As we reflect on the past year and the impact it has had on charitable giving, there are many unknowns when it comes to understanding its future implications.
We’ve all seen and most likely experienced donor fatigue and are worried about further taxing our top donors. On the other end of the spectrum, we saw a surge of new donors enter the fray and are left wondering how to turn them into annual supporters. Meanwhile, internally, our fundraising teams are looking for ways to best manage their portfolios and engage with their prospects, all while carrying the weight of heightened expectations to deliver on behalf of their organizations.
With all these factors at play, I can’t help but think that a top priority for fundraisers right now is an emphasis on portfolio saturation as a metric for determining success for this upcoming fiscal year.
It encourages a deeper dive
Just think, how often do your major gift team members engage with their portfolios? Do they evenly distribute their time among the portfolio or do a top few donors take up a disproportionate amount of their time? Holding your teams accountable for the depth in which they engage their portfolio will help fundraisers be mindful of how they strategically engage with the full spectrum of their donors.
Join 20,000+ fundraising professionals that receive our weekly Sunday newsletter with industry trends, tips, and analysis delivered right to your inbox
It forces you to rethink your approach
I get it, simply emphasizing greater portfolio saturation is not enough. Your gift officers will require new strategies, tools, and resources in order to make this approach successful. And that’s OK. In fact, it’s all part of the process as you adjust your way of operating and engaging your donors to help your organization reach new heights.
Some questions to consider as you explore this new approach: as a manager, do you have a way to look at performance and depth of portfolio penetration? Are you a team with small portfolios that should engage donors every few weeks/months? Do you have an overall goal to saturate a gift officers’ portfolio 3-5 times a year? You will want to make sure you have the proper goals and tools in place to effectively quantify this metric and hold your team accountable.
It can help you connect engagement with giving
We love the idea of engagement, but let’s face it, it’s not always easy to calculate. When it comes to successfully nurturing a greater breadth of our portfolios, we especially want to understand how this engagement – and the time your team spends on cultivating this engagement - is measuring up to giving. We should question when is the “right time” to engage with these various constituents and even question whether the "right time" even exists. Regardless, an emphasis on portfolio penetration will force these key questions to be top of mind and ultimately, strengthen your team’s understanding of its portfolio.
If you're interested to learn more about key metrics and strategies to explore this summer, join me on June 24 at 3 pm ET // 12 pm PT for a free webinar where I take a look at these more in-depth and show you how you can bring these strategies to life in real-time.