By Alan Sharpe, CFRE
The key to securing large gifts from your donors is relationships. Relationships that are warm, professional and mutually beneficial. But how do you nurture or cultivate those relationships with prospective donors who have little or no connection with your organization and your cause?
With a comprehensive moves management system. In the fundraising profession, “moves” are the planned, regular, documented steps you take as an organization to draw donors closer to your organization. Phoning a donor on her birthday is a move. Having lunch with the donor is a move. Mailing the donor a personal, informative and engaging letter is a move.
The key to successful moves management is documenting every move, preferably in a database. Every time you perform a move, you should record the following:
- What is the name of the donor?
- Where did the meeting or event take place?
- On what date and at what time?
- Who was present at the meeting or event (prospect, staff, volunteers, others)?
- What information did you convey during the visit or event?
- What happened during the meeting or event (comments, concerns, objections, questions)?
- What materials did you distribute or leave behind, if any?
- What is the next step?
- Who will perform the next step?
- When is the next step to be performed?
Donor cultivation, and moves management, only work when they are planned and documented. You plan beforehand and you document afterwards. You plan because donor cultivation never happens on its own. It is not deadline-driven the way a Christmas direct-mail appeal is. And you document your cultivation steps and moves because you forget stuff otherwise.
Remember that moves management is all about relationships, not ratios, keeping donors, not keeping records. If you put your donors first in all that you do, and if you plan beforehand and document afterwards, the money will follow.
You might be interested in…
Uncovering Local Millionaires.
Presenter: Alan Sharpe. Learn how to recognize, find and approach undiscovered millionaires in your city. Three sessions. Over four hours of audio recording, 139 pages of full-color handouts and an 89-page electronic transcript.
Learn the proven, step-by-step process for raising funds and friends cost effectively, year after year.
Handbook Number 25
Find, feature and format other people’s words to overcome donor skepticism, prove your point, build trust and attract donations.