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Proposal Process

Discovery Sessions

Process Overview

The lifecycle of a pledge includes the following stakeholders:

  • Development Officers
  • Prospect Development Department

To enter a proposal, current policy requires that the constituent record be assigned to the development officer entering the proposal. There is an automated process to check entries and manage proposal statuses, but management of proposals (checking them for completeness) is a manual process completed by the prospect development office. If the record is not assigned to the development officer entering the proposal, he or she can request assignment through the ANDI system through the entity record. After the entity record is assigned, the proposal can be added to the record. Proposals require the following information:

  • Title
  • School/Campus
  • Status
  • Type
  • Expected Close Date

There can be multiple primary Development Officers assigned to an entity record. Along with close rates, the ability to have multiple development officers assigned in various roles helps leadership understand who is driving proposals and involvement on proposals is a factor in development officer metrics. Once the entity record is assigned and the proposal is created, the proposal enters the “submitted” status.

The intent to fund a proposal can be received via gift agreement, email, or verbal agreement. However, all gifts of $25,000 or more must be documented in a written gift agreement. If there is no intent to give established, over time, the proposal must be manually placed into “withdrawn” status. However, if a prospective donor has communicated the intent to give, the process varies based on if an electronic gift agreement was leveraged.

While electronic gift agreements are the preferred method, some development officers have more informal practices that are accommodated manually. If an electronic gift agreement is used, a gift agreement is generated via a custom application built on Adobe ColdFusion. The electronic gift agreement contains information from ANDI and manages the generation of the gift agreement and the signature process. If no gift agreement is used, the proposal is managed manually by the development officer.

If the donor declines to fund a proposal, the development officer must manually update the proposal status to “declined”. When a proposal is funded in ANDI via a gift transaction, the proposal status is automatically updated to “funded” based on the dollar amount being updated to reflect the funded amount. A nightly process runs to automatically mark as funded, withdrawn, or declined proposals as “closed.”

Prospect Development reviews funded proposals for accuracy of documentation. If a proposal does not have documentation attached, the Prospect Development team must contact the development officers to ensure that documentation exists. This process may require the DO to continue to work on the proposal, changing the status to withdrawn or, in cases where documentation can be provided, accepting the documentation, and attaching it to the proposal.

On occasion, a gift can be given without the existence of a proposal. In this case, a gift agreement is generated at the time of the gift and entered manually into ANDI.

CRM pledge flow diagram

Opportunities

During discussion about the process, several improvement opportunities to address inefficiencies in the current state surfaced:

1. Roll Up Functionality

  • The ability to add proposals to subsidiary records of corporate entities is lacking.
  • Family hierarchy functionality would allow the ability to track giving for multiple members of the same family.

2. Electronic Gift Agreement Functionality

  • Currently the ability to edit agreements is limited and would benefit from the ability to edit appropriate areas of the document.

3. Connectivity in the Solicitation Process

  • The process would benefit from the ability to connect contact reports to proposals.
  • The ability to connect alumni affairs and stewardship details to proposals would be a benefit.
  • Prospect development would like the ability to attach gift transactions directly to the proposal as the current process of connecting gifts to a proposal is time intensive.
  • Staff would benefit from the ability to connect potential influencers or other involved parties (e.g., financial advisors) to proposals.

4. Proposal Statuses

  • Currently, not all proposal statuses are used, limiting the ability to optimally track proposal progress.
  • Current proposal statuses do not fully identify the true stage of a proposal (e.g., “in preparation” status) Staff may have the opportunity for higher resolution view of proposal progress by reexamining standard proposal stages.

5. Proposal Assignment

  • Staff would like more flexibility in the proposal assignment process.

6. Proposal Allocations

  • Without the ability to easily split and share credit, development officers enter more proposals than necessary when a donor intends to give to multiple campuses/areas.
  • Splitting allocation would also provide a better system for crediting development officers instead of development officers unnecessarily creating multiple proposals.

7. Increased Controls

  • Standard processes around time to withdraw a proposal across campuses would allow more efficient tracking of proposal status.

Final Summary

The analysis shows that the current process possesses inefficiencies related to the reliance on manual processes, due to a lack of standardized operating procedures in proposal statuses, documentation, system functionality and ability to connect elements of the solicitation process. Currently, all proposal statuses are not fully utilized, and statuses are not fully reflective of the nuances of the proposal lifecycle, making it harder to succinctly track the progress of a proposal. In addition, proposals can be managed via gift agreement or manually. The manual management of proposals can create issues with documentation.

Proposals can be funded with a supporting verbal agreement, email or an EGA but proposals not managed by an EGA can require time-intensive research and/or status rollbacks. Time-intensive research could be remedied by standardizing the proposal management process i.e., requiring documentation before proposal reaches funded status, and/or attaching contact reports to all proposals. Next, there are limits in ANDI’s functionality: limited ability to facilitate annual giving proposals, limited ability to track giving for multiple members of the same family, and difficulty in adding proposals to corporate subsidiaries. Lastly, the system could be improved by allowing for a more seamless connection of elements of the solicitation process. Improvements would manifest in the ability to connect contact reports to proposals, the ability to track alumni affairs and stewardship details on proposals, and the ability to attach gift transactions directly to proposals.

