Skip Navigation
Definition

Prospect Plan Concepts


Engaging Supporters,
Fundraising
| 3 minutes to read
Last Updated: 09-15-2021

Summary

This information is helpful in understanding what is provided on the “Prospect” tab in ABE. For those with add and edit access, this is also a helpful reminder of key concepts for working with prospect plans in ABE.

Key Takeaways

You will get a better understanding of:

  • Prospect plans
  • Plan names
  • Plan types
  • Plan roles and designations on opportunities
  • Other helpful prospect hints.

Such information is confidential and may only be used in accordance with WFAA’s polices, including its data disclosure and confidentiality policies.


What Is a Prospect Plan?

A prospect plan is a shell for tracking all substantive interactions with a prospect, related to a specific solicitation; in fact, it is the fundamental unit by which WFAA tracks development progress toward an ask. Plans come in variety of flavors: Major Gift, Midlevel Gift, Gift Planning, Leadership Annual Gift. These plan types provide a way for fundraisers to signal the type of development activity happening with the prospect.

Plans also have roles. Some roles, such as the Primary Plan Manager, Secondary Plan Manager, and Secondary Solicitor–WFAA Solicitor, receive metric credit, whereas other roles, such as Secondary Solicitor–WFAA Advisor and Campus, serve primarily to provide vision into the plan and do not receive any metric credit. Plan participants, such as a spouse, child, financial advisor or peer, are added to plans because they have a relationship with the prospect; adding a spouse participant to a prospect’s plan allows the plan to appear on the records of both household members.

Every plan has the same basic architecture: a narrative, for storing a short description of the overall development strategy; steps, for the actions to be taken (pending) or already taken (completed); and an opportunity, the digital storage unit for information about the solicitation itself — estimated ask amount, date, type, designation. Each plan will follow the life cycle of one opportunity.

All actions that advance a prospect through the development cycle should be captured on plan steps and contact reports (an interaction filed on a plan step). Fundraisers should track nonsubstantive activity (e.g., sending a birthday card) as basic interactions (filed from the “Documentation and Interactions” tab).

Plan Names

The plan name syntax is meant to provide others with some quick, high-level information about the plan.

From the plan name alone, you can get information about: the site or area on campus the ask will benefit, the plan manager (or, alternatively, the lack thereof, indicating a prospect still in qualification), and the intended type of development effort (plan type).

Identified Plans (i.e., not in active qualification)

[SITE] + [PlanType]


Example 1: BUS Major Gift


Example 2: PHM Gift Planning

Unassigned Qualification Plans

 

[SITE] + QUAL + [PlanType]

Example 1: BUS QUAL Major Gift

Example 2: PHM QUAL Gift Planning

Assigned Plans

 

One Primary Plan Manager:

[SITE] + [ DOD] + [PlanType]

Example: EGR ANNLE Major Gift

Two plan managers (primary and secondary):

[SITE1]/[SITE2] + [PRIMARYDOD]/[SECONDARYDOD] +[PlanType]

Example: EDU/HEC BETSYB/CLAIREB Major Gift

 

Historical Plans

 

[SITE] + [ DOD] + [PlanType] + [Date of Last Completed Step]

Example: EGR BRADG Major Gift 7/8/16

Plan Types

Plan types signal the type of development activity happening with the prospect.

Major Gift

The Major Gift plan type should be used for prospect plans with gift asks greater than $25,000 and designated for nondiscretionary funds.


It can also be used for gifts to discretionary funds if the intent is not to renew the gift annually.

The Major Gift plan type can also be used for blended gift opportunities; for such gifts, the plan narrative section will be especially helpful for describing the different types of gifts included in the blended opportunity.

Midlevel Gift

Recommended for use when a prospect is being cultivated for an ask between $1,000 and $24,999, which is nonannual and designated for nondiscretionary funds.

Leadership Annual Gift

Recommended for use when a prospect is being cultivated specifically for an annual gift to a discretionary fund. These gifts can be of any size, but are typically $1,000 or more.

Gift Planning

Recommended for use when a prospect is being cultivated for an estate gift, or gifts given through such vehicles as charitable gift annuities, CRATs, CRUTs, life insurance, real estate and in-kind gifts.

Sponsorship

Recommended for use when a prospect — either an individual or an organization — is being cultivated and solicited for event sponsorship opportunities.

Chancellor’s Team Gift

Recommended for use when a prospect is being cultivated for a transformational gift to UW–Madison. These plans should be used for prospects where involvement by the chancellor in the cultivation strategy is critical to the success of the ask.


Typically, prospects will have a gift capacity greater than $5 million and may have funding interests of a wide variety on campus.

