When you’ve heard the term “moves management,” have you glossed right over it, dismissing it as something for large organizations to worry about?
If so, it is quite understandable, since the information on this subject is usually written from the context of a large organization or university with a huge development staff.
But small and mid-size organizations need to work on making this a part of their every day activities.
It doesn’t have to be complicated process. But it does require an investment of time, deep, proactive thinking, and a rock solid commitment to putting the plan into action.
What is moves management again?
Also known as “constituent relationship management (CRM)” particularly in the context of donor databases, moves management is the process of identifying your most loyal donors, and systematically cultivating and nurturing them with the purpose of retaining and upgrading their giving level as it becomes appropriate.
In the important context of major donors, the goal is to identify your prospective major donors and, over a period of years cultivate a relationship with them so that they will be ready to support your cause at a major gifts level at the right time.
You’ll also want to identify loyal mid-level donors and develop a plan to upgrade their giving as well. Over time, these often ignored mid-level folks can be worth as much to your organization as a major donor.
To make this happen, you’ll need to establish a plan that can be followed from year to year so that it becomes a routine process. This way, your organization will avoid constantly reinventing the wheel with each new staff member. You won’t have to waste time determining what to do each year.
By investing in the hard work up front you’ll establish activities that will become ingrained into the everyday fundraising work of your organization.
But where to start?
Let’s assume you’ve already done the hard work of:
1) Segmenting your donors into workable groups
2) Determining how to track as a group within your donor database
Then you’ll need to:
3) Determine the actions you can reasonably take with each group (i.e. establish a realistic communications plan).
4) Determine how you will manage your donors as individuals (i.e. keep notes about them and follow up with them) once the activity has been completed.
For example, let’s say you’ve has identified 120 mid-level donors, which your organization defines as “donors who have given $250 consistently over the last 2 or more years.” Now you actually need to do something with them.
First, do some prospect research. Is there anything that suggests they might have the capacity to give at a greater level? If so, you’ll need to be able to note that in an individual donor’s record.
Next, you decide you want your board members to write each of these good prospects a personal thank you note for their annual gift.
Establish a procedure around this task: Each donor who falls into this group will be specifically asked to repeat their gift at this level through your year-end appeal.
The following year, ask the responders to increase their gift to $500.
When a donor responds with a gift or other action, be sure it is noted in their individual record so that you can follow up with them individually.
We’ll also need to analyze the effectiveness of the activity to see if it is worth repeating in future years.
Because we took the time to thoughtfully establish a routine for this particular group, we’ll have a plan of action ready to go next year once new mid-level donors have been identified!
Yes, it takes considerable time and brain power to establish these plans and routines. But for those who take the time to do this work, they will undoubtedly reap an amazing return on their effort.