University Advancement
Prospect Research

Quick Guide for Prospect Tracking

  • Contacting A Donor

    Check Raisers Edge before every contact.

    Before any contact, look at your prospective donor's Raisers Edge record.


    If the prospective donor has a Raisers Edge alert, please respect the guidelines. (An Alert may indicate that the prospect is in an Approved Personal Contacts Only period.)

    Check the Relationship Tab

    Do they have a prospect manager? Do they have a responsible for ask cultivating a second gift? Best practices: Who else is on the record that needs to be kept in the loop as evidenced by recent contacts, membership in legacy society or gifts to a particular area etc.?

    Check the Prospect Tab and the Spouse's Prospect Tab

    What is the prospect's classification and prospect status: Are they a leadership gift prospect? Are they on a fundraiser's Top 20 list?

    If a Presidential/Leadership Gift or Top Twenty Prospect

    By policy, do not begin cultivation without clearing it first with the Prospect Manager. After clearance, you may proceed with your cultivation, always keeping the Prospect Manager informed of your strategy.

    If not a Presidential/Leadership Gift or Top Twenty Prospect

    By policy, send a courtesy email to the Prospect Manager, before the first contact. Let the prospect manager know of your intent with the prospect. After this initial notification, you should continue to keep the prospect manager informed of your plans and activities. When you get to the solicitation status, you will need their permission to proceed.

    Besides the Prospect Manager, it is helpful to send courtesy emails to all others whose work with the prospect is reflected in Raiser's Edge, for example: another Responsible for Ask, Interested Staff, Planned Giving for Legacy Society member, or anyone who has previously contacted this prospect or who is the fundraiser for the area to which the prospect has made previous major gifts etc.

    Check the Proposal Record Screen and the Spouse's Proposal Record Screen

    What gifts are currently under cultivation and what stage are they are? What are the intended plans for the prospect?

    After contact

    File a Contact Report for any significant contact you have with a prospective donor. You must file your report within 2 weeks of the contact. All fundraisers are responsible for obtaining and recording contact information from their faculty, deans and volunteers. Open a new action for your next step and update the proposal record as needed.

    Keep the Prospect Manager in the loop.

    Call or email the Prospect Manager regularly, or alert them to all contact reports.

    If after the initial contact you intend to start cultivating for a major gift, send Christina the proposal data and she will open a new proposal record in Raisers Edge. Let the Prospect Manager know your plans.

    Soliciting A Donor

    Steps for the preparation and solicitation of a major gift, that is, for an ask amount of $10,000 or more.

    Before you make an ask for a major gift

    Check Raiser's Edge to see if there are any new Alerts or other restrictions on the prospect's record.

    Confirm your plans with the Prospect Manager, when other than yourself. You will need to get permission for the solicitation from the prospect manager before asking for the gift.

    Make sure the proposal record is up to date with the correct ask amount and ask date.

    Change the stage and stage date on the proposal record, so that Stage=Solicitation. Solicitation stage is defined as an ask that is intended to be made in the next 60 days. This action will mark the prospect's RE record with a No Contact Alert, protecting your prospect from other contacts until you make your ask.

    After you have made an ask for a major gift

    File the contact report, whether for yourself or on behalf of your Dean or a volunteer. Remember to keep the Prospect Manager informed as well by sending a copy of the contact report, or informing him/her that one has been filed in RE.

    Change the stage and stage date on the proposal record, Stage=one of the following: Proposal Submitted, Commitment Made or Proposal Declined. Use Stewardship once the gift or a first installment has been received.

    Give the appropriate paperwork to Gift Processing.

    When the gift comes in

    It is the responsibility of the Development Officer who is responsible for the ask to continue to maintain the proposal record. Stages are not automatically updated when a gift is received.

    NOTE: Keep the proposal records of all major gift asks you have made in a given fiscal year open until at least the end of that fiscal year, regardless of the outcome of that ask, i.e. do not inactivate the proposal record for a major gift ask you have made during the current fiscal year.

    At the end of each fiscal year, you can review your portfolio and decide which of the asks you made during that fiscal year you want to inactivate. Only inactivate these proposal records AFTER the quarterly reports for the last quarter of the fiscal year have been distributed.