting and coordination of multiple contact situations; monthly review of portfolio activity
  59. 59. Executive Director – strategic planning and solutions with operational perspective to ensure adequate infrastructure support and compliance with policies and procedures. </li></li></ul><li>Prospect Management Meetings<br /><ul><li>Meeting length
  60. 60. Optimum is 60 minutes
  61. 61. No good work happens after 90 minutes
  62. 62. Frequency
  63. 63. Depends on need for new prospects
  64. 64. When demand is high, meet weekly
  65. 65. As prospect portfolios fill out, reduce frequency
  66. 66. No less than monthly
  67. 67. Roles
  68. 68. Moderator keeps the meeting moving
  69. 69. Note taker records minutes and distributes them by the beginning of the next business day
  70. 70. Roles can rotate </li></li></ul><li>Principles of Prospect Management<br /><ul><li>Clearance system managed by director of prospect management
  71. 71. Clear and specific procedures and criteria for establishing an assignment
  72. 72. Assignment to a development area is driven by donor interest
  73. 73. One prospect manager per prospect
  74. 74. Prospect research establishes potential and inclination
  75. 75. Prospect manager qualifies the prospect</li></li></ul><li>Principles of Prospect Management<br /><ul><li>Prospect managers can nominate prospects on their own, but assignment must be validated by director of prospect management
  76. 76. Prospect manager controls and monitors contact with the prospect
  77. 77. Solicitors may be other than prospect manager
  78. 78. Meaningful reports
  79. 79. Assigned prospects
  80. 80. System for succession of assignments
  81. 81. Contact reports are mandatory
  82. 82. Clear definitions of “moves”</li></li></ul><li>Relationship Management benchmarks<br /><ul><li>To assist in prospect management, below are some national relationship management benchmarks:
  83. 83. 20-30 moves per month
  84. 84. 10 – 18 face-to-face visits per month
  85. 85. Portfolio size: 150 – 200 prospects
  86. 86. Identification – 25%
  87. 87. Cultivation – 50%
  88. 88. Solicitation – 25%
  89. 89. Portfolio size influenced by
  90. 90. Ask amount
  91. 91. Geography
  92. 92. Job responsibilities
  93. 93. Annual or semi-annual review with supervisor</li></li></ul><li>Toolbox review<br />
  94. 94. Passing it Along – Sample profile<br />
  95. 95. Passing it Along<br /><ul><li>Other information to include…
  96. 96. Charitable giving
  97. 97. Frequency of giving – to your organization and other non-profits
  98. 98. Average gift size
  99. 99. Current relationships
  100. 100. Alumni, Membership Status
  101. 101. Peer relationships
  102. 102. Think about what is important for your team</li></li></ul><li>Tickler Report to track actions by solicitor<br />
  103. 103. Outstanding Proposal Report – by Solicitor<br />
  104. 104. Proposal Analysis Report<br />
  105. 105. Proposal Pipeline<br />