Major Gifts – Beyond the Solicitation Series – Part 8
You have identified a potential major donor from among your most faithful contributors. She has made an annual gift every year for the last 12 years and in the last three years she has steadily increased her giving from $25 to $250. You called her when she made her first increase and every year thereafter. She has shown up at leadership briefings to which she was invited. You have done your due diligence and prospect research. You learned that she has meaningful philanthropic capacity based on her wealth and other activities including her political giving. You have even checked with members of your board who have filled in the gaps with valuable anecdotal information.
How do you get her to take the next step with your organization and become a major donor with an annual gift of $5,000 or more?
Now is the time to employ what major gifts fundraisers call “moves management,” a process in which you take a series of steps (moves) for and with each identified prospect each of which will “move” the individual prospect to action—to move to the next gift.
What is moves management? Let’s define a “move.”
Each “move” represents a discrete contact, by whatever means:
- Phone call
- Face-to-face conversation
- Planned events
There are two types of moves—background and. foreground moves. Moves are where cultivation and not solicitation occurs. To be successful, you should plan one move per month—twelve per year.
Goal of Each Move
In cultivation, it is hard to “quantify” goals. You should avoid goals that are too general. Be realistic—you will not attain a major gift in three moves. Here are some sample goals:
- Your prospect accepts an invitation to a site visit
- You gain a better sense of how the prospect feels about agency
- You determine if pace of moves and goals is correct
Planning Each Move
There are a number of steps to take when you plan each move:
- Review key points to cover during the move
- List benefits that will appeal to prospect
- What action are you asking prospect to take, i.e., what should be the next step in the process
- List questions you anticipate the prospect will ask as well as your answers
The next part of planning for moves management is to determine who participates in the process.
- The leader is the prospect or “moves” manager, who is generally a member of the development staff.
- Next is the primary player who is the person to whom the prospect is not able to say no.
- Then, you need to identify natural partners—the people who can serve as sources of information with strong relationships with the prospect.
People who may be centers of influence—additional sources of information –should be consulted.
Each member of this virtual team is there because of who the individual prospect is. And each team is likely to be different—depending upon the prospect.
Role of the Moves Manager
The moves manager, with responsibility for one hundred or more prospects at any one time—each of whom is at a different stage of development, creates a strategy for each prospect. The manager tracks the prospect’s relationship to organization, plans moves, and coordinates the primary players, natural partners as well as the centers of influence. Above all the moves manager is responsible for executing the plan. If circumstances warrant, the moves manager reconfigures the strategy and continually refines the plan.
Moves management is, above all, a process that enables you to manage your time and the resources of your team.