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

Hunt, Kris Kris.Hunt at oregonstate.edu
Thu Jan 9 14:24:52 PST 2014

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? Average portfolio size is determined by role of the officer (e.g. Vice President, Sr. Director, Director, etc.) On average portfolio size is encouraged at 125 for most Directors, capped at 150. Portfolios include a portion of Discovery assignments as defined in our Relationship Management policy and by position and tenure. Sr. Directors typically average around 50-100 assignments. VPs 25-50 assignments...

2) How do fundraisers' portfolios get populated? Research helps to establish portfolios through our Discovery program with some notable assignments sprinkled in. When a new position comes on board, we no longer transition portfolios wholesale to the person. They are given discovery assignments to create their own portfolio. This avoids the other officers in the unit, dumping their difficult prospects on the new person and also give the new person the opportunity to create fresh connections. With that said, there are still assignments that transition, but generally not the wholesale portfolio. Fundraisers can identify their own prospects through conversations, and are encouraged to do so. However, they can always come to research to identify new leads and Research also pushes these out as available. New leads are tracked in our system through our Discover program to ensure follow up.

3) How do you keep portfolios up to date? The Assistant Director of Research conducts strategic portfolio reviews every 6 months with the Development Officer, Supervisor, Administrative Assistant and Researcher. We ask the DO to come prepared with the prospects they intend to solicit in the next six months (approximately 10) and those they intend to ask in the next 12 -18 months. The next six month solicitations are also part of the DO's metrics. We review last contacts and move people up (out of Discovery into Major Gift), drop, transfer etc. Every prospect is looked at in each portfolio. We are transitioning with some of the units, most notably Athletics, into a group portfolio review. This eases transferring between DOs and keeps everyone in the unit on track with the unit's prospects. The Researchers also review their DOs portfolios on a regular basis and will send suggestions and recommendations.

What is bugging us/wonder how others are doing it, or how we do things:

Volunteers - we would love to hear how others are tracking volunteer relationships in their systems.

We track the performance of the corporate and foundation relation fundraisors in a similar format to the Development Officers. Frankly the idea that they are "special" and do not make calls, open proposals, or close gifts is unrealistic.

Planned Giving has radically changed in the past year from a service only group to one that is proactively managing relationships. They are directly assigned and also carry secondary assignments. (The only staff allowed to do so).

People file contact reports because it is their job. Their metrics which are a part of their performance review ensure this occurs with minimal problems. If Joe DO, only has 5 contacts, he's going to be reprimanded and more than likely will lose his job.

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!


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

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