If you manage a portfolio of major donors, or a team of gift officers, or maybe you just want to track solicitations for your organization, you can use the Gift Ask Pipeline. The Pipeline is a Kanban-style, drag-and-drop board that provides a high-level view of asks broken down by status, or pipeline stage, with weighted and actual totals for each group.
Note: Only users with permission to view Gift Asks can view the Gift Ask Pipeline. If you do not have the correct permissions, contact your internal Virtuous administrator.
To get started, navigate to Gifts page in Virtuous, and then click on the Gift Ask Pipeline tab in the upper left.
You can also click on "More Tools" in the menu and then select "Gift Ask Pipeline from the sub-menu.
By default, the Gift Ask Pipeline will show all of your own Gift Asks for the current fiscal year. (Virtuous Admins can control the Fiscal Year Start from the Organization Settings). You will see these parameters automatically selected in the filters on the left.
You may choose to modify the filter criteria, if needed. If you leave the page for any reason, the filter will revert back to the default.
The pipeline view is laid out in multiple columns.
Each column corresponds with a different Gift Ask Status value. Virtuous admins can customize the Status values for their organization, so your pipeline can be customized to reflect your major gifts process. You can learn more about managing and customizing Gift Ask Statuses here.
Probability and Weighted Totals
Each Status can also be assigned a "Probability to Close," expected as a percentage. This represents the likelihood that a Major Gift Ask will be successful. Virtuous uses this value to calculate the Weighted Total of each Gift Ask. For example, a Gift Ask of $100 with a 50% Probability to Close will have a Weighted Value of $50.
At the top of each column in the pipeline, you'll see two numbers. On the left is the total Weighted Amount of all Gift Asks in that column, with the Total Actual Amount on the right.
For our previous example of a $100 ask with a 50% probability to close, this would look like:
$50 / $100
Assuming, of course, that it was the only Gift Ask in its column.
Click and drag any card in the pipeline to move a Gift Ask to a new Status.
You may have some personal knowledge about a donor that leads you to believe your Gift Ask should have a different probability than the percentage assigned to its status. For example, you may have just made an initial ask, which is a status that has a probability of 10%. But you made that initial ask of a close friend, who you know is very likely to give. In a case like this, it is possible to edit a Gift Ask and manually set a different Probability to Close. From the pipeline screen, click on the three dots on any card to see the available options, one of which is "Edit Gift Ask."
Then, on the edit form, you'll see the option to manually enter a new Probability. This percentage should always be entered as a whole number.
Each Gift Ask "card" in the pipeline also displays a thin green bar along the top edge. This bar represents the Probability to Close for each ask. Once you edit the percentage for a specific ask, you will see the green bar shift to correspond with the new probability. The GIF included earlier in the article includes an example of the probability indicator updating as a card is moved from one column to another.
Winning and Losing
Eventually, a donor will either respond to an ask with a gift, or they might decide not to give. In each case, the Gift Ask should be moved to a "Closed" status (more on that here) or a "Declined" status (again, you can read up on statuses here). When viewing these columns on the pipeline screen, the totals at the top of each column will display slightly different information.
For any "Closed" status, the totals will reflect the total amount of all Gifts related to the asks in that column vs. the Total Actual Amount of all asks.
For "Declined" status columns, the totals will always show $0 on the left vs. the Total Actual Amount on the right.
Now that you know all about the Gift Ask Pipeline, go ahead and get started organizing and tracking your Gift Asks!