The year has closed.  And now you know several things about your caseload:

  1. You know who didn’t give.
  2. You know who gave more than before.
  3. You know who you expected to give but didn’t and you don’t know why.
  4. You were surprised by what some donors did.

How do you know these things?  Because you have gone to data processing and gotten all the 2012 information, you’ve looked at it in detail and you know all of this stuff.  If you haven’t done this, please get busy – this is important.
Here are the actions Jeff and I suggest you take for each of these four points:

  1. Those who didn’t give.  So, what’s the story here?  Did they give during the year, but not in the last few months?  Or, did they not give at all during the year and does that mean they have decided not to stay engaged?  You need to know.  Why?  Because if this donor has moved away from you, you need to remove him from your caseload.  Now, here’s the thing.  You need to look at this objectively.  Look at the donor history and make a decision as to whether, from what you know, this donor is with you now and is going to be with you in the future.  If your answer is no, you need to move him off your caseload.  Why?  Because you only have room on your caseload for 150 donors, and if one or more of them have moved on, you need to use the labor space they occupied for donors who are interested in partnering with you.
  2. Those who gave more.  You need to fully understand WHY these donors gave more.  What did you do or what happened that resulted in increased giving?  If you don’t know, find a way to talk to the donor and ask her.  This can be a natural part of a conversation you have.
  3. Those you expected to give but didn’t.  Something is wrong.  Or something has changed,  and you need to find out what it is.  It could be that the donor’s financial situation changed. It could be the donor decided to give somewhere else.  Or, it could be the donor just forgot.  Or, you didn’t ask.  What was it?  You need to find out.
  4. Those who surprised you.  This is always a pleasant experience.  A donor just comes out and does something that you did not expect.  This is when you call that donor up and say, “Wow, Ann. I am just so amazed and thankful for your gift.  Could you tell me what prompted you to give in such an unexpected way?”  Something like that.  And the donor will tell you and you will learn something.

It is very important at this time of year to do a caseload review that involves these four steps. You will find out more about your donors.  You will find out more about yourself.  And you will make sure that donors who no longer want to support your organization are no longer on your caseload.
Take steps to do a caseload review as soon as your 2012 books close.
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