So I keep referencing moves, but what are they? A move is any activity that has the purpose and effect of educating the prospect about the organization or the project to be funded, engaging the prospect with the organization or the project, or obtaining information useful in moving toward a gift. Simply stated, a move is any action that moves the prospect at least one step closer to making a gift. Moves must be driven by the solicitation plan. This helps the development officer focus on activities that are productive, not just keeping in touch. Examples of move include: hosting a prospect for a site visit, meeting with a key leader from an organization, or talking with a prospect to understand what excites them. So what would count as a move? I would argue, it would be anything that is specifically tailored to the individual. Remember, we're being donor-centered. It's something that increases engagement and involvement, it increases your understanding of your donor, it advances your strategies and goals, it ultimately leads to a solicitation, and finally, results in a gift. It is common to think of a person as being in a particular stage with respect to solicitation. Stages might include: discovery, cultivation, solicitation, or stewardship. Each stage is a space along a relationship continuum as we move a prospect toward a major gift. So our first stage is the identification stage. What happens here? Well, first, the organization is making a decision if they want to do a campaign. And who do you know that would give? You're focusing first on your known donors and you pull a list of prospects. Your next steps would be to move your individuals to the next stage to determine inclination, capacity, and readiness, and understand fully that any who fall out at this qualification stage must be replaced. So move more prospective donors into qualification than you think you might need overall for your campaign project. Once donors are in the qualification stage, what happens here? Well, this is where we research our prospects and perform a well-screening. We also categorize an inclination, capacity, and readiness. What are our next steps in this stage? Well, we need to confirm or disqualify based on qualification. We actually need to get to go and visit these individuals. Prospects with inclination and capacity are ready for cultivation. Prospects with lower levels of inclination will require longest cultivation before they are ready. Once we've had our initial visit with our prospect and have moved them into this cultivation stage, what happens here? Well, first, we evaluate our top prospects based on their greatest inclination, capacity, and readiness, we create custom moves plan for the very top prospects, we identify who should make an 'ask' and the 'ask' amount, and we assign steps and ownership for those steps. What are your next steps? Engage prospects in those targeted moves, developing the relationship and move them closer to the gift. Along the way, review and evaluate, track your actions. Determine whether or not your moves are well-received. Is your prospect more engaged? If the moves are received well, the prospect will be ready for an 'ask'. During a cultivation contact or a meeting at which progress is being made toward a major gift, it's important to think about the following items: make certain that you're sharing an understanding of the vision of your organization. Confirm agreement with the case statement and rationale for support for your organization. Make certain that trust in the leadership of your organization is established with your prospective donor. Try to determine and understand the motivation of your donor. There is a difference between doing lunch and getting something done in a cultivation contact. Before each of these cultivation meetings, it's important to stop and consider the answers to the following questions. What do we hope to accomplish during this meeting? What do we know about the prospect? What more do we need to discover? How should we present our case of support? How might the prospect respond? And what information do we need to bring along with us? As important as considering what to do before a meeting, after each meeting it's also important to consider the following questions: What did we accomplish? Was any progress made with this donor? What needs to be done next? When is our next meeting? And, has the status of our prospect changed? Have we moved them closer to an 'ask'? Finally, your prospect will enter the solicitation stage. But what happens at this point? First, you develop a proposal for their consideration. As an organization, you determine who is doing the 'ask', and you set the appointment with a clear purpose for sharing a gift proposal with your donor. The next steps at this stage are to make the 'ask'. We'll discuss more in detail why it's important at this point to be silent and wait for the response. And secondly, you'll handle any objections, negotiate gift payment terms, and the acknowledgement of their gift. After you've asked for a contribution, you enter a negotiation and review stage with your prospect. Here, you engage in a verbal commitment with your donor to make a contribution. You confirm the terms of the gift and any recognition elements that may not yet be final. Your steps during this process? Drive the donor to closure quickly, so that your gift request does not become stuck. The final stage in securing a gift is called the processing stage. What happens here, is once your donor accepts the proposal and decides on the amount and how they'd like to structure their gift, an acknowledgement process can ensue. That can include negotiating any final terms of the gift and recording it in your database. Once you have assigned and documented gift agreement in hand, you can now begin to meaningfully thank your donor and continue to thoughtfully steward the relationship. In this stewardship stage, the donor is fully thanked for the gift and the stewardship plan to update the donor about their gift and its impact is created. Your next steps in this stage are to understand that good support or stewardship does not end at one gift and the moves management cycle will continue as your donor is engaged, and then re-engaged with your organization. Ultimately, it is important for all development officers to remember that your prospect list is a living document. Your goal is to move people, either to a gift decision or off to longer term cultivation. Remember to spend your time on those who we can get to move toward an 'ask'. If your prospect is not moving, take them off of your list. If you remove somebody, replace them with someone else and begin the cycle with them. Finally, just a word on the importance and necessity of tracking these relationships with your ongoing donors. The ability to maintain relationships with your permanent stakeholders and provide important history for the next generation and development officers is crucial to the success of any organization. Unfortunately, we are faced with the inherent conflict of understanding that the average lifespan of a development officer is 30 months in any one position. If we also accept the fact that it takes typically 18 to 24-month time frame to fully cultivate a prospect to a major gift donor, we will be bringing new individuals into this long term relationship quite regularly. Because the donor is the only permanent stakeholder in this situation, an effective prospect management system allows you to reduce the severity of the interruption of staff turnover.