Moves Management 101

Posted by on Jul 13, 2012 | 0 comments

What is Moves Management?

Moves management is the process of managing donor relationships. In fundraising, moves management provides a strategic and well-planned path to stronger relationships and greater giving.

Moves management involves the strategic planning of “moves” which will be carried out over the course of a year to build a greater connection with a specific donor and increase their propensity to support your organization.

Wikipedia defines moves management as a term used primarily with the non-profit sector in relationship to donor development. It refers to the process by which a prospective donor is moved from cultivation to solicitation. And it’s typically used with major donors.

Moves management is the process that defines the purpose of your donor visits – your cultivation visits. Cultivation of donors without planning and purpose is just another cup of coffee or chopped salad.

And finally, my definition of moves management: a series of clearly defined actions (moves) carefully planned to “move” a potential donor over the course of a year toward making a specific donation.

How to Implement Moves Management

It’s important, first, to understand that each move is an opportunity to connect with and cultivate your potential donor. Each move is planned to increase awareness and commitment to your organization and its mission. Every move should be mission-focused and well-planned.

Moves management is not happenstance fundraising, it’s carefully planned relationship building leading to increased support.

What is a Move?

Moves can range from a friendly meeting at Starbucks to a one-on-one meeting with the CEO. Below are a few examples of moves:

  • One-on-one casual meeting to chat (I call these “Starbucks Meetings”
  • Invitations to special events (small, focused events for a target audience)
  • An “insiders” quarterly newsletter, with a special article by the CEO
  • Invitation to lunch or dinner meeting with CEO
  • Invitation to give feedback on strategic plan
  • Complimentary host table seating with speaker and CEO at event
  • A personal tour of your facility
  • Invitation to be part of your host committee for an upcoming event

When you visit your donors as part of your cultivation efforts, your purpose should be clearly defined and you should have “done your homework.” You should have considered the following:

  1. What is the best possible outcome?
  2. What is the minimum acceptable outcome?
  3. Have in your mind a short specific-to-this-donor list of programs/projects and their strengths and benefits
  4. Know your ASK before you get there. What are you going to ask for? A gift? An action? A task? Input?
  5. Prepare yourself, not just to ask them questions, but as if you’re the one being interviewed. What will the donor want to know from you? Think ahead and have the answers to anticipated questions at-the-ready!
Moves Management in 10 steps:
  1. Select no more than a few dozen strong prospects (I recommend 20 – 25, with 36 as your max)
  2. Do your homework, research each prospect; track their past relationship with your organization; discover their network, current giving capacity, etc. *
  3. Collaborate with a staff member who will be assigned to this prospective donor for cultivation and solicitation (remember, you are not always the best person to connect with every prospect and donor)
  4. Together with the respective assigned staff member, develop a strategy for each prospect’s cultivation and solicitation (moves and touches, gift amounts and opportunities)
  5. Plan your next moves – no more than 12.
  6. Implement them.
  7. Conduct quarterly reviews, make sure you’re on target.
  8. Conduct year end review
  9. Add new prospects, remove old prospects
  10. Start Over.

Tracking your moves management effort is critical to your success. You can do this on an excel spreadsheet, or within your organization’s database. Pre-plan your year and backwards plan from there. Set up reminders. Calendar prep days for the “move” days. Organize your little heart out.

Moves management may feel cumbersome when you begin, but trust me, you will find it makes your life easier, your ASKS more successful and your donors more aware of your organization’s appreciation for them.

It’s a winning combination.

* Watch for my donor assessment post coming soon!



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