What Does Moves Management Mean to You?
As your career in development expands over time, you will be exposed to a variety of potential donors and their entry points. When I was director of planned giving at a university, many prospects’ and donors' first entry point to the university was through a planned gift. When I was director of major gifts for a hospital, I quickly realized we had a weak annual giving program. Thus, many prospects and donors were introduced to the hospital as major gift donors first.
When I was director of annual giving at a university, I was the caretaker of a large gateway to prospects whose first interaction with university fundraising was annual giving. I realized my job was to secure donors and hopefully seek a renewal of their gift each year. At that time in my career, however, the concept of moves management was foreign to me. I did not realize the art and science of fundraising was to obtain a donor and use various techniques to move a donor along a lifetime continuum to larger gifts while maintaining a constant pattern of giving.
The term moves management is a term used primarily with the nonprofit sector in relation to donor development to the process by which a prospective donor is moved from cultivation to solicitation, according to Wikipedia. “Moves” are the actions an organization takes to bring in donors, establish relationships and renew contributions. David Dunlop, the Cornell University senior development officer who developed the concept of moves management, described the idea as “changing people’s attitudes so they want to give.”
A Bloomerang article noted that moves management relates to a donor life cycle that moves an individual to prospective donor, then first time donor and onward to a major donor. Moves are actions taken between the prospect/donor and organization to establish relationships and engagement with the organizational cause and mission.
The moves management process involves donor cultivation, donor solicitation and donor stewardship. The key is moving a donor to become a renewal donor and eventually an upgraded donor. Ideally, you want to move a prospect over time, to become an annual donor, mid-level donor, major gift donor and planned giving donor. I continually strive to have a donor simultaneously give via several of these methods to the cause I am promoting. Nonprofit sustainability will improve when you succeed in moving the donor at every stage of their life cycle.
Best practices by eTapestry promotes the idea that fundraising professionals need to manage a series of steps for each individual prospect. The goal is to move prospects to giving whatever they can to your organization over time. Each move represents a separate contact with the prospect. Contacts involve a variety of methods such as email, phone calls, letters, faxes, face-to-face conversations, planned events and social media interaction.
A development officer seeks to pursue a prospect/donor to milestones such as solicit, cultivate, qualify, stewardship and inactive. Steps are also taken to determine what individuals can influence your donors through such identification methods as center of influence, primary partner and secondary partner. Each step and contact are noted.
According to CauseVox, it is important that development officers seek to build an ever-deepening relationship with their donors in portfolios over time. Moves management is usually reserved for key donors such as potential first-time givers or major donors. To make this program work, you need to identify your target audience. You need to then build your prospect list and gauge interest/ability through wealth research. Determine if donors can give more and become interested in your cause. Set goals to attain through this process such as having a set goal for each prospect.
Create a moves management strategy system through identifying and tracking action items over time, such as a call, visit, invitation to an event, etc. Make sure several key people are aware of your plan, and seek their input. Document all interactions and donor movements. Periodically review progress made on your plan. Establish as much donor information as possible for each prospect, and set a timeline for engagement, goal for an ask and for what purpose is the ask to be made.
To make this process work for you, according to Salesforce, the novel part of the move’s management concept is it focuses on the donor, not the amount of contribution made by the donor. Four suggested steps to launch your moves management strategy include figuring out how you want to track your donors, setting up a comprehensive database to track steps, define your communication plan tracking each step with your donors and report and maintain your progress over time. You must know your audience, speak their language and take care of them constantly.
Spektrix asserts that moves management is a method of managing relationships. The key is changing people’s attitudes over time, so they want to give. This involves communication, passion and inspiration. It takes time, thought and energy. You need to utilize this technique on a selected number of prospects. You need to develop a custom strategy for each prospect. Moves management will help you be more efficient with your time, which typically starts with a two-year calendar.
A Front Range Source notes that the value of moves management is the same as having 125 good friends to stay in touch with over time. To begin this process, make a list of your most committed donors, do not forget corporations and foundations, begin with a small portfolio, use ongoing research to find nuggets of gold and integrate your database. Have systems to stay in touch with these friends, and determine what you need to do to keep them engaged, knowing that the result is to solicit and resolicit them over time.
What does moves management mean to you? It should mean relationships and processes. Regardless of the size of the portfolio, utilize this concept beginning today. You cannot afford to miss this opportunity. Engagement with the right donors will mean significant long-term financial results for your organization!
F. Duke Haddad, EdD, CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, he is also president of Duke Haddad and Associates, LLC, and freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the past 13 years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration, master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.