Moves management is the process of moving a donor prospect from identification to major gift. Also known as prospect management, when you throw those terms into a search engine most of the results are for software companies, especially donor database companies. But I argue that moves management is not primarily a software solution but sincerely a *people* solution!
A database is a tool. Its importance increases as the number of an organization’s donors and friends increases. We need our donor database to keep track of gifts and all of the other information and tasks surrounding our donors and friends.
The more gift officers and the more major gift prospects you have, the more important it is to use your database in your moves management system. But beware! Anytime you spend more time typing into your database than you do talking with your prospects, you will struggle to raise enough money.
Moving a prospect usually requires a pretty intense relationship over a year or two. You need to discover her interests and motivations for giving and connect her in a very personal way to your organization. What if you have 100 prospects being moved? How about 300? And what if you have 3 gift officers moving prospects? Or 5, or 10, or more?
Now you seriously need a system!
Pretend you are an astronaut looking down on earth. Now pretend you are consultant looking at an organization from a distance. This organization has a moves management system humming along. You notice there are three gears in motion producing consistent relationships with prospects capable of making a major gift. These gears are:
Moves – Actions with prospects are deliberate and planned (and tracked in the database).
Reports – Regular printed reports are reviewed and regular meetings are held to build internal skills and keep all the moving parts in balance
Can you do moves management without a database? Of course you can! You could keep track of your gifts in Excel too, but it is rarely the best solution.
Mastering moves management requires learning the balance for your organization between the three moving gears:
- How many ratings do you need to stay on path with the most capable prospects?
- How will you plan for moves, make your moves, and record your moves?
- What measurements should you report on to keep you accountable?
- How often should you meet and who should meet to keep your major gifts program growing?
Everything in our world is in constant flux. Moves management requires re-balancing as your major gifts program grows and changes. If you keep the emphasis on the moves – on the in-person interactions with your donor prospects – everything else will find its place.
Have you mastered your moves?