Opportunities Overview*

Written by Dana Kinsey

Last published at: May 18th, 2020

Opportunities are a relationship management tool used to track specific strategies for an individual, household, or organization. The Opportunities function is where you conduct “moves management” for prospects or volunteers.

Opportunities allow you to do the following:

  • Build-out and track time-oriented engagements with your constituents

  • Assign and track tasks that drive these opportunities

  • Track success rates of fundraising efforts and connect opportunities to gifts realized

  • Promote forethought and conversation about how to move constituents forward in their relationship with your organization

  • Prevent knowledge loss due to employee turnover

  • Track giving commitments without impacting the general ledger 

Opportunities are the individual pieces that build the foundation of your pipeline and fund development strategy. They are individual project plans that enable you to move relationships forward. Opportunities increase your effectiveness because they help you approach relationship building with a strategy and record and track the important details of that relationship in order to propel it forward. Additionally, capturing these opportunities in the system protects against losing momentum due to organizational turnover. Finally, creating metrics with this data enables the organization to track progress, identify what is working and create financial projections via success rates on solicitations and current donor pipeline.

Opportunities can manage relationships with or without donation goals. Examples of donation goals might include new funds or bequests. Examples of non-donation goals might include board member or professional advisor recruitment. Nothing in opportunities has an impact on the general ledger, making opportunities a prime location to track bequest commitments or recurring donations that are not booked as pledges.

Opportunities Setup

Select Opportunities from the Non-Profit column on the Home page, then List Types on the left sidebar. This is where you build user defined opportunity types and their related task/note types. The left sidebar has options to + Add Opp Type and + Add Task Type.

If you went live in late 2019 or after, you likely have default Opportunity Types and Task/Note Types in your site. These can be edited or deleted to suit your needs.

When you create opportunity types, think big and broad—what major relationships does your organization drive and what strategies apply to a broad cross-section of actions your organization pursues? What relationships are you managing that have a long term goal? Are you using external systems to track relationship management?

Once you’ve created an opportunity type with the first stage, you can add additional stages. Stages help track where the prospect is within this continuum and drive movement forward. Each opportunity type must have at least one stage. There is no limit to the number of stages an opportunity type can have.

Examples:

  • Major Gift Stages: Discovery, Engage, Cultivate, Solicit, Stewardship 

  • Volunteer Recruitment: Ignorance, Awareness, Interest, Experience, Participation, Ownership

Selecting the ID associated with the Opportunity Type allows you to delete stages, or select edit from the left sidebar to rename and/or reorder stages. This will impact all existing closed and open Opportunities with this type, so these changes are best made during the setup.

Here are some examples of Opportunity Types and Stages:

Opportunities can be assigned to profiles individually or in batch. The only required field when creating an opportunity is the type. Adding a target date and solicitation plan adds further detail for managing the relationship and reaching your goal. If the fund is known, this can also be populated. The first time you edit an Opportunity, it will require entering a Solicited Amount, which is your target solicitation amount. If the goal of the Opportunity is not a gift, you can enter $0. 

Opportunities can be assigned in batch but cannot be bulk edited. When batch assigning opportunities, consider whether these opportunities will be managed on a 1:1 basis. If not, Campaigns are another option to consider.

Opportunities can also be imported.

Manage Opportunities

Once you have Opportunities assigned to profiles, and have set up your task/note types, you can add tasks to Opportunities to keep the relationship moving forward. You can assign tasks to anyone in your organization. They see the assigned task and due date on their own list of tasks.

As you cultivate the relationship you’re tracking in the Opportunity, keep your information up to date:

  • Mark your Opportunity Tasks complete and add notes

  • Add new Opportunity Tasks to drive strategy

  • Update the Opportunity to reflect the current stage. The black stage is the current stage and you can edit this by clicking on another stage in blue.

       

  • Update your Target Date, Solicited Amount, Committed Amount, and Fund as you learn more information.

    • When a Committed Amount is entered, Balance will appear on the Opportunity. This value is the Committed Amount minus any donations or pledge payments linked to the Opportunity. When Committed Amount is blank, Balance is Solicited Amount minus any donations or pledge payments linked to the Opportunity.

  • If the Opportunity Type originally assigned is no longer the goal, change the Opportunity Type. For instance, a major gift type could change focus to bequest type.

Track success rates with Opportunities:

  • If an Opportunity results in a donation and/or pledge and is processed under the same record as the Opportunity, these can be linked to the Opportunity.

  • When an opp is complete, select Mark Complete from the left sidebar and select whether the opp was successful or not successful.

Use the list views in Opportunities or Custom Reporting to see lists of open and closed Opportunities with their associated data.

Here is a training webinar that outlines some ways Opportunities can be used: