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Setting Effective Gift Officer Goals

Having the right gift officer goals can be a key contributor to your major giving success. You want to motivate your gift officers by setting realistic goals that are attainable with productive and hard work. As your team grows and your staff diversifies, it may become important to customize your goals more. Some things to consider:

    • What is your gift officers’ skill set, tenure, and specialization?
    • How long have they been cultivating a specific portfolio and where are you in the campaign?
    • Are your officers based regionally? Are they limited to prospects only in one geographical area, therefore, potentially playing on different fields than one another?

All of these things are important factors to consider when thinking about creating a level playing field prior to customizing goals. If there are certain circumstances that pertain to one officer but not others, it may stand to reason that you would set different goals.

Reeher has spent time analyzing millions of transactions and activities from the Reeher Community to help provide some guidance on what are the right goals for officers. Since every team and higher ed institution is different, there isn’t a silver bullet answer to these goals, however, these have been backed by years of experience and data:

Number of visits: Reeher recommends to strive for 120 visits annually for your gift officers. This may seem a little ambitious given that the number of visits an officer can make in a year can depend on the number of prospects in a portfolio, experience of the officer, travel budget, regional assignment, and other factors, but we also know that meaningful visits are absolutely key in bringing a prospect to major gift donor.

First time visits: First time visits are also important to measure as it means that you are continually introducing new people to your initiatives. Measuring first time visits also helps ensure you are qualifying/disqualifying new prospects for healthy portfolio churn. And finally, across the Reeher Community we find an increase in first time visits will result in an increase in first time donation of $10K or more. When we looked at benchmarking we found that 5 first time visits will results in 1 first time gift of 10K. For a goal of 120 visits per year for an officer, we recommend about 40 of those being first time visits. This breaks down to about 3-4 first time visits per month.

Number of Proposals: Based on Reeher research, highest performing officers submit at least 20 proposals at $25,000 or greater with at least $1,000,000 proposal dollars granted. However, it is important to reiterate that proposal dollars granted fluctuate quite a bit. This goal should be carefully set with the circumstances of the officer and portfolio in mind.

If you would like to learn more about the right goals for your team, please contact us at


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