Major Gifts – Beyond the Solicitation Series – Part 11
In the past three installments of this series we focused upon how to “move” a donor from ever-increasing annual giving to become a major donor. The process of moves management employs a series of steps (moves) for each identified prospect which “move” prospects from gaining their attention to eliciting their interest in your organization so that they develop a desire to take an action—make a major gift—and then through thoughtful, well-planned individualized steps of stewardship keep them continually moving to the next gift.
Now, as we conclude this year’s series on major gifts moves management, we turn to the most important aspect of any plan—it’s implementation. Here is a methodology to execute the plan based upon the Franklin-Covey Four Disciplines of Execution.
1. Focus on Wildly Important Goals (WIGs)
In order to execute a plan, it is important to be absolutely focused upon the right objective. The first principle is to narrow the focus of your goals, ideally choosing one, but definitely not more than two.
The second aspect of consideration is to make sure that the focus is upon the important and the urgent and not the unimportant or anything that lacks urgency. Here are some examples of strategic goals from which you might choose:
- Number of gifts of $5,000+ increased by XX%
- Number of new gifts at $5,000+
- Amount of money in gifts of $5,000+ as compared to last year
- “Card for Card” increase of all $1,000+ donors by XX%
2. Act on Lead Measures
The second principle is to act upon that which is forward-looking, in your control. We call that a lead measure or an activity that enables you and your team to achieve your “wildly important goal.” You should differentiate between the lead measure which indicates whether you are likely to achieve your goal and a lag measure—which as its name implies—describes what you have achieved through an action completed in the past.
3. Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
Keeping score—and letting everyone in agency see and know it—is the third key principle of execution. The “scoreboard” is simple and graphically visual. It is dynamic and is updated daily. On the scoreboard you keep track of lead measures such as
- Complete four quality visits per staff person per week
- Ask for something on each visit
- Document quality follow-up after each visit within 48 hours
4. Create a Cadence of Accountability
Finally, and, once you have established the goal and lead measures, the single most important activity is to create and maintain a system of accountability through weekly meetings. In these recurring meetings, everyone reports on past performance during the prior week and announce plans for the coming week’s activities. This is where plan execution actually happens. It is accomplished through a shared accountability.
At least weekly, we account by reporting on prior commitments, review the scoreboard to learn from successes and failures and plan in order to clear the path and make new commitments.
We make commitments and are accountable to ourselves, each other, the team, our supervisor and the agency. In this way, through a carefully drawn plan that is well-executed we achieve the important goal we have set for the sustainability and growth of the organization.
To read the other pieces in the Major Gifts – Beyond the Solcitation Series click here.
To speak with David about how he can help your nonprofit’s major gifts moves management process, call him at 800.361.8689