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How to Streamline Your Major Gifts Portfolio in 5 Steps

The average officer’s major gifts portfolio size has ballooned. Industry standard is to give each gift officer around 150 prospects, but our research shows that the actual number can be up to 30% higher. Larger portfolios do not necessarily mean the officer will be making more visits, raising more money, or acquiring larger gifts. These large portfolios are not setting gift officers or your organization up for success.

To combat growing portfolio sizes and increase officer effectiveness, officers and their managers need to schedule regular review times where they systematically go through the officer’s portfolio to ensure it has the right prospects. Here’s how to organize that meeting:  

  1. Review the officer’s primary assignmentsThis is a good time for the officer and the manager to discuss the officer’s goals as well as his or her daily activities. If visits, proposals and other activities aren’t aligned with the overall goals, it’s time to readjust. Each evaluation will be different.  
  2. Reassess the donors currently assigned to the prospect. Every institution should have a commonly agreed-upon, systematic approach to assessing their potential donors. Reeher Community members use algorithm-driven metrics to help them identify prospects with the highest capability and probability to donate. Major gifts portfolios should include these important constituents who have a high affinity to the institution and the capability to donate. If there are constituents in the portfolio who do not meet these criteria, they should be removed.  
  3. Next discuss the officer’s current prospect activity. Is the officer meeting with the right people and following the right processes to facilitate donation? Assess the officer’s current level of contact with prospects as well as the stage of any gifts in process. If the officer has questions about approach or process, this is a great time to go over them.  
  4. Are there groups of prospects who have gone too long without contact? Take a moment to flag any people who need to be contacted right away.  
  5. Can any high-value unassigned contacts be added to the portfolio? According to our research, 66% of your best prospects are unknown and unassigned. These high-value, high-inclination constituents are flying under the radar and are a missed opportunity until they are assigned and cultivated. 

We recommend officers and managers schedule this meeting monthly. By reassessing major gifts portfolios, goals and activities frequently, officers and their managers can build trust, create process transparency and foster a strong performance culture.  

How does easy access to your data transform the way you do fundraising? Listen to how the College of Saint Benedict empowers their staff and enables fundraising with the Reeher Platform 


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