Nonprofit Moves Management Explained
Nonprofit Moves Management Explained

Nonprofit Moves Management Explained

09/22/2022 by Katrina Donarski
Is your team making moves management meaningful? Here are some tips.

What is Moves Management?

After a 38-year career, David Dunlop retired as the Senior Development Officer at Cornell University. While he is remembered for many great achievements, Dunlop’s work is especially important across the nonprofit sector because of the role he played in developing the idea we have come to know as moves management. 

What is moves management and why does it matter? In its most basic form, moves management is the concept of “changing people’s attitudes so they want to give.”  

More specifically, “moves” define the actions and touch points that organizations make with individuals to establish relationships and help bring prospective donors closer to the organization’s cause and mission. 

The moves management process involves three primary stages: donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Donors are strategically guided through these different phases of the gift cycle with the hope that the process will decrease any potential lapses in donor numbers and increase donor engagement and retention.

 Why Do Nonprofits Need to Focus on Moves Management?

We hear from many nonprofit organizations that to be successful, their team must set clear and attainable fundraising goals. However, if an organization is only focusing on a total dollar amount when developing a fundraising strategy, it can be increasingly difficult to reach those goals each year. 

The Fundraising Effectiveness Project found that only 23% of first-time donors decide to make another gift or donation. Cultivating and strengthening relationships with donors and prospective donors is an essential part of a nonprofit's fundraising success. Making sure that goals are donor-centric by including “moves” as a part of a fundraising plan can help a team meet their overarching purpose more easily.

While getting a first-time donor to make a second donation is a big step towards increasing donor retention, an organization also needs to be concerned with retaining recurring donors. 

Did you know 57% of recurring donors will stop supporting an organization if another organization provides them with a better experience? 

It is important to reward stakeholders with personal touches and ensure they are receiving what most really want: appreciation. Personalized messages not only excite donors to continue contributing to an organization's overall mission, they can also foster a sense of kinship and loyalty. Strong connections can transform prospects or one-time donors into recurring donors and major gift givers.

I’m Sold! How Do I Begin My Moves Management Plan?

Before your organization can build a moves management process, I suggest you start by identifying your donor base. Think about who your ideal prospect would be. Create personas describing what that supporter would look like. For example, who were some of your previous volunteers and why did they feel compelled to volunteer for a specific event? This identification process is the stepping stone that allows you to create a personalized communication strategy down the line.

Once you have accurately identified your donors’ personas, you can begin segmenting your donor audiences. Segmentation will not only help you create an individualized plan for your constituents, it will also help familiarize the rest of your organization with your current donor base. Since lack of personalized messages are one of the main reasons donors stop giving, grouping donors based on communication preferences, interests, or reasons for giving allows for better solicitation and increases overall donor retention rates.

Once prospects and current donors are organized into specific groups based on the attributes you have deemed important, you can begin creating personalized communications, such as emails, to reach out to each specific audience. 

Remember, moves management is not about dragging donors along one set path, it is about deepening the connections your community has to your organization in a way that inspires generosity. This means you must determine what inspires supporters individually and use this information to cultivate meaningful points of engagement that encourage them to take the next step alongside your organization. 

Whoa! This Seems Like a Lot of Work!

Have no fear, Salesforce is here!

There are a number of technical platforms that can support this process. We believe in the power of Salesforce CRM and Marketing Cloud. With the help of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud, nonprofit organizations can develop a more comprehensive moves management strategy. 

Marketing Cloud has multiple segmentation tools available that are able to help categorize constituents. One of the best ways to segment data in Marketing Cloud is with the use of data extensions.

Data extensions are simply tables with fields of data about your constituents, much like the data many already collect in Microsoft Excel documents. 

The great thing about data extensions is that they are customizable and easy to filter, allowing you to create multiple segments from a single data extension source. Utilizing data extensions will ensure you are sending the right messages to the right people at the right time.

 Once donors have been categorized into specific groups, it is possible to send them personalized content with the help of Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder. Journey Builder can help you manage your stakeholders' gift cycle while respecting their preferences, interests, and working with real-time input from their behavior. This is important because the more you know about your donors, the more authentic the connection with them can be. Deep understanding of your donor’s preferences makes it possible to send relevant and personalized content based on their individual desires, such as thank you emails or reminders about upcoming events they might be interested in participating in. 

While moves management may seem like a daunting task for your nonprofit organization to undertake, with or with Salesforce and Marketing Cloud, it does not have to be overwhelming, if you have a strong foundation in place. 

We are passionate about working with Marketing Cloud, and encourage teams to take a look and see if this platform can help them implement your donor retention strategies.

Is your organization currently using Marketing Cloud as part of your moves management strategy? Want to share your experiences or opinions? Tell me about them on the Trailblazer Community Feed, or tweet me directly on Twitter @KatrinaDonarski