The Essence of Moves Management
Define moves management.
One person said: Moves management is a system of policies, procedures and practices that directs the actions a nonprofit takes to bring in donors, forge relationships and generate major gifts.
Another said: “Moves management is the process of managing donor relationships in order to secure a gift.”
Wikipedia defines moves management as “…the process by which a prospective donor is moved from cultivation to solicitation.”
And finally: “A series of clearly defined actions (moves) carefully planned to ‘move’ a potential donor over the course of a year toward making a specific donation.”
Notice that embedded in each of these definitions is a progression of actions over time with the objective of securing a gift. This is good AND true.
But none of these definitions really capture the main idea or essence of moves management, which is to match the donor’s interests and passions to the needs of people and/or the planet as served by the organization.
Now, you might think this is a tiny thing — that it’s all the same. That planning action item to get the money is the same as matching interests and passions of the donor to a need. It’s really not the same. In fact, there is a huge difference.
One has an intention to get the money. The other has an intention to match the donor’s interests and passions to a need. The result may be the same (i.e. the money), but the path and spirit of each is different. And matching the interests and passion of a donor to a need is far more satisfying to a donor because:
- She doesn’t have to hang on to her purse since the main thing is that it is not about the money.
- You’re talking about things he is interested in, so it helps him relax and listen to what you have to say.
- It truly fulfills a deep need she has.
- It reframes your relationship to him as an advisor and trusted counselor not a fundraiser.
If you, as a major gift officer, are doing the matching properly, you don’t have to worry about frequency of contact, type of messaging and all the things a classic moves manager is worried about. Why? Because there is a natural cadence of things and more energy comes from the donor than in the other system.
Just stop and think about how things work with you. Pick a cause you are really interested in — I mean REALLY interested. It grips your mind and your heart. You wish you were a billionaire, so you could just take care of it. It grabs you. You think about it frequently. It could even be a slight pain or anxious thought — you just wish it could be taken care of.
That is what it’s like for me on the subject of human trafficking or abuse of children or torture in any form. I just wish I could take care of it all. It is lodged deep in my being as something that I long to deal with in any way I can. It almost hurts not to deal with it.
Along you come and provide a way to fulfill my longings. What a gift! You mean I can do all of that for an investment of $X? I will get way more joy out of that then you will get from getting my gift. Believe me.
And that is how it works. You have come alongside a donor and fulfill a deep longing. And the result is money. It is a far better path to go down than reaching into the donor’s purse.
So, when you sit down to design a move on your plan for your donor — and this is something that you should do with every donor — ask yourself the following question: “Will this move get me closer to fulfilling this donor’s interests and passions?” If it will, keep going. If not, start over. And when you start over stop thinking about the money.
If you’re hanging with Richard it won’t be long before you’ll be laughing.
He always finds something funny in everything. But when the conversation is about people, their money and giving, you’ll find a deeply caring counselor who helps donors fulfill their passions and interests. Richard believes that successful major-gift fundraising is not fundamentally about securing revenue for good causes. Instead it is about helping donors express who they are through their giving. The Connections blog will provide practical information on how to do this successfully. Richard has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience, and is founding partner of the Veritus Group.