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Using Prospect Plan Outlines in Blackbaud CRM™

By Amanda Cose, Principal Consultant

If you work in development, you likely have experience with prospect plans in Blackbaud CRM™. Prospect plans allow you to document how you will work with a prospect, including the objectives, stages, dates, and steps you intend to take. While prospect plans are referred to as “major giving plans” in Blackbaud CRM™, their utility goes beyond major giving.

Major gift prospect plans are often unique to the prospective donor, but you may have specific steps you wish to follow for a different group of prospects or constituents. This is where plan outlines come in handy. Within the Major Giving Setup in Blackbaud CRM™, you can create an outline of steps to apply to the plans you create.

The plan outline is like a to-do list and may be used for development, stewardship, engagement, or even volunteer management. One organization I worked with created an outline for its alum award winners because there were certain steps to follow for each person, such as sending a congratulatory letter from the president, collecting a bio and photo, and emailing relevant event information. Again, these steps were standard for all award winners, so an outline was helpful to avoid the repetitive work of creating steps from scratch within each constituent record’s plan.

You could also use plan outlines for:

  • Annual giving prospects to ensure consistent cultivation steps are followed;

  • Members of a volunteer council who will follow a defined engagement path;

  • Donors to a specific initiative, fund, or giving society should receive the same stewardship steps.

The possibilities are endless!

To create a plan outline in Blackbaud CRM™, navigate to Prospects > Major Giving Setup > Plan Outlines and add. Name your outline, fill in the applicable plan objectives and contact methods, and save.

Once you’ve created an outline, you can add it to records individually or in bulk if you have a selection of existing constituents who should have the same prospect plan (as in the examples mentioned above).

To add prospect plans in bulk, navigate to Prospects > Manage Prospects and Plans in Bulk > Add Prospects Plans Process and add. Here you can add a prospect plan process to pull in a selection of constituents and add the plan details, narrative, and manager(s). The Plan Steps tab is where you would then link your plan outline to populate the steps you defined earlier. Next, save the process, expand the chevron underneath and start the process.

You will see the plans appear in the selected constituent records once the process has finished running.

If you have any questions about setting up plans, please reach out to our team.


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