Friday, July 13, 2012

It’s a Wrap! (But it Never Really Ends)

The last time I wrote for the APRA MidSouth blog, Western Kentucky University was in the final stretch of our second capital campaign. Since we have rolled into July – I am excited to announce – WE ARE OFFICIALLY DONE!

Yes, confetti is flying, cheers are heard all around, and everyone is taking a deep breath.

But the reality is the fundraising never stops. Prospect research never stops. (Thank goodness – that keeps us employed!)

In fact, our prospect research work will definitely ratchet up faster than many areas of the development process.

With that in mind, we want to take the experiences of this campaign and apply them so we can be ahead of the game when it’s time to start the next campaign.

That means we are busy working on a lot of things. Here are just a few of those items:

1. Focus on assessing ourselves, as well as our resources, method,s and procedures.

2. Meet with development officers to discuss their portfolios and make plans for the future.

3. Review and pare down development officers’ portfolios. To keep these portfolios manageable, create reports to help them easily review and manage this process.

4. Implement and test drive a new giving capacity rating tool.

5. Record prospect research standard operating procedures on paper.

6. Create documents and presentations to define prospect research, what we do, how we help in the development process, and what we can do for our development officers.

7. Establish new codes and procedures to better track our work – we will now know when we first touch a prospect record, what we do with the information we find, and how it is passed on.

8. Move research information in the database so it is more easily accessible.

So we are doing some prospect management work along with our prospect research. It seems the two often can’t be separated, especially in a small shop like ours.

And we know there is much more we can and should do. But these are just a few things we are currently working on. If you have any suggestions on what you have done to help you and your team prepare for a great start for the next campaign, I’d love to hear them.

Theresa Clark, Director-At-Large, APRA MidSouth
Senior Research Analyst, Western Kentucky University

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