Prospect Management Policies
Prospect Management at Seattle University is comprised of two parts:
A set of policies to govern the interactions between Seattle University representatives and potential
individual Major Gift donors and
A tracking system in Raiser’s Edge to hold information to assist these policies.
It exists in order to manage the relationships with potential donors in a systematic and (sometimes)
quantifiable way in order to produce better outcomes in fundraising through personal interactions. Its
goals are to build lasting relationships with donors and to secure the largest possible gifts with efficiency
Prospect Management Policies
As committed staff, faculty and volunteers at the Seattle University, it is our intent, as we seek to enhance
community ties and increase financial support, to provide the best possible experience for alumni and
friends when working with representatives of SU. The donor’s interests, combined with Seattle
University’s priorities, should match whenever possible. We shall continually endeavor to provide a
fulfilling philanthropic experience to our alumni and friends.
All school-based Development Officers and University Advancement personnel involved in personally
cultivating or soliciting Major Gift donors must follow the prospect management guidelines, recording
their personal contacts and interactions in Raiser’s Edge to document their fundraising activities. In light
of the comprehensive campaign and its priorities, Seattle University’s prospect management guidelines
assume a donor-centered, open cultivation practice. Because of this process, the guidelines are written to
ensure communication across all areas of SU involved in Major Gift fundraising. The focus is on moving
the top prospects through the donor cultivation cycle as efficiently as possible, while creating joyful donors
who give again and again.
Donor information is common property of Seattle University. All users are responsible for preserving the
confidentiality of this information in order to preserve the trust of our constituents. Therefore, discretion
must be used when entering contact report and other donor-related information. Contact reports in
Raiser’s Edge are accessible to UA staff and school-based development officers and could be made
available to the donor. Therefore Contact Reports should be written with discretion and care, such that
they could be published without damaging the donor, Seattle University, or the relationship between the
Last Updated March 28, 2008 Page 1 of 7
Roles and Responsibilities
The Prospect Manager has responsibility to care for and develop the overall relationship of the
donor/potential donor and Seattle University. At all times, the Prospect Manager must take into account
the donor’s wishes and the overall strategies and needs of SU.
To that end, the Prospect Manager must:
Facilitate the discussion with other fundraisers cultivating the prospect to make sure solicitation
decisions (which ones, when) are made in the best interests of the donor and SU; work with any
fundraisers who are Responsible for Ask for the Prospect Manager’s assigned constituents to move
their solicitations forward.
Keep the lines of communication open with all development officers and other staff/volunteers
who work with the donor.
Read all contact reports/actions and notes regularly for those donors for whom s/he is the
Prospect Manager, in addition to recording actions and contacts for his/her own contacts.
See that all relevant information is recorded in Raiser’s Edge regarding the donor and all activities
related to the donor.
There is only ONE Prospect Manager for each donor/potential donor. Additionally, there is only one
Prospect Manager per couple (the two constituents that make up the couple).
Most times the Prospect Manager is also Responsible for Ask for moving the prospect through a particular
cultivation (from discovery to solicitation to stewardship), but not necessarily. Sometimes the PM will be
the staff member in the best position to provide overall management of the relationship, managing all the
proposals that may come up with the prospect, while not actively pursuing a gift for his/her area.
Responsible for Ask
The fundraiser who is the Responsible for Ask on a particular proposal record will work to move a
specific solicitation through the cycle, from cultivation to stewardship.
To that end, the Responsible for Ask member must:
File all relevant information regarding their cultivation efforts in Raiser’s Edge, including contact
reports, stage changes, ask amounts, strategies, and benefiting schools/initiatives.
Keep the lines of communication open with the Prospect Manager for that constituent (if the
Prospect Manager is someone different from the Responsible for Ask).
Seek permission to solicit the gift from the Prospect Manager (if someone else), for any gift at or
Work with volunteers/faculty/Deans who assist with the solicitation, preparing briefings, keeping
the lines of communication open between SU and the volunteers/faculty/Deans.
File contact reports on behalf of volunteers/faculty/Deans.
When a donor/potential donor has multiple proposal records (one for each solicitation process), each
record will have a different fundraiser who is Responsible for Ask who is responsible for the solicitation,
i.e. for moving the gift through to its completion.
Last Updated March 28, 2008 Page 2 of 7
Guidelines for Personal Contact and Solicitation for Major Gift Fundraising
Guiding Light: Always check a prospect’s Raiser’s Edge record before making a contact, to determine:
solicitor assignments, classification, and status of open proposal records.
