No matter how skilled or experienced a fundraising professional may be, it is good to reflect regularly on the fundamentals, including the importance of continually transitioning prospects to donors and deepening donor relationships. Here are tips on using a team approach with prospect-donor tasks:

Don’t settle or stay stuck

Regularly review donor and prospect lists with a goal of moving individuals along in their connections with the nonprofit. Pay attention to who isn’t moving from prospect to donor and from donor to higher levels of giving. Then, identify and acknowledge why some donors and prospects are not moving through the pipeline in a timely manner. Don’t settle for the status quo. Make plans and implement strategies for getting prospects and donors unstuck and moving forward. If you run out of ideas, seek team input.

Schedule a team huddle

Gather a group of individuals who understand and believe in the organization’s mission, vision and priorities. This could be a development team or other engaged staff members. Share scenarios where donors or prospects appear to be stuck in the pipeline. Let the team know any actions that have already been attempted, and ask for their honest feedback and fresh ideas. Develop new strategies and begin implementing and evaluating them.

Stay positive and seek input

Taking a positive point of view will help fundraisers and team members be more creative and innovative. Resist any temptation to put development activities on cruise control or skip steps along the way. Stay flexible and open minded.

Developing smart, tailored strategies for individual donors and prospects is an essential part of a fundraiser’s work, but it doesn’t need to be tackled alone. Taking the time to organize, schedule and facilitate regular strategy discussions with team members helps provide the vulnerability and ingenuity necessary to get unstuck, stay unstuck and get things moving again.

Kevin Williamson
Associate Consultant
[email protected]