With the dog days of summer around the corner, the office is a little quiet and the inbox doesn’t fill up quite as quickly. It’s a great time to step back and tackle some bigger issues that are usually on the back burner.
What’s next? And where’s it coming from?
Those are two of the biggest questions facing any team of major gift officers. Celebrate a big gift for a few minutes, then get to work on the next one. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.
For managers of gift officers, making sure there’s a constant pool of new prospects to fill out the pipeline is a big part of the job.
If you feel like you’ve maxed out all your usual avenues to do so, take some time this summer to set up new systems that can bring in a whole bunch of new names for your team.
Shared Prospect Pools
Even if you’ve already got robust portfolios and an army of gift officers, you’re not going to be able to keep tabs on every single one of your prospects. Even ones with some pretty hefty capacity can fly under the radar.
That’s why shared prospect pools can be so useful.
Work with your research department (or use EverTrue!) to set up some shared prospect pools. You should establish parameters that make sense for your organizational goals, but here’s an example. The University of Memphis have a list any gift officer can tap into at any time. To make the list, a prospect must be unassigned, have a high-ranking job title, have a lifetime giving history of at least $1K and a strong likelihood for major giving.
Then that list continually rebuilds itself (if it’s in EverTrue, anyway). It refreshes as alums hit those qualifiers, mean the list is always growing behind the scenes.
And when a gift officer needs to fill out a trip or needs to add a few new prospects to their portfolio, they can pull up the list, segment it further based on their own needs, and start some discovery work.
Alert for New Ratings
Prospects are changing all the time. They’re getting new jobs, receiving inheritances or moving into new phases of life.
It’s a lot to keep up with. We can barely keep track when that stuff happens with our friends and family. So you it’s tough to expect that your team will know if something major changes with a prospect they don’t even know about yet.
Luckily, they don’t have to. Pick a few meaningful benchmarks that match up with your institution’s historical benchmarks (or some aspirational new one), start up a list that filters on them and, boom, you’ll get a notification when someone’s profile updates and they meet your standards for a major gift.
With just a little bit of upfront work, your pipeline practically grows by itself.
You can take alerts a step further to really zero in on prospects. If certain gift officers are focused exclusively on one particular region that tends to have a concentration of alumni, they don’t have to canvas your database forever to find who is worth talking to. Instead, they can set up alerts specific to the area.
For example, create alerts that let you know anytime a gift of $500 or more is made. Or if a person with a certain threshold of wealth moves into the area, find out right away. EverTrue alerts are incredibly malleable, so if you can dream it, you can probably do it.
It takes a lot of the leg work out of building pipeline, allowing gift officers to focus on what they do best: Building relationships.
That’s wraps up our Summer Checklist for managers of gift officers. Later this week we’ll start talking about what the Annual Fund can do as the summer heats up.