[APRA-NW] Virtual Roundtable for January: Relationship Management

Jessica S. Balsam jbalsam at uw.edu
Wed Jan 8 11:23:58 PST 2014


Hi everyone!

We're just a few days away from screening a Relationship Management webinar in Seattle<http://apra-nw.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1092815&eventId=817696&EventViewMode=EventDetails>; it will be shown in Corvallis<http://apra-nw.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1092815&eventId=817702&EventViewMode=EventDetails> on Monday and in Portland<http://apra-nw.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1092815&eventId=815088&EventViewMode=EventDetails> on February 10th. So let's chat about relationship management, shall we? I'll start us off with a few questions, but please jump in with your own. Don't forget to reply-all to the listserv.

Here's a few questions to get us started. Please share your answers to one or all!

1) What's the average portfolio size at your organization? Here at UW we made a major effort to reduce portfolio size and increase focus on higher-level prospects in summer 2011. Now that we're two years in, we have an average portfolio size of 150 prospects (our prospects are householded and grouped with their family foundations). If we take out all our assistant-level fundraisers (who are focused on lower-level gifts), the average drops to 110. I wish it were even lower, but it's a big improvement over the 200 and 300-prospect portfolios we used to have. And this leads into my next question...

2) How do fundraisers' portfolios get populated? Here at UW, we have a strong culture of letting the fundraiser choose who goes into their portfolio (and who comes out). This is one way we carry out our open cultivation policy, where any prospect can be cultivated by any fundraiser. So we have all sorts of methods to encourage them to focus on the best prospects. I can extrapolate if people are interested.

3) How do you keep portfolios up to date? Here at UW we meet quarterly with each fundraiser to go over their portfolio and proposals. A researcher and a relationship management person (both from our team) go to the fundraiser's office and meet with them for 30 minutes, collect updates, and then do the data entry or research when they get back to their desks. This is a major undertaking for our 150+ fundraisers; it takes about 5 weeks every quarter to get through all of them (with our staff of 4 FTE relationship management folks). But we find that it's a great chance for us to remind them about policies and tease out missing information that we wouldn't otherwise get. The fundraisers tell us that it's a super valuable reminder of where they need to focus in the coming quarter.

What else is bugging you about relationship management/prospect management/tracking or whatever you call it at your organization? How to track the performance of corporate/foundation fundraisers? Planned gifts? How to get people to file contact reports? Ask away!

Cheers,
Jess

Jessica Balsam, President, APRA-NW
Associate Director, Relationship Management
University of Washington Advancement
206-616-9170

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