What to Consider Before Adding a New Gift Officer
Are you considering adding another gift officer to your team? Doing so can help you increase first-time visits and cultivate your important Pipeline donors. However, before you extend an offer to someone new, take these steps to optimize gift officer productivity within your existing team.
Optimize Gift Officer Productivity
Gift officers in the Reeher Community average 83 visits per year, or around eight per month. Despite this activity, officers only visited an average of 47% of the assigned prospects in their portfolio. The remaining 53% were not visited. Since the majority of prospects in officers’ portfolios are not being visited, institutions have the opportunity to increase their efficiency by increasing their visit numbers and limiting the size of their officer portfolios to prospects who are most willing and able to give.
What to Look For In a Gift Officer’s Portfolio
In addition to measuring the number of visits and percentage of the portfolio visited, it is also important to evaluate the types of visits that the gift officer is making in order to optimize the impact of their activity. Visits come from three sources:
New Relationships: Prospects receiving their first visit ever. Example: a newly identified and assigned prospect.
Developing Relationships: Prospects receiving their second to fifth visit. Example: a prospect who has been visited up to four times at any point before 2017.
Existing Relationships: Prospects receiving their sixth or more visit. Example: a prospect who has been consistently visited in the past and visited in 2017.
Among the Reeher Community, there is a fairly even distribution between the average percentage of visits by these three relationship types (35% to existing relationships, 33% to developing relationships, and 32% to new relationships). However, looking more closely at the distribution in each category, it is clear that institutions have a widely different approach to visiting these different types of prospects.
The kind of prospects that an officer should be spending their time with can be evaluated by thinking about their portfolio type and their tenure in the role. For example, newer officers are likely managing relationships that require heavy cultivation and investment. The goals and performance metrics for these officers will look very different from more tenured officers and may need to be adjusted based on their different portfolio types. You will want to evaluate portfolios especially as time goes by with your more tenured officers. If you bring new officers on-board, you will want to make sure all new and tenured officers have a proper mix that will yield the best return for your institution.
Adding a gift officer can be a significant step towards growing your major gifts pipeline and increasing your fundraising reach. However, before adding an officer, it’s important to assess how current staff is contributing towards shared fundraising goals. Revisit management practices and gift officer goal-setting to ensure that you are maximizing your team’s effectiveness before deciding whether a new officer is needed.
Our whitepaper Key Areas to Consider When Adding A Gift Officer helps you discover how to use your staff for your best return on investment. Download your copy to learn more about the different business cases to consider before making your next hire.