Tips for structuring the fundraiser workweek

Blog thumbnail_Tips for structuring a fundraiser's workweek

Donor Experience Officers (DXOs) have personalized contact with an average of 25 new prospects each week, and about 1,000 new folks each year. Here’s advice from a DXO on how to structure a fundraiser workweek that maximizes efficiency and minimizes burnout.

Our Donor Experience partners across the country employ tech-powered Donor Experience Officers who cultivate relationships with 1,000 donors each (that’s about 8x the size of traditional gift officer portfolios).

With EverTrue’s tech suite and coaching, Donor Experience Officers (DXOs) build relationships with each of these long-overlooked prospects by reaching out to about 25 new prospects each week and keeping in touch through prescriptive and personalized cadenced touchpoints. 

Donor Experience Officers are, by the nature of their positions, highly productive individuals. And there are some DXOs, like Abby Simmerman, who are highly highly productive… like, off-the-charts productive. Abby reaches out to about 50 new prospects each week in her role as a DXO at the University of Virginia.

We recently asked Abby the question: How does a fundraiser maintain that level of politely persistent outreach, show up prepared for all those donor meetings, and steward the gifts that come in as a result – without burning out? 

Abby’s answer? You have to strategically and intentionally structure each workweek. 

Here are some of her top tips.

  1. Start each day by “eating the frog.” In other words, tackle your most difficult/least pleasant task first thing in the morning. Get it out of the way so that you can move on to other easier/more pleasant tasks. 
  2. Group like tasks together. While you’re in “prospect research” mode, stay in that mode. While you’re in the mode of answering quick one-off emails, stick with it. 
  3. Plan ahead for no-meeting days. We all are familiar with the too-many-meetings dilemma. Intentionally block a day (or even half a day) each week when you can have free-flowing productivity time. And guard it!
  4. Pull stories from a content library. Build up a stock of impact stories that you are familiar with and can pull from as you reach out to donors. (And/or partner with your Marketing and Communications team to build out this content library.) Bonus points if your story library is searchable or sortable by impact area or fundraising priority.
  5. Store the moments that make it all worth it in a “Smile File.” Keeping a light-hearted approach to a really busy workweek benefits everyone. Intentionally documenting the happy and satisfying moments will cement them in your memory and give you a handy repository that you can reference on the days when things feel like a real grind.

Abby recently joined EverTrue Donor Experience Program Manager Anthony Munoz to share her tips for planning out a workweek that maximizes efficiency and minimizes burnout on an episode of DXbyET, a video series that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the high-velocity re-engagement programs that are changing the fundraising game.

Tune in here for stealable ways to make your weeks more productive and enjoyable. 

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