For Leadership Gift and Top Twenty Prospects, fundraisers must consult with the Prospect
Manager first before making a contact.
With the exception of Leadership Gift and Top Twenty Prospects, any donor may be solicited at
any time for gifts under $10,000 without opening a proposal record. The fundraiser should send a
courtesy email to all involved with the prospect and coordinate their efforts with Annual Giving.
1. With the exception of Leadership Gift and Top Twenty prospects, all prospective donors are open
for cultivation by any and all university fundraisers. Any fundraiser may call on a prospect in order
to assess their interest in a particular school or campaign initiative, in effect beginning the
cultivation process. A courtesy email should be sent to all staff members (including the Prospect
Manager) whose work with the prospect is reflected in Raiser’s Edge solicitor assignments to let
them know that cultivation is taking place.
2. Before a fundraiser may solicit a gift of $10,000 or more, prior approval must be received from the
Prospect Manager of the constituent. The Prospect Manager can deny any solicitation which they
feel is not appropriate for the donor.
3. Staff members may not make any major gift related contacts with a prospect while a proposal
record is in the “solicitation” stage (except for the fundraiser soliciting the gift). They must
coordinate any annual fund/event/special project contacts with the Prospect Manager and with
the fundraiser soliciting the gift (if a different person from the Prospect Manager). The solicitation
stage is changed when the proposal is submitted or 60 days have passed with no movement.
4. Once a proposal record has moved to the “proposal submitted” status, the donor is open to
limited major gift contacts if the fundraiser first gets approval for this contact from the Prospect
Manager. Another major gift solicitation, however, must wait for the donor’s response to the
5. Every staff member must file a contact report for any significant contact with a donor or potential
donor. All contact reports must be submitted within two weeks of the contact. All fundraisers are
responsible for obtaining and recording contact information from their faculty, deans and
6. All prospective donors should have a contact report on their record before opening a proposal
record. Potential donors without contact reports are classified as suspects, until their interest in
Seattle University is confirmed. Currently we make an exception for Leadership, Discovery.
7. When opening a proposal record, the fundraiser will include a brief note on the record outlining
the rationale for the cultivation.
8. All proposal records showing no activity (as measured by contact reports) during a 12-month
period will be inactivated (fundraisers will lose those assignments) and the donor names will be put
back into the suspect pool.
These policies are meant as guidelines. They are not absolute when particular circumstances would suggest
other courses of action and take into account well-established relationships that exist and work well for the
Last Updated March 28, 2008 Page 3 of 7
Management will use a performance report, including information about contact activity, proposal records
in the pipeline, and proposals accepted, in order to evaluate the performance of fundraisers. Specific
performance goals for fundraiser performance are set each fiscal year.
For Fiscal Year 07, each fundraiser is expected:
to make 3-5 discovery contacts per month, for a total of 30 for the year
to make 150 face to face contacts or facilitated contacts for president/dean/volunteer
to submit 12-20 major gift solicitations (specific numerical goal to be determined per
to raise the $ amount per stated priorities in his/her current FY Operating Plan.
Management will review each fundraiser’s portfolio of new and moving prospects at least quarterly to
assure progress towards a gift decision.
New Lead Selection
Major Gift Level New Leads: For new leads at the major gift level, the guidelines for open cultivation
entail that Development Officers are free to assign themselves the solicitor role of prospect manager and
arrange a discovery visit. Once there is a prospect manager in place, other Development Officers are open
to cultivate the prospect, if they follow the guidelines for contact as set out on the preceding pages.
In the cases where there are two development officers strongly interested at the same time in being
prospect manager for a new lead, the two fundraisers involved discuss and share their unit’s connection
and their interest in the prospect. They are expected to come to an agreement over who takes on which
roles with the suspect, whether PM or RA, and update Raiser’s Edge accordingly. In the cases where there
are multiple (2+) units interested in a new lead at the same time, and/or in cases where agreement on next
steps and fundraiser roles is not easily obtained, fundraisers can contact the Campaign Prospect Manager
to call a strategy session for all interested staff, including the AVP, Director of Development.
Leadership Level New Leads: These names are discussed at Central Campaign Meeting and then
assigned for Discovery and a proposal record in Discovery stage. A list of these assignments is then
distributed to school-based development officers for their input. If interested in one of these leads,
development officers follow the guidelines for contact as set out on preceding pages.