Corporate and Foundation Relations

Recommended for use when a corporate or foundation entity is being cultivated for a gift.

Stewardship

Recommended for use when a prospect requires stewardship actions for a past gift; this plan type can be used for temporary or interim stewardship — for those in a “precultivation” phase — or for more permanent stewardship activities in cases when a prospect has given their final gift. These plans should remain unassigned and should not have an opportunity.

Volunteer

Recommended for use when constituents are being engaged but not cultivated for philanthropic giving. Engagement with these individuals is focused less on their own philanthropy and more on leveraging the relationship itself to connect with peer prospects or building other networking opportunities. These plans should remain unassigned and should not have an opportunity.

Plan Roles

Primary Plan Manager

Fundraiser with primary responsibility for overseeing and/or executing the steps of a prospect plan. If you are assigned the role of Primary Plan Manager, this prospect is considered to be in your portfolio.

Secondary Plan Manager

Fundraiser with secondary responsibility for executing the steps of a plan. They work closely with the Primary Plan Manager and may own plan steps. If you are assigned the role of Secondary Plan Manager, this prospect is considered to be in your portfolio.

Secondary Solicitor

An additional fundraiser who works with plan manager(s) to coordinate and execute a prospect solicitation. A plan can have multiple solicitors. There are three types:

WFAA Solicitor: A WFAA staff member who assists in the execution of an opportunity and may also provide strategic support. Can be thought of as a third plan manager.

WFAA Advisor: A WFAA staff member who provides strategic support in an advisory capacity for the prospect plan.

Campus: A UW–Madison staff member who provides strategic support in an advisory capacity for the prospect plan and may also assist in the execution of an opportunity.

Additional Solicitor

Fundraiser who participates in a step or contact with a prospect. The Additional Solicitor works with the plan managers to coordinate and execute the outcomes of the plan step and/or contact.

The Primary Plan Manager is responsible for including the Additional Solicitor(s) on the step and/or contact report.

Plan Participant

A plan participant is an external constituent involved in a prospect plan, such as a spouse, child, financial advisor, or attorney. The plan participant’s relationship is primarily with the prospect.

Prospect Manager

Assigned to select principal gift prospects and all chancellor-level prospects, RPM staff will work, in concert with development leaders, to ensure appropriate assignment of this role.

Prospect Managers are responsible for:

· monitoring activity with a prospect and ensuring appropriate contacts are taking place;

· coordinating activity with a prospect across development units and acting as a consensus builder when multiple prospect strategies coexist and might conflict; and

· helping develop a coordinated plan for the donor or prospect and facilitating the execution of that strategy.

Designations on Opportunities

An opportunity is the functional unit by which WFAA tracks expected proposals and solicitations. Because each opportunity is associated with one ask, each opportunity must have a designation. This practice expedites ABE gift entry, makes opportunity linking more efficient, and improves the quality of opportunity reporting.

Until the solicitation is made, the opportunity is a dynamic record of the potential ask. You should feel comfortable revisiting and updating information to make it reflect the cultivation work as it is occurring.

There are three required designation fields.

1.png

Designation (fund number)

Click on the magnifying glass to search for the specific fund that the gift will support.

If you don’t know the fund number, consider using wild card characters to search fund names (e.g., “%BUS%” will return all fund names containing the letters “BUS”).

If entering a qualified opportunity for a fund that is not yet created, each unit-level site has a holding fund created for this purpose. Search for the word “Qualified” to return a list of holding funds to choose from in the interim.

Listing additional information in the comments section will help clarify the specific situation.

Amount

Enter the amount of the gift. The total gift amount for all designations must match the expected ask amount or ask amount entered in fields at the top of the form (e.g., $10,000 + $50,000 = $60,000).

Type

We use the designation field to drive the reporting for our matching gifts like the Chancellor’s Scholarship Program match. Choose among: Match Eligible/Non-Match Eligible/Not Applicable

· Choose Not Applicable for any designation without an associated match.

· For all designations with a match, follow matching fund protocols by entering one of the matching fund holding funds or an existing fund that qualifies for the match. For most gifts with an associated match, you will choose Match Eligible.

· In some rare occasions, a gift will be made to a “Match Eligible” fund but will not qualify for the actual match; these should be coded Non-Match Eligible.

Helpful hints

  • Pending plan steps trigger visibility on the “Pending Activity” tab of the My Fundraiser page.
  • The opportunity is a dynamic and evolving record! You should feel comfortable revisiting and updating opportunity information to make it reflect the cultivation work as it is occurring.
  • All opportunities must have a designation. This practice expedites ABE gift entry, makes opportunity revenue linking more efficient, and improves the quality of opportunity reporting.

Questions about this content?