Add a Prospect Gift (How To)

Whether you are pursuing a new donor or recording a planned/legacy gift, prospect gift tracking involves several stages, each with their own distinct steps:

  1. Setting up the initial prospect gift
  2. Tracking the prospect's progress
  3. Confirming (or realizing) a prospect gift

At the end of the day, a prospect gift is just like any other donation except that it starts its life as a prospect before being converted to an actual gift.

Setup a Prospect Donation   Top

A prospect donation is a slight variation on a standard donation. Some organizations choose to setup a specific campaign to track prospect gifts, but this is not necessary to use the following steps:

Start a new donation

Mark the donation as a prospect
  • On the Details Tab:
    • Under the Source (Donation Type) dropdown, select Prospect
    • In the Amount field, enter the potential value of the expected gift (to the best of your current knowledge)
Donation Details Tab

Record internal notes about the potential gift
  • On the Notes Tab:
    • Enter notes about what the potential gift is for, how you expect to receive it, etc
    • If relevant, use one of the custom donation fields as an additional identifier
      • For example, this image shows that Donor Flag #7 is not taken, so you might rename that as planned gift in Company Preferences >> Appearance Tab if you desire an additional marker to simplify pulling some reports
Donation Notes Tab

Save the prospect donation
  • Click Save and close the donation record

The donation will now appear in magenta in the Patron Donations Tab.

Track a Prospect Donation   Top

Before you actually receive a prospect gift, there will undoubtably be changes to the information, discussions, reporting, etc. Recording these changes in the prospect donation record gives you a central source of all interactions about this specific gift. Here are some commonly-used and recommended tracking steps:

Track Interactions

Track Progress
  • On the Details Tab of the prospect donation, change the Source dropdown when critical phases of the prospecting process are reached, remembering to add notes for future reference regarding the date and details of each change:
    • Soft Pledge when the prospect and/or the amount becomes distinctly more likely (though still not certain), usually after a conversation with the patron
    • Hard Pledge when the prospect and amount are confirmed by the patron and you are ready to commit the value to accounts receivable.
  • Optionally, you can also use specific task types to track when patrons move through critical phases of the prospecting process

Track Correspondence

Confirm a Prospect Donation   Top

When a potential gift is realized, confirmed, or contracted, it's time to recognize the prospect donation as a full donation via the following steps:

Change the status of the donation from prospect to a real gift
  • Open the Details Tab of the prospect gift and change the Source (Donation Type) to Donation (gift)
    • If the donation is still listed as either Prospect or Soft Pledge, this action will initiate the accounting portion of donations and create an accounts receivable listing

Enter the confirmed final amount
  • If relevant, update the Amount field to the accurate expected donation amount

Take payment

Print a receipt

If relevant, attach other recognition documents