We are deep in the season of giving. The end of the year is just around the corner. Even with all the hustle and bustle, this is the perfect time for you to have at least one touchpoint with every single prospect in your portfolio.
That’s right. We’re talking 100% portfolio coverage. By the end of the year.
Think: monthly touchpoint plans, paying attention to prospects’ Facebook engagement, tracking donor interests, and proactive outreach planning…
Why is 100% portfolio coverage so elusive?
So, here’s the situation. We looked at portfolios across our EverTrue database and found that on average, gift officers log interactions with less than half of the assigned prospects in their portfolio every year.
This stat really had us stumped. On average, less than 3% of alumni are assigned to a gift officer portfolio. So, shouldn’t all those prospects who “make the cut” hear from their assigned 1-1 liaison at least once each year?
We dug in deeper and here’s what we found for reasons why many gift officers DON’T reach 100% portfolio coverage every year.
We address some of these big-picture issues in our recent post about the Great Advancement Resignation.
And we think others can be addressed simply by having the right strategy to harness the power of the right technology, all brought to life by the right people (you).
Why does 100% portfolio coverage matter?
Building relationships with major donors and prospects through highly-personalized, 1-1 outreach is mission-critical. Here’s some proof:
- Andrew Westhouse at UVA re-engaged a disillusioned alumna around a matching challenge in honor of her favorite professor. She committed to a five-figure gift after their 1-1 conversation.
- Sarah Sibilsky at Texas Christian University had three 1-1 conversations with a previously disengaged alumnus. The alum then committed to a $100k scholarship with the business school.
- Donors who had a 1-1 meeting with one of our Donor Experience Officers gave 98% more than they did in the prior year.
Building 1-1 relationships with donors is imperative for major gift pipeline. For donor experience. For the future of your institution. And for the bottom line.
And, because most prospects in major gift portfolio are purposefully removed from your institution’s mass appeals, news, and invitations, if you (their assigned gift officer) aren’t reaching out, that means no one is.
We took ideas from the most productive gift officers in the game and summed up these easy, creative, and effective ways to deepen relationships with every prospect in your portfolio: the super-engaged ones, the hard-to-reach ones, the inherited ones, and the slow-burning ones.
Each tip has simple steps for how to connect with all the folks in your portfolio by year-end with the help of EverTrue. And if you don’t have EverTrue, the tips are a bit more manual, but we suggested work-arounds.
Tip #1: Be a confident creator.
Broad strokes marketing doesn’t inspire people into action anymore. Providing personalized content at scale is a skill that we all need to sharpen. Learn more.
Tip #2: What to talk to prospects about – and when.
Here are a few ways to consistently talk to your prospects about things they care about through cadence outreach fueled by digital engagement insights. Check it out.
Tip #3: How to be more organized.
With a big portfolio and lofty revenue goals, time is of the essence. There are two easy ways to make the most of each week: Lean into noteworthy occasions, and rely more on your teammates. Here’s how.
Tip #4: Deliver value. Every time.
With a big portfolio and big number goals, time is of the essence. There are two easy ways to make the most of each week: Lean into noteworthy occasions, and rely more on your teammates. Here’s how.
Tip #5: Lean into the breakup.
We’re not too big to admit that, in love and in fundraising, there comes a time when we must move on and make room for something new. We wrote a prospect breakup letter for you. It’ll get responses.
You are your assigned prospects’ main conduit to your institution. So it’s really important for you to reach everyone in your portfolio at least once each year.
Put simply, reaching 100% of the prospects in your portfolio is just the right thing to do!