About 1 1/2 years ago I introduced the concept of Engagement Calling as the best way to land appointments with highly qualified, major gift donor prospects (much better than cold calling). But back then I failed to provide metrics for managing the process. So, today, I’ll lay them out for you.
But before we dive into that, it’s important to remember that most supporters will not be ready to make a gift right away. And many might not even be ready to engage with you on a personal, 1-to-1 basis. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to be empathetic to them and where they reside along the consideration continuum. You’ve got to remind yourself that this is a marathon, not a sprint. First recognize where each supporter resides in the consideration process along with how that matches up with your internal operations. In other words, you should probably categorize folks something like this:
NOTE: You can, indeed, make outreach to all of these categories. However, your success rate will increase exponentially if you start at the bottom of this list and work your way up from there.
Having covered those categories, let’s look at the metrics you should measure as your outbound Lead Outreach Associates begin their Engagement Calling activities:
Of course setting a meeting for relationship-building that will lead to a solicitation and a gift is important. But it’s essential that each meeting is worthwhile — an efficient use of the gift officer’s time. Remember, time is money and gift officer salaries tend to be high. So, in order to be good stewards of donor dollars, fundraising staff should spend their time wisely, with the most highly qualified supporters who are passionate, wealthy and interested in learning how they can support the mission.
The best way to ensure that the meetings arranged by a Lead Outreach Associate are highly qualified is to have the gift officers provide feedback after their calls/visits. In other words, after a gift officer spends time with the supporter, they should score the event to further qualify the supporter or to disqualify them.
Remember, it’s ok to throw a fish back in the water now and again. This feedback will help the Lead Outreach Associate connect the dots between their initial conversations and the final results, eventually helping them fine-tune their outreach efforts and conversation skills.
Make no mistake, if you don’t measure what you’re doing, you’ll never be able to improve upon your efforts.
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