Future State Process Overview

Development officers will create a proposal in Salesforce, and at that point, they will be able to assign a proposal team to reflect the parties that may be involved in various capacities of the proposal. Here, the primary driver of the proposal can indicate the information necessary to track the preparation of the ask and provide the information needed for planning and reporting. When the development officer presents the ask to the prospect, the he or she will mark the proposal as submitted.

Proposals that have been created, but not submitted to the prospect, will be reviewed regularly to ensure the development officer has all the support and information needed to present the ask. The proposal can be revised any time during the proposal lifecycle and changes appropriately tracked. If the development officer learns that the donor does not have an intent to give, the proposal is marked withdrawn.

In the future state, proposals submitted to donors will ideally have a gift agreement/pledge form associated with the proposal; the gift agreement/pledge form will have been generated by information housed on the proposal record, yet it will be editable where appropriate by the development officer. Gift agreements and pledge forms will be accessible from the donor’s record and associated to the proposal and future gift/pledge. If the donor agrees to fund the proposal, the proposal is will be marked with a status of “closed/won” or equivalent in Salesforce to indicate that the donor has confirmed a desire to give.

When the gift is processed by the Constituent Management team, the proposal status is automatically updated to “funded.”

Key Changes

During discussion about the process, several improvement opportunities to address inefficiencies in the current state surfaced:

1. Roll Up Functionality

  • Currently the ability to add proposals to subsidiary records of corporate entities is lacking.
  • In the future state, development staff will have the ability to add proposals to any organization or subsidiary. Salesforce roll-up functionality will allow for viewing action taken on the subsidiaries on parent records.
  • Currently, family hierarchy functionality is limited and does not allow the ability to track giving for multiple members of the same family.
  • In the future state, staff will be able to manage family hierarchies and track giving for multiple members or units of a family.

2. Electronic Gift Agreement Functionality

  • Currently the ability to edit agreements is limited and development staff would benefit from the ability to edit appropriate areas of the document.
  • In the future state, staff will have more flexibility to edit gift agreements, where appropriate.

3. Connectivity in the Solicitation Process

  • Currently, contact reports are not connected to proposals.
  • In the future state, staff will have the ability to connect contact reports to proposals.
  • In the current state, the ability to connect alumni affairs and stewardship details to proposals does not exist
  • In the future state, staff will be able to connect appropriate stakeholders to proposals including alumni affairs, stewardship and potential advisors or other involved parties.
  • Currently, Prospect Development cannot attach gift transactions directly to the proposal.
  • The future state will require less time-intensive effort as staff will be able to connect gift transactions to proposals.

4. Proposal Statuses

  • Currently, not all proposal statuses are used, limiting the ability to optimally track proposal progress.
  • Future state functionality will allow for updated statuses to improve proposal tracking.

5. Proposal Assignment

  • Currently, there is limited flexibility regarding proposal assignment, as a record must be assigned to a development officer to establish a proposal.
  • In the future state, development officers will be able to establish proposals without requiring constituent records to be directly assigned to them, if appropriate.

6. Proposal Allocations

  • In the current system, development officers find it difficult to easily split and share credit, entering more proposals than necessary when a donor intends to give to multiple campuses/areas.
  • In Salesforce, splitting allocation will provide a better system for crediting development officers and tracking giving to various units when gifts are directed to multiple areas.

7. Increased Controls

  • Currently there are not standardized processes around the amount of time needed to pass before marking a proposal as “withdrawn.”
  • In the future system, standardizing the process of withdrawing proposals, will allow efficient tracking of proposal statuses.

Considerations

  1. What data or actions are required at each stage of a proposal?
  2. How would you like to indicate when a proposal is closed vs. funded?
  3. Where would you like to track proposals? On the individual constituent or at the household level?
  4. How would you like to associate actions with proposals? Constituent actions?Development officer actions? Campaigns?
  5. What reporting needs do you have to have robust understanding of asks in flight and expected gifts within and across portfolios?
  6. What reports will help drive efficiencies in the proposal process from a managerial perspective?
  7. How are proposals tied to development officer metrics?

Final Summary

Currently, all proposal statuses are not fully utilized, and statuses are not fully reflective of the nuances of the proposal lifecycle, making it harder to succinctly track the progress of a proposal. Staff may have the opportunity for higher resolution view of proposal progress by utilizing the new proposal stages.

Additionally, proposals will be managed via gift agreement or pledge forms inSalesforce, erasing the need to manually manage proposals and reducing documentation issues. The ability to easily connect documentation like contact reports to proposals will reduce the current time-intensive research and status rollbacks.

UT Foundation will benefit from the ability to facilitate annual giving proposals, track giving for multiple members of the same family, and utilize rollup functionality that allows adding proposals to corporate subsidiaries. Overall, the system will seamlessly connect all elements of the solicitation process including the ability to connect alumni affairs and stewardship details on proposals, and the ability to attach gift transactions directly to proposals.

CRM process proposalflow diagram

Need Support?

Questions? Issues? Requests? Please use the ACE Feedback form: utfi.org/ace-feedback 

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Contact the User Experience team at [email protected]
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