Prospecting and Proposals

Having the ability to build out comprehensive donor profiles is important, as many organizations want to use all this tracking data to develop plans to cultivate donors and deepen relationships. These can range from simple follow-up actions for new donors, such as phone calls, to more complex “moves management” plans for donor relationship development. The systems we reviewed vary widely in their support for this functionality. Most systems let you assign a status or priority (or both) to each donor. This helps you understand how they fit in with your fundraising action plan—for instance, whether they’re a “sure thing” you should definitely solicit, a “lapsed” donor that may need a different approach, or an “unlikely” donor—and then use that information in queries and reports. Many systems will also let you track which staff member is responsible for relationships. These seemingly straightforward fields can be very useful—for example, each staff member could easily generate a list of major donors they should call. Some systems go a step further and let you set up complex prospect workflows that define sequential stages and track your donors through them. These workflows can help organize the most appropriate solicitor action for different prospecting stages. Some…