Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thoughts on the start of the year

At the start of every fiscal year there is the anticipation of new and better things and the feeling of opportunity.  One of the things that occurs to me every year is that we need to do a better job in certain aspects of our profession and the aspect that recurs to me on a regular basis is the pipeline.  In my office, I generally refer to our role at the top of the pipeline as identification and or qualification of prospects but that terminology does nothing to affect what that means - starting the process active fundraising and filtering out the small percentage of folks who can make a substantial difference.

In order to accomplish the second portion of that task we have taken a different approach this year.  We purchased NOZA data, predictive modelling providing both estimated household and disposable incomes and have used that to create a qualification pool of alumni.  This was further targeted by removing all constituents who have already been contacted or attempted from a personal contact standpoint and then geographically limited the pool to within an hour of campus (being in NY, that is a huge population so it just isn't worth the time and effort to travel too far until we have worked the local population.)

These prospect are assigned to annual giving officers as 50% of their job with goals of attempting 100% of the pool (each has 300) at least 5 times, contacting 50% and visiting 30%.  Each visit will comprise of a engagement conversation and solicitation with an expectation of adding a small number of new annual leadership donors, increasing the major gift pool and working through the database to identify whom we should be working with in a quick and effective manner.  Low cost, high return and lots of shoe leather will take that concern about the pipeline from a negative to a positive by this time next summer.


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