Summer Checklist for Gift Officers: Optimize Your Time on the Road

The dog days of summer are officially here. The office is a little quieter and the only thing filling up your inbox are Out of Office replies. It’s a great time to step back and tackle some bigger issues that usually sit on the back burner. Welcome to our Summer Checklist for Gift Officers.

Optimize Your Time on the Road

Fire up your favorite road trip playlist because we’re going on an adventure. Or at least gift officers are. But fear not, this post won’t be full of our favorite driving songs (although, while we’re on the subject, you’ll never go wrong with anything by Tom Petty).

 Soundtrack or not, gift officers are gearing up to start hitting the road again this fall. While not all the action happens off campus, that’s where plenty of it takes place. When you’re on a trip, you need to be focused on improving relationships and closing gifts. Not directions, lost contact reports and hotel reservations. 

To stay focused on the task at hand, you need to not only consolidate and modernize the logistics work but make it easier to access information as well. If you can make working from the road as easy as working from the office, then all those hours of travel will be more worth it than ever before.

Plan Everything in One Place

First things first: A prospecting trip has a lot of moving parts. You’ve got a million meetings, a few flights, a rental car and a hotel. Oh, and don’t forget those dinner, lunch and coffee meetings, each one at a different location and none in the same section of town.

How are you going to focus on what a prospect is trying to tell you if you’re not sure how to get to your next meeting and it starts making you worried that you’ll be late? It’d be awfully tricky. And you might miss out on a clue that you’ve actually got room to increase your ask. You don’t want that. We don’t want that. No one wants that, really.

Instead, keep everything in one place. And we’re talking everything. Like every little aspect of your trip. In the EverTrue mobile app you can keep a running list of all your meetings as well as add your travel and lodging info so everything is in one centralized location. Plus, on each meeting you’ve got lined up, you can link directly to the profile for the donor you’re seeing. That means no more printouts, since it’s all right there on your phone. See who’s next on your schedule then pull up their information with one click so you can refresh your memory and walk in with all the knowledge you need. 

Google Maps is right there waiting for you, too, meaning you can quickly navigate from meeting to meeting or see if traffic is going to be an issue then find an alternate route.

With everything in one place, you’ll never be scattered again, literally or mentally.

Find Filler Meetings in a Flash

Death, taxes and a prospect you flew across the country specifically to see cancelling your meeting 2 hours ahead of time. 

That’s how that saying goes, right?

If you make it easier to find filler meetings, those cancellations don’t have to sting quite as much. Previously you might’ve been stuck sitting at a coffee shop, randomly asking your network if they knew of anyone in the area worth meeting on short notice.

With full access to your database and intuitive filters and segments quickly available, you don’t have to sit and hope something pops up. Search for prospects who live or work directly in your area. Then layer in some filters to make sure they’re qualified and worth meeting. You might have to alter your criteria slightly since your hands are slightly tied, but one meeting is better than no meeting. 

Once you’ve got a list to work off, start contacting people from there and, boom, you’ll likely have yourself a meeting that’ll take some of the sting out of that cancellation.

Collaborate More

Alright, this one might be a little bit of a stretch but hear us out. Gift officers are often thought of as the lone wolves of the fundraising department. And that’s never more true than when you’re out on the road. You’re disconnected from the office, trying to figure things out on your own.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. This year make it a focus to bring more collaboration to your work. If you hit a roadblock or you’re stuck on a challenge with prospect when you’re out on the road, fall back on your colleagues for some assistance. Depending on the size of your team, there’s likely someone who’s faced a similar issue or had a related question to what you’re facing. Run it by the team and see if anyone has strategies or advice for dealing with the situation.

 You can do this all the time, not just when you’re out on the road, of course, but sometimes you feel those challenges more acutely when you’re away from the office, so a little support will be extra welcomed when you’re traveling. 

See the full Summer Checklist for Gift Officers here.