Definitions of Common Terms
Annual Gift: a pledge (over no more than 5 years), fulfilled gift, or planned gift of less than $10,000. Donors at this level are usually unassigned, but may be assigned as appropriate.
Associated Credit: the internal secondary assignment of gift credit awarded to an entity other than that which made the actual gift. Associated credit may be the result of an individual’s association with the gift-making entity, such as a matching gift company. Associated credit is made for recognition purposes only, as it may affect the associated entity’s giving level in an annual giving recognition club or cumulative giving society.
Contact Report: a written summary in the Advance system of a visit, meeting, phone call, or correspondence that influenced the relationship between the prospect and the university. The report should be filed within 72 hours of the contact, and must contain information on next steps and appropriateness of current stage. Contact reports should allow the reader to experience the contact without having taken part in the contact. A contact report almost always summarizes a two-way interaction between the prospect/donor and the development officer or team member.
Donor: an individual, company, or foundation that has supported the university in the past
Legal Credit: the actual “receiptable” gift amount credited to the legal entity that made the donation
Major Gift: a pledge (over no more than 5 years), fulfilled gift, or planned gift of at least $25,000. Donors at this level should be assigned.
Moves Management: a fundraising philosophy that success is achieved through the active management of relationships by fundraisers. As a prospect becomes more involved, the relationship matures through annual giving, special giving, major giving, and planned giving.
Note: a concise written statement in the Advance system containing an update of interest regarding a prospect/donor, or a one-way communication between the prospect/donor and the development officer or team member. For example, a note may record that an event invitation or thank you note was sent to a donor.
President’s Associate: a donor who, during a fiscal year, has cumulative giving of at least $1,000 – or a payroll deduction or other installment donor who has made a pledge of at least $1,000 during a fiscal year – and is now a member of this recognition club for 12 months
Principle Gift: a pledge (over no more than 5 years), fulfilled gift, or planned gift of at least $1 million. Donors at this level should be assigned.
Proposal: a written summary in the Advance system of a solicitation to ensure an accurate accounting of solicitation activity for reporting and benchmarking. Successful verbal proposals or solicitations can be documented by attaching a copy of a confirmation letter sent to the donor. Entering proposals is mandatory beginning at the $10,000 special gift level, and is suggested for substantive gifts below that threshold at the discretion of the prospect manager.
Prospect: an individual, company, or foundation that may have the interest and capacity to support the university, or a donor that may have the interest and capacity to make a new gift
Prospect Manager: a development or alumni relations staff member – typically, the staff member who best represents the donor’s primary interest(s) – with primary responsibility for overall coordination of a prospect’s cultivation and solicitation activities on the internal team
Special Gift: a pledge (over no more than 5 years), fulfilled gift, or planned gift of at least $10,000. Donors at this level should be assigned.
Team Member: internal team members (DODs, deans, special event staff, etc.) with a direct interest in the relationship between prospect and the university who work with the prospect manager to develop and implement strategies to move prospects/donors to making a major gift
Volunteer: individuals serving in a volunteer capacity on a board or organized group within the University, a college department, or a center
These stages are not linear, but rather cyclical, as donors repeat movement through the stages over time.
Identification/Qualification: via prospecting, research, referrals, or by virtue of the prospect being part of a particular group (e.g., being an alum), determining if a prospect has interest in a college/center/program and, once interest is confirmed, determining that prospect’s capacity to give
Cultivation: interest and capacity is confirmed, and through a planned strategy, the prospect is moved toward an ask or proposal
Solicitation: an ask is generally made verbally with a follow-up written agreement
Stewardship: a gift or pledge has been received; acknowledgement/recognition and continued engagement activities efforts are underway