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A Guide to Moves Management on the Salesforce Platform

Man in black with glasses working on his nonprofit's moves management process on laptop with co-worker

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Published April 9, 2024 Reading Time: 7 minutes

This blog was written in collaboration with Karin Tracy, VP of Marketing at Fíonta, a mission-driven Salesforce partner committed to serving nonprofits, foundations, and associations. 

Focus on the donor, not the donation amount.

That’s the idea behind moves management, a method coined and conceptualized by David Dunlop, a senior development officer at Cornell University. In practice, this process implores organizations to coordinate donor engagement and relationship-building efforts that lead to raising more funds.

Dunlap describes moves management as “changing the person’s attitude so they want to give.”

To curate an effective moves management cycle, your organization must have a system to plan, track, and report on your moves in a measurable way. This system and a comprehensive, modern tech stack can help optimize your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts, increase donor retention rates, and strengthen your relationship management skills.

That’s where Salesforce can help.

The Basics of the Moves Management Process

Moves are an organization’s actions to attract prospective donors, build relationships with each individual through donor cultivation, and advance its fundraising strategy.

There are several stages of moves management, including:

  1. Making potential donors aware: Aim to catch supporters’ eyes and educate them about your cause. Target new donors and current donors with engaging content that inspires them to support your fundraising goals.
  2. Identifying and understanding donors: Determine which donors are able and willing to give. Identify their donation levels based on past or predicted behaviors in their donor journey. Use this information to prioritize prospects and strengthen existing relationships.
  3. Qualifying top candidates based on giving behaviors: Evaluate candidates to determine which ones have the financial ability to become major donor prospects. Define how you’ll engage with qualified versus unqualified candidates and how to reserve adequate time for those with promising wealth screening markers.
  4. Making a clear ask: Ask for a set amount and clarify its intended use, as specificity is critical during outreach. For example, your nonprofit may request that a donor contribute $10,000 to cover the cost of 100 children’s school uniforms, lunches, and lodging for the year.
  5. Thanking donors every time: Follow up with thank-you messages promptly if a donor agrees to your ask. These messages should be genuine and personalized to the donor. In addition to handwritten thank-you notes and phone calls, consider creative options like swag bags with branded merchandise.
  6. Stewarding the relationship to retain donors: Keep in mind that donor stewardship goes beyond simply thanking donors after they give. To retain donors, follow up often to strengthen the relationship and learn more about them. Share updates and impact reports about the project, event, or other initiative their gifts funded.

Your nonprofit may need to cycle through these steps multiple times to nurture and preserve the relationship. For example, you should revisit the qualifying step if a donor’s financial situation changes. Donor stewardship and thanking supporters are continuous processes your organization should practice regularly to show gratitude.

How to Enable Moves Management in Salesforce for Nonprofits

Start planning your moves management process by understanding the differences between moves management in the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) and the Nonprofit Cloud. Nonprofit Cloud’s unique data model allows you to conduct the process in a way that makes the most sense for your organization’s target audience.

Once you choose a model, identify the prospect details to track as you begin the planning phase. Tracking different types of information gives you a deeper understanding of your donors’ personas and their affinity for your cause.

To establish a baseline of information, track donors’:

  • Contact information: Email address, phone number, and physical address
  • Actions: Subscribing to your newsletter or volunteering at events
  • Interests: Their affinity for specific social causes or programs within your organization
  • Relationships: Family members, colleagues, and employees
  • Giving history: Average gift size, frequency, recency, and donations to peer organizations

Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud allows nonprofits to collect and analyze these details on a single platform. This solution offers tools for fundraising, program and case management, and more. Nonprofit Cloud seamlessly integrates with other apps and products in the Salesforce ecosystem, removing data silos and giving you a full view of all prospect data.

As of May 2024, Nonprofit Cloud will integrate with Classy’s fundraising platform. The integration will unlock nonprofits’ fundraising potential by using data-driven strategies to deliver hyperpersonalized yet scaled fundraising experiences. 

Consolidated, up-to-date, readily available donor data will help you plan your moves and optimize the process. For example, if you’re hosting a fundraising event in Chicago, you’ll know to send invitations to local donors rather than prospects living in California.

Access Fundraising Portfolio Management and Individual Donor Profiles

Within the Nonprofit Cloud, organizations can track the status of prospective major donors by leveraging the Fundraising Portfolio Management and Individual Donor Profiles tools.

Here are the basics of each tool:

  • Fundraising Portfolio Management allows you to create actionable, durable lists. Then, your organization can easily see where someone has left off in their engagement with a high-touch supporter and ensure a strategic stewardship plan is in place.
  • Individual Donor Profiles help organizations understand donors’ giving behaviors by providing insights into their financial assets and donation history. Major gift officers often find it difficult to manage all relevant donor information within their dedicated customer relationship manager (CRM) or nonprofit CRM. Individual Donor Profiles enable them to easily view, add, and update relevant information, such as life events, milestones, interests, and more.

From a moves management perspective, these tools allow organizations to identify, qualify, and cultivate relationships with potential major donors. When it’s time to solicit a major gift, your development team can reach out to the right supporter at the right time.