Last Updated March 28, 2008 Page 4 of 7
Leadership Gift and Top Twenty Prospects are excepted from open cultivation proceedings. The
Prospect Manager for these prospects must be consulted before any contacts and will arrange for strategy
sessions as needed.
Any fundraiser who wishes to, may appeal the following with the AVP, Director of Development:
Prospect Manager assignment
Prohibition to solicit
Inactivation of a proposal record showing no contact within 12 months
Disagreements among fundraisers (or staff/volunteers) regarding a specific donor or proposal
The Director of Development will, in conjunction with the Campaign Prospect Manager, and the Vice
President for University Advancement as appropriate, provide mediation and final rulings as required.
APPENDIX – Key Terms
Constituent: An individual, foundation, corporation or association with a record in the Raiser’s Edge
Classification: Classification indicates where a prospect is in the pipeline. On the Prospect Tab, General
Screen, current classifications are: New Lead, Under Assessment, Major Gift or Leadership Gift Prospect
or Presidential Top 20.
Interested Staff: A solicitor assignment for a development officer who is not responsible for any specific
proposal record on a constituent, but is interested in following any developments related to that
Leadership Gift Prospect: A constituent capable of giving $500,000 or more over the course of the
Major Gift Prospect: A constituent capable of giving $10,000 or more over the course of the campaign.
Natural Partner, an individual who is not an SU staff member and does not fit into the other solicitor
categories, who is consulted in the development of the cultivation strategy (personal friend of the
prospect, professional colleague, SU Alum, Jesuit).
Last Updated March 28, 2008 Page 5 of 7
Primary Volunteer, a solicitor assignment for a person who plays a primary role in cultivating and
soliciting the prospect.
Proposal Record: A proposal record is one major gift ask in the pipeline for a donor. The proposal
records are on the Prospect Tab of the constituent’s record, the Proposal screen.
Proposal Stage: The stage is the indicator of the current status of any given proposal record, i.e. the stage
of the ask as it moves through the cycle from cultivation to stewardship. See full description of all the
stages below, under “proposal stages.”
Prospect Manager: The Prospect Manager is the person who has the responsibility to care for and
develop the overall relationship of the donor/potential donor and the University.
Prospect Tracking: Prospect tracking is done through the Prospect Tab in the Raiser’s Edge database.
This tab holds information which is used to assist in the management of interactions between SU
representatives and potential major gift donors.
Responsible for Ask: The Development Officer who is responsible for the particular ask on a proposal
record, who works to move this specific major gift solicitation through the cycle from cultivation to
Solicitor: A SU staff member/volunteer/faculty person or an outside volunteer, any person who is
involved in any stage of the fundraising cycle. The primary solicitor assignments are for development
officers in the roles of Prospect Manager and Responsible for Ask, since these two assignments coordinate
the efforts of any other solicitors involved in the particular ask for which they are responsible.
Stage Aging Report: The Stage Aging Report is a list of all active proposal records for a given fundraiser
or volunteer. The list is grouped by stage.
SU Faculty and SU Admin/Deans, solicitor assignments, for faculty and administration/deans who are
involved at any stage of the fundraising cycle.
Top 20: A fundraiser’s list of the Top Twenty prospects from whom s/he intends to solicit major gifts in
the next 12 months. See the Prospect Tab, General Screen, for the Top 20 Status.
Last Updated March 28, 2008 Page 6 of 7
1. Discovery= few or no contacts have been made but considering pursuing a gift; qualifying a prospect
2. Cultivation= Pursuing a gift and have had contact with the prospect, more than one year away from an
3. Ask Approaching=expecting to ask for a gift within the next 12-18 months. All Top 20 prospects
should be coded with Ask Approaching.
4. Solicitation=Planning to submit a proposal within the next 60 days. Constituent record will be marked
with an alert indicating that no other personal contacts are allowed during this time period.
5. Proposal Submitted=The ask has been made. Constituent record will be marked with an alert
indicating that no other proposal can be submitted for 90 days or until the donor responds, whichever is
6. Commitment Made=Donor has committed to a gift (although the funds may not yet have been
7. Proposal Declined=Donor declines to give a gift.
8. Stewardship=Funds for the gift have been received and SU Advancement is thanking the donor for
the gift. NOTE: Stewardship here refers to continuing personal contact with the donor (not events).
9. Letter of Intent=A letter of intent has been sent to a foundation. Once the foundation responds,
depending on this response, the proposal record stage moves to commitment made, proposal declined,
or solicitation stage.
Last Updated March 28, 2008 Page 7 of 7