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Thoughts & Musings

High-Touch Fundraising in Salesforce's NPSP


The Salesforce+NPSP solution continues to improve its ability to bring in donations from every channel possible - from manual entry, batch import, and a multitude of integrations with third-party applications (donation forms, peer-to-peer fundraising, mobile giving etc.).  But what often gets overlooked is high-touch fundraising.

High-touch fundraising is the process in which an individual or organization is taken through a series of interactions (calls, meetings, letters, events, etc.), with the goal of moving them from a “cultivation” stage to a “solicitation” phase for a large dollar ask.  In the case of major giving, this process is referred to as Moves Management.  “Moves” are the actions an organization takes to bring in donors, establish relationships, and increase engagement and contributions.

Sample Moves Management Cycle

Sample Moves Management Cycle

So as a major gift officer, if I’m trying to meet my year-end fundraising goals of securing 5 new $25,000 gifts, what tools does NPSP offer me to support my efforts?

  • Mine the data.  NPSP offers several “rollup” fields out of the box that will help you segment your existing donors i.e. last gift, largest gift, total gifts, total gifts in N days, total gifts last year, etc.  In addition to this are a series of reports to determine patterns of giving i.e. SYBUNT (Some Year But Unfortunately not This Year), LYBUNT (Last Year But Unfortunately not This Year), Donor Year On Year Comparisons, etc.  Many organizations use wealth screening tools on the AppExchange, like WealthEngine, that provide additional information (scoring, capacity rating, propensity to give etc.) to help your prospect research, all of which gets loaded in to Salesforce and is query-able.
  • Calculated fields.  Rather than relying on scores from third-parties, many of our customers like to create their own custom scoring calculation or algorithm based on the fields tracked above i.e. "Donors who have given $20,000 within the last 2 years, with most recent gift in the last 12 months and have had recent activity within the last 6 months receive a score  of 10
  • Giving Levels.  Based on the out of the box fields, or calculated score you create, you can automatically assign a constituent to a certain Giving Level.  Those levels can be more prospect-based for major giving efforts (Bronze Prospect, Silver Prospect, Gold Prospect), or more generic (Donor, Friend, Supporter, Advocate, Founder’s Circle)
  • Based on the Giving Level, an Engagement Plan can be automatically initiated that outlines the next series of steps for the major gift officer to follow in order to move the donor to the next stage in the process.  This could include a follow-up call 2 days after the initial meeting, a mailing 5 days later, an invite to an upcoming event 7 days later and a request for a follow-up meeting 10 days later.  Each organization can choose what steps in the engagement plan makes sense to them based on best practices and “what’s worked.”  It’s a way of bringing lessons learned and institutional history and making them actionable!  Do your engagement plans vary based on your proposal?  No problem!  You can set up as many templates as you want for the various programs you fundraise for.

And of course, Salesforce’s robust reporting and dashboard capabilities allow major gift officers to keep up to date with all prospects in the pipeline, and on top of all their activities scheduled in the coming days and weeks.

And if you’re in a leadership role, Salesforce will allow you to see how your team is performing, including how many opportunities are in each stage, and what activities are scheduled.  Many of the Development Directors we speak to ask for a Home Page designed just for them (which Lightning allows so easily) and alerts them any time a “Silver Prospect” or higher goes 10 days without an activity.

And although we are referring specific to major giving, know that this process can apply to any of your programs that have a more defined process i.e. planned giving, corporate sponsorships, capital campaigns, etc.


As you can see, the opportunities are endless.  But also know that technology alone will not move your high-touch fundraising program forward.  It requires a well-defined process and buy-in from leadership.  No matter how much time and money is put in a Salesforce implementation, if at the end of the day management and leadership still asks for spreadsheets of your pipeline, the true ROI of Salesforce will never fully be realized.  As we always recommend at OneTenth, the right tools paired with the process, training, and governance structure are the keys to an implementation’s success! ~

Need some help in formalizing your high-touch program?  Or wondering if Salesforce is the right fit or you.  Give us a call for a free initial consultation…let’s talk it out!  Ask about our “Salesforce+NPSP Jumpstart” program and let us get your up and running in weeks!