How to Prioritize Prospect Outreach in Your Fundraising Portfolio

Wisely | How to Prioritize Prospect Outreach in Your Fundraising Portfolio
Wisely | How to Prioritize Prospect Outreach in Your Fundraising Portfolio

Today we are discussing how to prioritize prospect outreach in your fundraising portfolio with practical tips that your fundraising team can put to use right now. 

It’s no secret that fundraisers have competing priorities.  Most fundraisers wear many hats. That makes it difficult to focus on one of the toughest, yet most important tasks; prospect outreach.  

Prospect outreach is critical to achieving a nonprofit’s mission and fundraising goals. It helps bring new donors into your organization and elevates the giving level of your existing donor base. The only way to build your fundraising portfolio, and your revenue, is to bring in prospects to replace lapsed donors and to keep your portfolio filled with potential donors. The good news is that Wisely’s fundraising portfolio tools and moves management strategy can help!

Task Management

We all know that a to-do list is one of the simplest ways to stay on top of pending tasks and it’s also great for prospect outreach. Creating checklists can help you prioritize prospect outreach by giving your fundraising team a set of steps to follow when a new prospect is added to their portfolio. 

What to include on your prospect outreach checklist

  • Sending an introduction email or making a phone call
  • Booking time for a casual introductory meeting over coffee or a video call
  • Sending your nonprofit’s case for support 

Checklists take the guesswork out of prospect outreach and with Wisely’s built-in moves management checklists, your prospect outreach and engagement is going to be solid – as soon as you log in to your Wisely profile, you know exactly what stage your donors are at and what relationship hacks need to be used to ensure continued donor engagement.  

Wisely fundraising portfolio management software has best practice moves management checklists built right into a prospect’s record for every step in the donor lifecycle. This gives your fundraising team more time to actually complete the items on the list rather than planning a checklist or looking for the task list associated with certain donors. It’s all in one place! 

Weekly Portfolio Check-Ins

With so many competing priorities, fundraisers have to be judicious with their time. Especially in smaller organizations where bandwidth is limited and you have to decide between multiple high-priority tasks to tackle. Always remember keeping your prospects engaged is how top fundraisers achieve the best results.

It’s much easier to prioritize prospect outreach when you set aside time in your schedule to do it. Your fundraising team won’t need to “find the time” when they’ve already set a time block aside. Blocking off 5 hours per week in your calendar for prospect outreach is a good starting point.  That can be an hour a day or in one session. It also means you won’t get booked up with meetings, when the calendar reminder dings it’s time to drop everything and prioritize prospect outreach! 

What to do during your prospect outreach time:

  • Introduce yourself to prospects through email or over the phone with the goal of setting up a future meeting.
  • Follow-up with prospects who you’ve reached out to earlier, with next steps and to share more information like your nonprofit’s case for support.
  • Review your moves management checklist for upcoming deadlines and plan next week’s outreach tasks. If you’re using Wisely fundraising portfolio management software this is really easy to do! 
  • Update your CRM! Don’t forget to use this time to update your CRM with completed actions and notes so prospect records are updated. 

How much time you need to block off depends on the size of your fundraising portfolio and how many prospects you have to reach out to. If fundraising is not your top priority, just one or two hours a week may be sufficient. Full-time fundraisers need to dedicate more time to this activity with a minimum of 5 hours per week. This is time well spent because cultivating new prospects is an investment in future giving and helps your nonprofit grow its fundraising portfolio. 

Good Goals are Dreams with Deadlines

When you add a new prospect to your fundraising portfolio, give yourself a manageable deadline to make the first contact. Having the motivation of a deadline will help your fundraising team prioritize prospect outreach in their fundraising portfolio.  It’s the first step to securing that large gift!

When you set a deadline for tasks, Wisely can remind you of when they are due so you won’t miss a step. Pairing a deadline with tasks, checklists, and blocking off time in the calendar, will help your fundraising team prioritize prospect outreach. 

Templates Are Your Friend

When your fundraising team has competing priorities, donor communication templates like introduction emails and scripts for phone calls go a long way. Creating templates for prospect outreach that can be easily customized but contain all the standard information on your nonprofit are a great resource. Templates ensure your relationship building is high quality, on point, and easy for the fundraiser to produce.

When your fundraisers are making the first contact, they won’t need to spend too much time writing and proofreading the email. They can just use the template and update it as needed. The same goes for intro calls, a natural-sounding call script that is easy to customize will save your fundraisers a lot of time prepping for calls.  

Templates make it a lot easier to get that first point of contact out of the way so your fundraising team can continue to prioritize prospect outreach in your portfolio.

Be #WiserWithWisely 

The final tip for how to prioritize prospect outreach in your fundraising portfolio is to use a portfolio management software like Wisely. Wisely was built by fundraisers for fundraisers – with the sole aim of helping fundraising teams like yours –  raise more money with the help of AI insights, moves management strategy, and prospect outreach making fundraising quick, stress-free, and efficient. 

Our team is always happy to walk you through the Wisely product and answer any questions you may have about fundraising with AI, nonprofit strategy, or just want to chat about your customized Wisely dashboard.  See a Wisely demo or get started on a free trial!

We have a number of fundraising resources available on our website to make your fundraising journey easy and stress-free. 


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