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Manage Donor Portfolios

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Use list views for quick organization of potential donors.
  • Assess advancement initiatives via the campaign object.
  • Measure key performance metrics with reports and dashboards.

When managing donor relationships, it’s important to understand what to prioritize and why. That’s where Salesforce list views, campaigns, and reporting come into play.

Organize and Prioritize Your Donor Portfolio with List Views

So much of advancement work comes down to setting priorities. The to-do and “sure would be nice to do” lists can seem endless. That’s why list views are a lifesaver for advancement and development teams. List views establish criteria for prioritization and allow you to create custom lists (think lists of opportunities or contacts, for example) based on that criteria.

Once you’ve created a list view it can be used to focus your efforts for a variety of tasks like strategic communications, editing records, and managing your workload.

Major gift officer Rachel Noble prepares to meet with prospective donors in the Denver, Colorado area.

As a major gift officer, Rachel Noble uses list views to focus on particular groupings of her assigned donors. Lately she’s been focused on vetting potential donors in a Cloudy alumni club based Denver, Colorado. She creates a list view of all contacts with Denver area zip codes. She can now add the contacts from this specific list to a new campaign she dubs “Touching Base (Denver)” so she can begin reaching out to them via email.

Follow these steps to create a list view like Rachel’s.

  1. Under List View Controls, select New.
    From List View Controls, select New.

  2. Give your list a name. Rachel names this list Touching Base (Denver). The API name is automatically generated but it can be edited.
  3. Choose who can see this list view: just you, all users, or a group of users. Rachel wants to keep this list private so she selects Only I can see this list view.
  4. Click Save.

    Basic details of Rachel’s new list view

  5. The Filters panel appears. Click Filter by Owner, then select All contacts or My contacts. Rachel selects All contacts.
  6. Click Done.
  7. Add and set filters to view only the records that meet your criteria. You have different options depending on the field you want to filter and the operator you choose. Click Add Filter.
    1. Select the field to filter, an operator, and a value.
      Depending on the type of field you selected, you can either select a value or enter one of your own. Rachel selects Account: Mailing Address Zip Code as the filter, contains as the operator and the zip codes for the Denver metro area as the value.
    2. Click Done.

Now Rachel has a focused list of contacts that she can consult as she prepares to meet with potential donors. No more scrolling through the long list of All Contacts or trying to recall individual names off the top of her head.

Discover Affinity and Interest Levels Through Campaigns

Once you’ve curated a list of contacts with list views, campaigns are a great way to learn more about these potential donors, their interests, and how likely they are to give. Use the campaign members related list to add new members to a campaign, or edit or remove current members.

For each of your Salesforce campaigns, you can define a specific campaign member status relevant to each stage campaign members go through during the campaign. For example, in a fundraising event campaign, you could create customized member statuses for Invited, Attended, and Donated. When you leverage the campaign member status field you can also view a chart of your campaign members related list showing the number of campaign members currently in each status.

Tracking campaign member statuses and overall campaign performance helps your team understand how well your engagement efforts are working. Whether it’s in the context of alumni relations or donors, having insight into engagement gives you the opportunity to plan strategically and create new campaigns based on what has and hasn’t worked in the past.

When Rachel initially set up her Touching Base campaign, she created a member status called Confirmed to track Denver-area leads who indicated they are available to meet either virtually or in person. She began her email outreach for the campaign about a month before her scheduled travel to the Denver area, and as the date draws closer, she can view campaign members with that confirmed status to start planning her route and meeting schedule.

Follow these steps to create a campaign like Rachel’s Touching Base campaign.

  1. Navigate to the Campaigns tab and click New.

    Click New to create a new campaign.

  2. Name the campaign. Rachel named this campaign Touching Base.
  3. Click the checkbox for Active.
  4. In the dropdown menu, select the type of campaign. For this campaign, Rachel selects Email.
  5. Fill in any details about the campaign. Rachel includes a start end end date for this email campaign.
  6. Click Save.

    Fill in campaign details and click Save.

    Now you can add members to your campaign and assign campaign member statuses.

  7. Find the Campaign Member related list on the Campaign record and click Add Contacts.

    Click Add Contacts on the Campaign Members related to list add members to your existing campaign.

  8. Select contacts by clicking the Add icon. Click Next when all campaign members have been added.
  9. Select the member status for the new campaign member. For this example, Rachel selects the custom member status Confirmed.
  10. Click Submit.

    Select the correct campaign member status from the dropdown menu and click Submit.


Now Rachel can simultaneously send personalized email outreach to all members of her Touching Base campaign with a Confirmed status. 

Analyze Performance with Reports and Dashboards

We said it before in the Donor Insights with Education Cloud module—the key to great reports is great report planning. Begin your reporting journey with a specific question you want your Salesforce data to answer, then use relevant report fields to answer that question.

For example, Rachel’s manager, Virginia Cook, wants to know how the team’s various campaigns have influenced donations in the current academic year. With this particular question in mind, Rachel identifies a campaign influence report as the one to share with Virginia. This helps the team decide on next steps as they continue to work towards annual goals.

Finding efficiencies in the donor management process can be transformative for an advancement team. As you see from Rachel’s experience with list views, campaigns and reports, Salesforce offers solutions that streamline processes and let your data do the talking.

Resources