One of the strategies in caseload development that we highly recommend is qualifying the donor before a MGO adds her to his caseload.

Why? Because most donors who meet your major gift criteria will not want to relate to you. That is why you need to find the donors who do want to relate. (Read more about qualifying your donors in this white paper.)

Diana Frazier, Senior Client Experience Leader here at Veritus, has uncovered a very simple way to create that engagement. One of her clients has been using the following steps to encourage donors to engage. Here is how it works, and we suggest you try it:

  1. Identify the donors who have met your major gift criteria. In this case, it was any donor who was not already assigned to a MGO, who had reached a cumulative giving level of $1,000 in a calendar year.
  2. Call the donor and try to engage. In this case the MGO called the donor and could not reach him, so she left a voicemail message.
  3. Follow up with an email that includes a strategic PS at the end.

This is the email the MGO sent:

Good Morning NAME,
I just left you a voicemail message. I wanted to personally call and thank you so much for your gift to support those in need around CITY. Winter can be really tough on those with nowhere to turn. You are providing a refuge from the bitter cold, coats for those who can’t afford them, hats, warm meals and much more.
A couple of weeks ago, while visiting PROGRAM NAME (CITY’s largest shelter) I met an employee named NAME. He started out homeless and was transformed by the services and opportunities your gifts continue to provide. He went from homeless to an efficiency apartment in under a year, and landed a job rescuing food to be reused at the PROGRAM NAME. He said, “donors of ORGANIZATION NAME saved my life, and I am so grateful for what they have provided me, a true stepping stone out.”
You make success stories like his possible. Thank you again, and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!
Take care,
PS In the future, I’ll be sharing more updates on what your gift is making happen if you are ok with that. Do you prefer that I mail it to you or email it?

Note the PS at the end.

This is the strategic element of the process. The MGO is promising to deliver updates on the impact of the donor’s gift – and let me pause on this point for a second. Many non-profits do not have this as part of their communication protocol with donors – the simple act of reporting back, of providing proof that the donor’s gift is actually making a difference. Here, the MGO makes a promise that updates (proofs of performance) will be created and sent. So that is the first point.

The second point is that the MGO is NOT asking if the donor wants to receive the update. The MGO is presuming the donor does want to know if their giving is making a difference. This is an important nuance. Do not ask if the donor wants to know what their gift is doing – assume that they do.

Then, lastly, the MGO states that there are two ways to receive this information: email or mail – and asks the donor what they prefer.

This simple yet brilliant strategy functions to accelerate the donor qualification process.

If the donor responds affirmatively to the MGO’s invitation to receive impact or proof of performance reports, the MGO has proof that a donor wants to engage. By responding to the PS question, the donor is now qualified for caseload addition.

This specifically means that the donor does want to have more interaction with the organization and the MGO, and they are interested in how their gift made a difference.

In this case, the MGO actually qualified four donors in just one morning.

Try this and let us know how it works.


This post originally appeared on the Passionate Giving Blog on January 10, 2018.