What’s your pool like? Small and rubbish? Or just underdeveloped?
4 years ago… A handful of donors with a handful of dollars 4 fundraisers in need of prospects Someone new to prospect research as the sole resource A database with little or no details with lots of missing information No fundraising projects or ‘case for support’ Main aim = as many high wealth donors in front of fundraisers as possible As a result = bag and tag as many suspects/prospects as possible
As a result… Good working and intelligent prospect pipeline tool A number of high level donors met giving within a short period of time However… Focus on new donors with not enough focus on progressing new prospects Pipeline blocked resulting in issues with fundraisers moving prospects along
Models of prospect pools How many prospects do your (full-time) fundraisers have allocated to them on average? 100? 150? 200? 250+?
Models of prospect pools What are the benefits of a large pool versus a smaller pool? More prospects to see Better chance of hitting targets by seeing more people Higher targets from estimated wealth of pool
Models of prospect pools What are the negatives of having a large pool versus a smaller pool? Ability to prioritise prospects Focus on higher wealth individuals Ability to meet as many prospects as possible - only 250 working days in a year so time is tight Ability to build a meaningful relationship with a prospect Hoarding of prospects by fundraisers or a reluctance to let go
Example: Pool Size –v– Contact Pool No SizeContact in the last year Last contact 1-2 years Last contact >2 years No personal contact 1112 88%8%3%<1% 2349 65%17%8%10% 3127 98%2% - - 4140 67%25%5%3% 591 85%12% -3% n.b. personal contact judged as face-to-face, telephone call, email (Source: University Of Strathclyde)
North American models DePaul University – Chicago (2010) University of Chicago (2010) Northwestern University – Chicago (2010) Loyola University – Chicago (2010) Illinois Institute of Technology – Chicago (2010) University of Texas, Austin (2011) Majority had the pressure of researchers populating pools of 150 – 300+ active prospects Apart from DePaul University
DePaul University - Chicago 6 years into their first ever campaign, target of $250M over 8 years After two years decision made to reassess how their fundraisers worked and the best way of utilizing their prospect pools Poll of other universities showed pools ranging from 150 to 300+ Decision taken to review Major Gift productivity
DePaul University - Chicago All 40 fundraisers now have a pool of 75 split into Top 50 and Hot 25 An ask to be made of their Hot 25 within that financial year Top 50 filtered to identify the prospects to take up the spots in the Hot 25 the following year Monthly targets now based on a monetary basis rather than on number of meetings alone
DePaul University - Chicago Targets set for each fundraiser across the year with quarterly breakdowns based on productivity: Contacts Face to face Solicitations Proposals Major Gifts Additional fundraising support
DePaul University – Chicago As a result: Each fundraiser a ‘project manager’ Freedom for researchers Full accountability Increased productivity and development Greater levels of co-operation amongst fundraisers Identifies goals and sets a structure to help measure success for all fundraisers $250M raised after 6 years, 2 years ahead of target
Fundraiser accountability and effectiveness How are your fundraisers measured in terms of their success and effectiveness? Cold hard cash? Number of asks? Number of proposals? Number of meetings? Number of contacts with prospects? Number of progressions through the cultivation cycle?