I hosted a webinar session this week on making every contact count and during that session I talked about moves management and what consisted of a meaningful move. I spent a good bit of time focusing on the prospect management process and the importance of moving donors through the development cycle in a meaningful way.  In the old days…which these days means like last April…when working with a major donor, a move was considered an in-person meeting or significant phone conversation. But these days, with all of our social media options…what about text messages, Facebook posts, and tweets?

This got me thinking about how cultivation and stewardship are evolving based on our increased access to social media. So I did a little digging and I came across a great 3-Part Series posted by Jeff Schreifels from the Veritus Group that focused on the point that social media and major gift work make for a great partnership.

In my last post, I talked about the importance of relationship building when it comes to successful fundraising and Jeff’s three part series echoes that point by saying that “Google Alerts, Tweetbeep, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are all great ways to deepen your understanding of who your donors are.” He goes on to reinforce what a great stewardship opportunity social media offers by alerting us of a major donors recent accomplishment and our to-the-minute ability to congratulate them with a tweet or post on their Facebook page. I love this idea and while, I agree with Jeff that not all your major donors may want to be your friend on Facebook, many will and it gives you great insight into additional interests that they may have. Talk about qualification in the field!!!

So you may be thinking that you can see how social media is helpful for stewardship, cultivation and even qualification but you’re not totally sold on using it for major gift solicitation. I have to admit, before reading Jeff’s series I was a big proponent of using social media for smaller-sized campaigns, special event fundraising, etc. but after reading and thinking more about it, I am totally sold.

In the last part of the series, he and partner Richard Perry recommend using social networking for year-end fundraising reminders to make a last minute gift. I thought this was a great idea and I started creating a picture of a major donor sitting on her couch on December 27 with her smart phone close by and seeing a challenge gift match from a board member at her favorite charity come through.  With just a few clicks, she matches the gift and a five minutes later, gets a thank you from the board member and the organization in her inbox. Genius!!

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