5 Signs You’re Ready for Prospect Management

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Are you ready to implement or improve prospect management in your fundraising office? Prospect management comprises the processes and systems used to track prospective major gift donors before, throughout, and after the major gift cultivation and solicitation cycle. It’s a combination of database processes and business practices that help you stay focused and move major donors to contribute generously to your organization.

If 3 or more of these 5 things are true, it’s time to think about your prospect management system.

1.       You’re starting or revving up your individual major gifts program. Being able to manage relationships with individual donors and to get a bird’s-eye view of your prospect pool are important aspects of successfully growing major giving.

2.       Your database workflow and data hygiene are solid in critical areas: biographical data, gift data, reporting. You have a good foundation to build on, and now is a good time to use your database to its full potential.

3.       You are concerned with creating and maintaining an institutional memory. You want to be sure your organization is prepared to continue conversations with individual donors, regardless of staff turnover.

4.       You’ve begun to worry that some prospective donors are falling through the cracks. Sticky notes are no longer working to keep track of complex relationships.

5.       You want to build more personal and direct relationships with your constituents. Your database can support you in creating and carrying out personalized engagement plans.


What should your database be able to do to support prospect management? You may need to track some or all of these elements. Generally, you’ll want to start implementing your system from the top of this list to the bottom:

1.       Interactions and conversations with individual donors

2.       Next steps planned with individual donors

3.       Planned asks to individual donors

4.       Staff and volunteers assigned to cultivate donors

5.       Prospect status (where are they at in the cycle from identification to discovery to active engagement)

6.       Ratings (financial capacity, affinity/engagement)

7.       Funding interests


Not sure where to start with implementing or improving your prospect management system? Check out our webinar Prospect Management: Focus on Your Best Prospects.

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Amanda JarmanComment