Tips for gift officers: What should I talk to prospects about – and when?

Portfolio Coverage - tip 2
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We recently sat down with Anne Murphy at the Oregon State University Foundation about 100% portfolio coverage: why it’s elusive, why it matters, and how to get there by the end of the year. 

Anne gave us ten easy, effective ways to deepen relationships with every single prospect in your portfolio: the super-engaged ones, the hard-to-reach ones, the inherited ones, the slow-burning ones. 

We’re going to break down these tips one-by-one in this series. If you have EverTrue, we’ll walk you through the how-to for each tip using our platform. If you don’t have EverTrue, these techniques are a lot more manual, but we suggested some work-arounds.

Because, put simply, reaching 100% of your portfolio is just the right thing to do!

Last week’s tips focused on how to be a confident creator.

This week’s tips for gift officers answers cover what to talk to you prospects about, and when. Here’s why:

  • Donors in portfolios usually don’t get mass appeals/stewardship – so they hear way less from the institution than annual donors of $5 donors do. 
  • The average gift officer logs interactions with less than half of their assigned prospects each year.

For your assigned prospects, YOU are the conduit to your institution. If you aren’t reaching them, no one is! Here are a few ways to consistently talk to your prospects about things they care about through cadence outreach fueled by digital engagement insights.

I have those cadences there for me. They tell me what I need to do. And each day, I do those things, I check the box, and I keep on moving... I'm able to put more into the actual work - like making sure that the messages are great, making sure that the video's on point, making sure that the links work, and putting energy into the quality of the content rather than the cells in my Excel spreadsheet."

Anne Murphy, Senior Director of Development, Oregon State University

1. Cadence outreach

What’s a cadence? Well, it’s basically a pre-written touchpoint plan that helps you automate the process so that you can personalize the experience.

With EverTrue’s DX Starter Kit, we wrote a 30-day cadence for you, including a detailed, one-month outreach calendar; four email templates, including an intro email and a breakup email, a LinkedIn message request template, and a phone call and voicemail guide. 

Here’s a bonus EverTrue tip. You can use our Trips & Meetings feature to build a “virtual trip” each month of every donor you want to contact, and keep track of outreach to those folks. It’s like creating a mini portfolio of people that really need some TLC.

Trips & Meetings
Combine virtual trips and in-person meetings on your EverTrue dashboard.

Not using EverTrue yet?

Without EverTrue, you can still download our DX Starter Kit, which has a sample outreach calendar and some suggested text that you can use in your multi-step outreach to prospects.  You can track all of these steps in a good old spreadsheet. It’s nowhere near as fun or intuitive as using EverTrue, but the important thing is to regularly remind yourself to stay in touch with your people.

Or request a demo today and learn how to achieve 100% portfolio coverage with EverTrue.

2. Build on digital engagement.

When your alums raise their virtual hands to show you that they love you – pay attention!

11+ likes on Facebook means the constituent is 62.4% likely to be a donor. And participation from digitally engaged constituents is 3.4x’s higher than average. (Check out our digital ROI guide.)

Pay attention to digital engagement!

With EverTrue saved searches, keeping up with digital engagement insights is easy. You can receive automatic alerts when someone in your portfolio engages with a post on your school’s Facebook page. And then you can reach out to those engagers with a related link to build on their interests.

Not using EverTrue yet?

Without EverTrue, you can go to your school’s Facebook page and take a look at who’s engaging. It’s time consuming, but you might just catch one of your prospects engaging – and then you can reach out to them. Pro-tip… look at who’s commenting. They’re often your most engaged constituents.

Or request a demo today and learn how to achieve 100% portfolio coverage with EverTrue.

3. Speak to donors’ interests.

All of today’s most successful ecommerce companies show us (their customers) that they know us by remembering our buying patterns and preferences. We have to use the same approach  in order to deepen relationships with alums.

With EverTrue’s TrueView profiles, we take your constituent information and connect it to your donors’ digital footprints, giving you an always-fresh, always up-to-date profile. TrueView profiles show alums’ interests, digital engagement, past giving, jobs, newly acquired assets all in one place. That means you can pull up any person in EverTrue and get a sense of their engagement, what they care about, and what giving opportunities they might be interested in.

Polite Persistence - TrueView Profile

Not using EverTrue yet?

Without EverTrue, to speak to your donors’ interests, you’ll have to do some good old fashioned internet sleuthing to see what they’re up to on the big wide web.

Or request a demo today and learn how to achieve 100% portfolio coverage with EverTrue.

ICYMI: Here’s our full webinar with ALL the tips featuring Anne Murphy, Mike Nagel, and Other Mike Nagel. Watch this terrific trio in action:

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