How to Use Bloomerang for Major Gift Fundraising

Major gift fundraising is a major component of many organization’s fundraising programs. However, the mechanics of major gift fundraising can be challenging, especially when it comes to managing major gift fundraising data. Collecting, managing, and reporting on data related to your major gift efforts are critical tasks because as you increase the number of prospects you are nurturing and cultivating it becomes more and more challenging to keep track of the relationships you have with each prospect. In addition, the cultivation and nurturing process may take months or even longer, thus requiring an archive of “where you stand” with each prospect in your major gift fundraising pipeline.

That is where Bloomerang comes in. Bloomerang is a nonprofit CRM. CRM stands for “constituent relationship management.” Many organizations use Bloomerang for “data management” (i.e. entering constituents and entering donations), but the “relationship management” features of Bloomerang can sometimes go unused or under-utilized.

Using Bloomerang as a major gift fundraising tool is a great way to get more from your Bloomerang system. With Bloomerang’s CRM features you can transform your Bloomerang database into a full-fledged moves management, relationship management, and task management system.

4 Elements of Major Gift Fundraising with Bloomerang

Bloomerang comes out-of-the-box with some of the systems required to track major gift fundraising, but you also need to build custom fields and reports in Bloomerang as well as develop operational procedures for your organization to create a fully functional major gift fundraising system.

In order to track major gift fundraising with moves management in Bloomerang, you must collect and manage four data sets. Each data set creates actionable information that keeps your major gift tracking and moves management program on-track. With the right combination of fields, reports, and processes Bloomerang can inform current progress, offer snapshots of performance, and outline next steps related to your major gift fundraising program.

1. Active Major Gift Prospects

This data element represents constituents in your database that you are actively nurturing and cultivating toward a major gift. These major gift prospects should be clearly segmented from the rest of the constituents in your Bloomerang database.

Segmentation of active major gift prospects will be done on the constituent profile page. Segmentation of major gift prospects can be as simple as a single custom field identifying them as active or more complex by using a set of fields to identify a constituent’s status, priority, prospect manager, capacity, inclination, or other characteristics and qualities.

A list of major gift prospects creates a profile report that identifies all of the major characteristics and “face-sheet” data for those constituents in your target pool of potential donors.

2. Open Major Gift Opportunities

Once a prospective major gift donor is identified and an opportunity for a future major gift is identified, you can start tracking an open major gift opportunity. Open major gift opportunities are the second element of data needed for major gift fundraising and moves management in Bloomerang. A major gift opportunity is a “not-yet-final” or “in process” prospective gift that you will cultivate and nurture to close.

A collection of open major gift opportunities creates a pipeline of prospective major gifts that you can manage to close. You can use a report of all open major gift opportunities to keep your major gift program on-track, as well as forecast close dates and the total value of your pipeline.

Major gift opportunities can be tracked on either the interaction or note record using a set of custom fields. However, while we don’t know for certain how the Bloomerang engagement bar works, it is our guess that an interaction holds more weight than a note (if a note holds any weight at all). As a result, we recommend putting opportunity records on the note because an opportunity doesn’t necessarily represent engagement with your organization.

3. Timeline of Major Gift Moves

The cultivation and nurturing process for prospective and open major gift opportunities may take time and may include a number of activities with a prospective donor. As a result, it is important to log a history of interactions with each active major gift prospect.

Keeping track of all “touches” your organization has with each active major gift prospect allows you to analyze past actions, build on the relationship you make with each constituent, and create an organizational knowledge backup of your relationship with each prospective donor.

Interactions are moves. Moves can be tracked on the interaction in Bloomerang. You can use the standard set of interaction fields, but we recommend creating additional custom fields on the interaction to track specific details pertaining to each major gift move.

4. Active Tasks and Next Actions

Because open major gift opportunities aren’t closed, it is important to track the progression of steps toward the close of the major gift opportunity. Each open major gift opportunity will have to-do items and next actions that need to be completed to keep an opportunity moving forward. As a result, the final elements needed to manage major gift fundraising with moves management in Bloomerang are tasks.

Tasks are next actions. They identify what you need to do next. You can use tasks in Bloomerang to track the next actions associated with each constituent in your active major gift prospect pool. Having a list of open tasks and next actions guarantees that no constituent falls through the cracks and every major gift prospect and their associated major gift opportunity is moving toward close.

Bloomerang has a very straightforward task management system that is perfect for moves management and major gift fundraising processes. Each task can be directly related to each prospective major gift constituent and you can run an active tasks report every day or week to keep your major gift tracking and moves management process on-track.

Taking Your Bloomerang System to the Next Level

Your Bloomerang system can be transformed to capture not only basic constituent and donation data but also the processes leading up to the close of major gift opportunities. A system of fields, reports, and processes that capture data on active major gift prospects, open major gift opportunities, a timeline of major gift moves, and active tasks and next actions can streamline data management of your major gift fundraising program.

Not only can Bloomerang help your organization manage the data of your major gift fundraising program, but it can also help you stay on task, take action, and improve the efficiency of your major gift program. In addition, major gift tracking with moves management captures the relationship side of Bloomerang’s constituent relationship management functionality. Using Bloomerang as a major gift fundraising and moves management tool makes your Bloomerang system an organization-wide location for all fundraising and constituent data.

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