While the Individual Donor Profile is a great tool to leverage for moves management, there’s seldom a strategy focusing on one donor at a time.

Enter Fundraising Portfolios.

Take Advantage of Fundraising Portfolios

Fundraising Portfolios empower organizations and major gift officers to track all their relationships in one location, along with the status, priority, upcoming tasks, and more. This overview provides a view of where supporters are in their donor lifecycle and helps major gift officers identify more strategic opportunities.

In addition to these tools, Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud road map includes a generative AI tool to aid the proposal crafting process. While this tool is currently in a pilot phase, it has the potential to save fundraising teams a lot of time.

Instead of your key staff members spending time writing, editing, and pulling in donor data for a personalized proposal, this tool allows you to choose relevant information from your CRM to include in the proposal. This way, your staff doesn’t need to start from the beginning when they make their ask.

Set Up Automation Options

With Salesforce, you can plan each step of the moves management process as tasks with reminders. Setting up an automated process reduces the risk of overlooking a donor or forgetting a critical date. It also shows who your team members have contacted and when.

Nonprofit Cloud’s fundraising and engagement tools can automate repetitive tasks, from logging gifts to triggering personalized communications based on donors’ actions. Use your Salesforce instance to automate tasks by:

  • Setting up time-based workflow rules: Time-based workflow rules trigger actions based on an object associated with a specific date or time. For example, if you create an opportunity in Salesforce for a major gift, you could set up a time-based rule to notify you 14 days before the anticipated receipt date.
  • Using apps like Action Plans: Automate your moves management process by creating reusable task templates for each prospect. For example, you might follow up with a prospect by emailing them the day after a meeting and calling a week later. Build a task template with these actions and use it with each new prospect in your pipeline.
  • Creating guided experiences: Nonprofit Cloud gives organizations access to tools like OmniStudio, a suite of digital engagement tools that simplify and streamline complex processes like volunteer onboarding or donating. For example, FlexCards list basic information about a prospect and contain details like notes from past calls. Additionally, staff can launch guided processes relevant to the prospect directly from the FlexCard.

Automating processes with management software and building self-service options for donors saves your staff valuable time. You can rely on Salesforce to automate these workflows rather than manually scheduling each meeting or sending every message. This gives your nonprofit more time for creative tasks, like developing a prospect’s cultivation plan, and ensuring no tasks get omitted.

Consider Calendar Integration

Consider syncing your Outlook or Google calendars with Salesforce so you can plan your moves in Salesforce and have them automatically appear on your calendar. The AppExchange offers several apps that allow you to connect Salesforce and Google.

For example, if you plan or update meetings within your Outlook or Google calendars, the AppExchange apps can sync the information with Salesforce to provide a clear picture of your moves with each prospect.

Likewise, make sure your website integrates with Salesforce. Like integrating your calendar, this step ensures nothing gets omitted and consolidates data onto one platform. For example, if your nonprofit has a membership program, a website integration allows any data from member profiles to flow directly into your CRM.

Additionally, while you or your development staff meet prospects and make moves, they can use the Salesforce mobile app to update records or take notes. Enter data directly into Salesforce while on the go to save time and create new tasks or meetings without forgetting what needs to happen next.

Integrate Marketing Automation

Take your communications further and integrate your Salesforce platform with a marketing automation application or platform, like Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot). Both MCAE and Marketing Cloud fully integrate with the Nonprofit Cloud.

Marketing automation allows you to deliver the right message at the right time, see how prospects interact with communications, and track which pages they view on your website. Some of the specific ways your nonprofit can use MCAE in the moves management process include:

  • Identifying promising leads and following through with timely communications
  • Using CRM data to automatically create personalized experiences for donors to nurture relationships
  • Limiting the burden of marketing efforts on staff by automating and customizing communications, which assists with cultivation and stewardship
  • Using artificial intelligence to identify the most promising prospects, time asks appropriately, and make predictions based on past behaviors

Your organization can also create automated emails and drip campaigns to build and maintain donor relationships. For example, your emails can include a call to action prompting a prospect to donate to a campaign once you’ve moved them along a nurture track.

Compared to MCAE, Marketing Cloud is a more comprehensive marketing automation solution best suited for organizations with larger budgets. Consider Marketing Cloud if your organization has more complex needs and requires significant customization options in its digital marketing tools.

Track Your Progress

Lastly, report on the progress of your overall moves management program. Tracking these metrics helps your nonprofit see which strategies resonate with supporters, require adjustment, and motivate donors to give or engage.

Using these insights, your organization can continuously experiment with new strategies and optimize its moves management process to improve results.

Standard Salesforce reporting can work in many cases, but you may need to consider apps such as Apsona Multi-Step Reporting or CRM Analytics for more complex reporting needs.

Enhance Donor Relationships with Moves Management

Maintaining strong relationships with your donors benefits your organization in the long term. Access to up-to-date, accurate data will allow your nonprofit to build deeper, more personal relationships with supporters, enhancing their giving experiences and improving their perception of your work. These relationships foster greater trust and connection between your organization and its donors, resulting in a loyal supporter base and reliable funding.

Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien

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