ARTICLE: Moves Management Best Practices

February 23, 2018

The steps you take to acquire donors and gifts — such as when you visit prospects, ask for donations, and cultivate donor relationships — are known as moves. With moves management, your organization uses a set system of policies, procedures, and practices to help guide these steps and increase the success rate of your fundraising efforts. An effective moves management process moves prospects through a series of milestones as they transition to engaged donors and helps improve your overall constituent relationships, solicitation strategy, and goal analysis. As you determine your organization's moves management process, we recommend you consider these best practices:


1. Set goals.

To help motivate fundraisers and track their progress, define a series of short, intermediate, and long-term benchmarks for your moves management process. Determine what you're trying to accomplish with moves management — such as total dollars raised or the total number of moves per prospect within a specific time frame — and set measurable, quantifiable goals to track their progress and verify completion.


2. Plan which information to track.

After you set benchmarks and define your objectives, determine whether the information your development officers currently track helps achieve those goals and whether additional details would help cultivate relationships with donors and prospects. For more personal relationships, consider a constituent's biographical information, hobbies and interests, relationships, and giving history with your organization. With these details, you can personalize interactions and tailor moves to each prospect or donor.


3. Track actions taken.

In addition to a prospect's personal information, we recommend you track the actions a fundraiser takes to cultivate the relationship, such as phone calls and correspondence, personal meetings, and any tasks performed. These details help provide an overview of the constituent's relationship with your organization and can help plan and personalize their next moves.


4. Establish your moves management process.

After you determine which information to track, implement procedures to ensure its accuracy. Design a policy to save all constituent interactions and moves, and ensure everyone knows what to track. To help create an accurate, comprehensive view of your constituents, consolidate external information — such as spreadsheets of last year's donors and who attended the gala event — into your database, where everyone can access and share. Once you implement a policy to track accurate information, build on that foundation for a full moves management process.

  • Determine how your organization identifies prospects, such as through giving history, wealth analytics, or word of mouth. Once prospects are identified, use internal and external research to rate their inclination and capacity to give, and keep their ratings current based on interactions and additional research.
  • To help transition prospects to engaged donors, assign them to fundraisers to cultivate their relationships.

Tip: For personal, attentive interactions, don't overload fundraisers with too many relationships. To balance assignments, determine a fundraiser-to-prospect ratio based on your organization's goals, resources, time constraints, and needs. For example, to successfully manage their moves, each fundraiser should have a certain number of identified, qualified, and cultivated prospects.

  • To track constituents as they transition through your moves management process, set up statuses for each stage of your prospect pipeline, such as Identification, Qualification, Cultivation, Solicitation, and Stewardship.
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