A well-developed moves management program can provide a powerful foundation for your major gift cultivation strategy.
But where to begin?
Pitching a new process at work can be intimidating, so we’re taking out the guesswork to make it easier. Here’s everything you need to know about launching a successful moves management program:
What is Moves Management?
Most nonprofits have a moves management program that identifies and classifies their constituents and then attempts to “move” them to a higher giving or engagement level. The process of keeping an eye on these activities is known as moves management.
Whether you’re a small organization with limited resources or a larger organization with advanced research analytic capabilities, the key elements for a successful moves management program are the same:
- Donor Levels: Knowing where a donor “is” before the donor can be “moved”
- Ex: subscriber, occasional giver, sustainer
- Action Plans: Developing an action plan to move constituents at each donor level.
- Ex: call donors who attended your last event
- Measurements: Quantitatively measuring the results of the action plans.
- Ex: percentage of donors who responded to a solicitation email
- Refactoring Process: Analyzing the measurements and making adjustments to the action plans based on said analysis; the best organizations refactor constantly.
- Ex: call rather than mail donors who gave more than $100 to thank them
Start by Identifying Key Drivers
In the beginning, too many organizations spend too much time identifying their donor levels and establishing action plans with specific goals. These plans and goals are shared with executives and/or the board but then rarely work out as expected.
The truth is, while it would be great to have the best action plan for each donor at the very start of your program, it’s not very realistic.
In fact, setting goals at the beginning of the program may not be helpful, either. What’s most important is identifying the key “drivers” — what makes someone more likely to move from non-donor to donor, from an occasional giver to a monthly giver, or from a monthly giver to a major donor.
These key drivers are the foundation of your moves management program. Once the key they’re identified, then you can move on to developing and testing your action plan.
How Can I Best Analyze My Organization’s Drivers?
Every organization is different, so it’s important to start with the areas that make the most sense for your nonprofit. And where can you find those? The answer lies in your data.
For example, most volunteers tend to be bigger givers than non-volunteers. So volunteering may be a “driver” for donations in your organization. Analyze your data to see if that’s true. If it is, then work on an action plan to encourage more volunteerism.
Often the best way to identify drivers is to identify people who have recently moved from one level to another and ask them what drove them to “move” to the next level. This can be done a few different ways (online survey, asking via email, etc.) but when working with someone who recently became a major donor, we recommend asking during your ‘thank you’ call.
When you have gathered enough data on what is driving your donors to give more, you can use that information to further build out your moves management strategy.
Track and record this data in your CRM using Neon’s moves management function. That way, donors that are identified as key prospects can easily be excluded from any mass communications. This reduces the risk of donor fatigue, or them giving volunteer time in lieu of a financial gift.
Refactoring for Long Term Success
Once effective action plans are developed, too many organizations stop refactoring because they believe that they have found the moves management plan that works for them – as they say, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.
This is understandable, but refactoring doesn’t need to be a complete change. We advise making a 10% change even if you believe your current course of action is effective and a 30% change when you’re looking for big improvements.
What does a 10% change look like? Making a small tweak at a given donor level, then measuring and analyzing the results.
This process is known as refactoring. It can also be seen as continuous improvement or continuous experimentation. No matter what, the ability for your organization to make a meaningful connection with your prospects should be the ultimate goal of any moves management program.
With these key practices in place, you will be on your way to making a true long term impact on your organization’s sustainability.
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