Cultivation & Stewardship

How to Apply a Moves Management Framework to All Your Supporters

Moves Management isn't just for major donors! Here's how you can use this framework to steward relationships with other types of supporters.

Your donors are unique in terms of when, how, and why they get involved with your nonprofit. Holistic supporter engagement keeps this in mind. It meets the wide variety of people and organizations who donate time, money, and resources to your nonprofit where they are in their relationship with your mission. To increase the efficacy of this approach, you’ll want to apply a moves management framework.

Download: Donor Cultivation & Stewardship Plan Template

Moves management tracks the engagement journey for supporters of all types, such as mid-level donors, grassroots donors, and volunteers. With the right nonprofit technology, you can collect valuable data to inform this process and automate some of your donor stewardship actions.

In this article, we’ll cover why moves management is important for donor stewardship. We’ll also break down what it looks like in action for five different supporter groups.

Why Moves Management Is Important For Donor Stewardship 

Moves management typically follows the four steps of the donor lifecycle: 

  1. Prospecting: Perform research to identify potential new donors.
  2. Cultivation: Get prospective donors acquainted with your work through marketing, events, and other outreach.
  3. Requesting: Make your first ask for support from a prospective donor.
  4. Stewardship: Engage new donors to keep them interested in continuing their support of your work.

Moves management tracks each action you take in these different stages. You’ll record when you took the action, which staff were involved, and what the results were. You can use this information to move supporters up the engagement ladder, such as turning a first-time donor into a monthly donor.

While it’s unlikely your nonprofit has the capacity to provide the same level of staff-to-constituent attention that you would for major gift donors, moves management lets you leverage a similar mentality to any supporter relationship. Moves management tools can help automate some donor stewardship tasks and allow you to always be looking for opportunities to increase the engagement of your constituents.

How to Apply Moves Management by Supporter Type

If you’re looking to grow the efficiency of your moves management framework, a great way to start is by breaking down the process by supporter type. For each group, you’ll want to think about:

  • What your moves management goal is
  • Specific stewardship actions you’ll track to meet that goal
  • How you’ll review progress toward your goal

The best way to track and organize these actions and benchmarks is with donor management software. This keeps your data in one place, allows multiple staff members to add stewardship notes to donor profiles, and offers quick reports to regularly review your progress.

Wondering what this process looks like in more detail? This section will demonstrate what your goals, stewardship actions, and progress review might look like when applying a moves management framework to volunteers, grassroots donors, mid-level donors, major donors, and grantmakers.

1. Volunteers

Volunteers are dedicated to your cause. They already donate their time to your organization, making them a great cohort for further donor cultivation. A moves management framework for volunteers might include the following components:

  • Goal: Secure a first-time donation
  • Stewardship Actions to Take
    • Send a handwritten thank-you note for their volunteer service
    • Invite them to an appreciation event to show how much your value their work
    • Make your first ask for a donation following a volunteer event or during the holiday season
    • Invite them to launch a peer-to-peer campaign to increase the impact of their volunteer service and demonstrate their connection to your nonprofit to their community
  • Ways to Review Progress
    • Track their email open rates
    • Note which events they attend
    • Review their engagement level with your social media content, especially those that share fundraising campaigns

2. Grassroots Donors

Grassroots donors have already given to your nonprofit at least once. Their donations may be smaller, more sporadic, or centered around specific events or campaigns. With some additional stewardship, you can encourage them to increase their level of support. A moves management framework for grassroots donors might include the following components:

  • Goal: Increase annual donation amount or secure a monthly, recurring gift
  • Stewardship Actions to Take
    • Send thank-you notes that focus on the power of small gifts to highlight the important role they play for your organization’s growth
    • Invite them to volunteer events to strengthen their connection to your work
    • Make your ask by showing them the impact that their small gift can make over the course of a year when given on a monthly basis
    • Invite them to join a peer-to-peer campaign to leverage the collective power of their networks’ small gifts
  • Ways to Review Progress
    • Track their email open rates
    • Note which events they attend
    • Follow whether they introduce other people or organizations to your cause

3. Mid-Level Donors

Mid-level donors provide consistent, significant funding to your organization. They have already demonstrated their commitment to your nonprofit. This provides opportunities to maintain consistent revenue for your work and potentially expand these donors’ involvement further. A moves management framework for mid-level donors might include the following components:

  • Goal: Retain current giving and identify potential major donors
  • Stewardship Actions to Take
    • Host a thank-you event for mid-level donors to highlight the impact they’ve made for your organization 
    • Provide VIP tours or other exclusive access for groups of mid-level donors 
    • Make your ask using tailored appeals that default to larger suggested donation amounts 
    • Invite them to your annual gala
  • Ways to Review Progress
    • Track the number of events they attend
    • Review their preferred types of engagement to target outreach through their preferred methods 
    • Analyze their year-over-year donation totals to note and acknowledge any changes

4. Major Donors

Major donors provide critical funding for large projects and operating expenses. If you’re looking to launch a new initiative, they need to be a key piece of your donor stewardship plan. Creating a moves management framework for major donors might include the following components:

  • Goal: Secure a specific gift to fund a new project
  • Stewardship Actions to Take
    • Provide regular one-on-one attention to keep them updated on your impact and organizational needs 
    • Offer recognition at events, naming opportunities, and other special public displays of appreciation 
    • Identify their talents that could be of benefit to your organization and ask them to join your board to increase their role with your work 
    • Make your ask by presenting them with a personalized proposal for a project-based donation
  • Ways to Review Progress
    • Analyze their year-over-year donation totals to note and acknowledge any changes
    • Track the number of events they attend and how they’re involved and recognized at them
    • Review your communication cadence with them to ensure regular connection
    • Use your notes from conversations with them to pinpoint funding opportunities that best align with their interests

5. Grantmakers

Grant funding is a great way to fund specific projects and add additional buoyancy to your operating budget. It’s easy to view grantmakers as separate from your donor stewardship efforts, as the grant application may create some distance between you and the funder. However, nurturing relationships with foundations and companies that have an interest in your cause can prove fruitful long-term. A moves management framework for grantmakers might include the following components:

  • Goal: Secure grants that fit well with your nonprofit’s mission
  • Stewardship Actions to Take
    • Organize grant opportunities based on funders’ giving priorities, geographic preferences, and other focus areas
    • Ensure complete and thorough grant submissions and professional communications with funders
    • Send thank-you notes following any awarded grants
  • Ways to Review Progress
    • Ask for feedback from funders on any grants you didn’t receive so you can improve future submissions 
    • Note which grants you were successful with and take notes on what made those applications particularly strong

Use Moves Management to Grow Relationships With All Supporters

A moves management framework allows you to provide holistic supporter engagement across donor types. This ultimately allows you to move supporters up the engagement ladder, increasing their connection to your nonprofit and their overall donation amounts.

Ready to track your moves management with more ease? Schedule a demo with Instil to learn how our software can help you organize, automate, and optimize your donor data and actions!

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