A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with a fellow fundraiser and friend about the major gifts program at an organization that we both know. During the conversation, I mentioned the organization’s need for a moves management system.
“Moves management?” she asked. “You know, some people really object to that term.”
“Really?” I asked.
“Yeah”, she said. “It makes it sound like you’re ‘managing’ your donors.”
“That’s funny,” I said. “I thought it was all about managing ourselves, not managing the donors.”
But it made me think….
Moves Management is a basic building block of a major gifts system. It’s a way to track the back and forth between you – the fundraiser — and the donors you serve. It reminds you of your last contact and what you are planning to do next to build the relationship in the future.
But, I can totally see how it could be looked upon in a negative way. I mean, after all, no one likes to be “managed.” And I can totally see how having a “next action” attached to your name would make you feel like a chess pawn.
Some moves management systems categorize contact in terms of the donor cycle of cultivation, moving people from the stages of identification to cultivation to solicitation to stewardship. I have always felt that was confining and unnecessary, but now in light of my friend’s words, I can see where someone might object to being moved through the solicitation cycle like a widget through a factory.
But in my work, I think about it so differently. I have always considered moves management as a way to keep me accountable to the donors that I am connected to. It’s a way to remind me to call them and update them on something that I thought might interest them. A way to remind me to send them that annual report they asked about. And a way to remind me that it’s time to ask them for a gift – not on my timeline, on theirs.
Honestly, how could anyone keep track of all the information and interaction without such a system? If your job was to build relationships with 100 friends, wouldn’t you need some way to track what you did last? (Oh, and tracking really doesn’t sound so great either does it?)
So, I want to keep the concept of Moves Management, but change the name to reflect the fact that we — as fundraisers — serve our donors, not the other way around. And I want you to help me, please.
Come up with a new name for Moves Management. It can’t be too long (unless it has a snappy acronym) and it has to be filled with the spirit of the fundraisers’ accountability to the donor. No more “moving” and “tracking” our donors.
For anyone who submits an idea, we will send you our (formerly moves management) report template that will help you stay accountable to your donors. It’s simple and brilliant and has worked for us as major gift officers, volunteers, and consultants.
Send us a new name for moves management! On your time table, of course…