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What to measure when you can't visit prospects ...

  • 1.  What to measure when you can't visit prospects ...

    Posted 21 days ago

    We ran a webinar titled "What To Measure When You Can't Visit Prospects" with APRA Maryland the week before last.  You can check it out at


    Several key points:

    1. Email, Phone, Online, or Visit can all advance a cause if true communication happened.
    2. There are text parsing algorithms that can automatically flag a contact as "meaningful" based what's captured in the contact notes. // NOTE: not all visits are meaningful, for example "bumped into Joe at reunion" // some phone call clearly are meaningful, for example "spent 90 minutes on the phone with Sue and got agreement on a $100k gift" // etc.
    3. Visits are generally more effective early on when trying to sell the "cause"
    4. Phone, email, online have actually been more effective with later stage prospects, even before COVID; trying to get visits scheduled can actually slow the solicitation down and even frustrate the prospect!!
    5. Measuring visits never has been the best metric; we TOTALLY recommend shifting to 5 key "performance drivers": 1. Portfolio size and composition, 2. Portfolio penetration, 3. Movement & pacing (aka time in stage), 4. Ask level relative to capacity and attachment, 5. Close rate (aka yield).


    And an objection we sometimes hear is "it's too much work for MGOs to put complete notes in the system". But we've heard top tier major giving leaders clearly say that their field officer should be spending 20-25% of their time synthesizing their visits and putting notes in the system … because it's a great way for the MGO to collect his/her thoughts, and develop strategy and next steps. It also helps everybody understand the development of each prospect into a major gift donor.


    Hope this all makes some sense. Love talking about this. Let me know if you'd like to discuss.


    Doug Cogswell

    EVP Pursuant || President Advizor


    Doug Cogswell