Prospect Management Guidelines


In any university development program with a comprehensive, university-wide constituent
orientation,  management  of  prospects  is  the  most  essential  management  function  driving  the
development and campaign  process. 

The  goal  of  the  university’s  prospect  assignment  procedure  shall  be  to  make  decisions  in  a
collaborative and collegial environment,  fostering  accountability  and  trust  in  the  overall  process.
Active  fundraising  will  reflect  awareness  and promotion  of  the  university’s  institutional  and  
academic  priorities. The donor’s philanthropic desires are  to be the principal guide and are to be
primary in decision-making.. 

To serve that end, the following prospect management principles and procedures have been created.
Specifically, the procedures make provision for:

  1. Definitiveness  in  prospect  manager  assignments  and  proposal  record  assignments  to  a
    development officer whose charge it is to obtain gifts through the use of Case Western
    Reserve University volunteer and senior academic personnel resources.
  2. Regular review of prospects’ financial capacities to make a gift to the university at a level
    that will serve to fulfill the philanthropic needs identified by the institution.
  3. The assignment of a prospect to a school or program of the prospect’s potential interest by
    taking into account the affiliation of the prospect with a particular school or program.
  4. School  deans  and  development  officers  have  the  right  to  review  prospect  assignment
    requests, with the latitude of the Vice President for Development and/or her designee to
    affirm  prospect  assignments  or  reallocate  prospects  to  units  with  the  aim  of  funding
    university priority needs and/or donor-centered interests.
  5. The development management team is to set in place plans for moving prospects from the
    status of identified prospects through solicitation and ultimately into stewardship.
  6. Regular meetings will be initiated by the relevant  development  leadership to  examine and
    review relationships and strategies for key major, leadership, and principal gift prospects.  
    Prospect group meetings for prospects rated under $1M will be held at the school level.
    Prospect group meetings for prospects rated over $1M will be facilitated centrally by the
    Vice President of Development or her designee. 


  1. There are two main types of prospect manager assignments on Special ($10,000 - $99,999),
    Major  ($100,000-$999,999),  Leadership  ($1  million  -  $5  million),  Principal  ($5 million-
    $10  million),  and  Concierge  Principal  ($10  million+)  gift  prospects:    Prospect  Manager
    (primary assignment) and Assistant Prospect Manager(s) (secondary assignments).  Only one
    prospect manager assignment is possible in Advance, however, multiple assistant  prospect
    managers may be assigned. There  are  also  three  types  of  proposal  level  assignments,  of
    which fundraisers  are  capable of assigning themselves and others: Soliciting Development
    Officer, Collaborating Development Officer, and Volunteer.
  2. Requesting assignment as prospect manager may be done at any time. The requester must
    obtain  written  permission  from  his  or  her  supervisor.    This  permission  must  be  sent,  
    along  with  the  request,  to  the  Associate  Director  of  Prospect  Management,  who  will 
    then  obtain  final  approval  from  the  Vice  President  of  Development.    Development
    Officers must make sure that they keep their Prospect Manager assignments under the
    maximum  allowed  by  their  position  level  (Director:    200;  Senior  Director:    150; 
    Assistant and Associate Dean/Executive Director:  100; Associate Vice President/Vice
    Dean/Vice President/Senior Vice President:  50).
  3. The prospect  manager will be responsible for coordinating all contacts of a philanthropic
    nature with the  university.  The time period of active assignment will be determined on a
    case  by  case  basis as  long  as  the  prospect  manager  can  show  advancement  in  the  
    relationship.  In acknowledgement of multiple programs with which a prospect may affiliate,
    a fundraiser, dean, other university official, or volunteer may continue cultivation efforts
    with prospects  assigned  to  a  different  officer  at  the  prospect  manager  level,  as  long  as
    those cultivation  contacts are coordinated through that prospect manager and the relevant
    supervisors. These cultivation efforts will be  assigned as assistant prospect managers.  A
    requestor  for  an  assistant  prospect  manager  assignment  must  obtain  written  permission  
    from his or her supervisor, AND written permission from the prospect manager.  These
    permissions will then be sent to the Associate Director of Prospect Management, who will
    obtain final approval from the Vice President of Development.
  4. Requesting assignment as prospect manager indicates an intention to solicit a special, major,
    leadership, or principal gift from the assigned prospect. Once a prospect is assigned  to  a
    prospect  manager, other claimants must abstain from solicitation without permission of the
    prospect  manager.
  5. Given the sometimes delicate nature of solicitations and gift discussions, all development
    staff,  deans  and  volunteers  must  respect  the  decisions  and  judgments  of  the  prospect
    manager.  Assignments  will  be  reviewed  at  regular  intervals  (see  review  procedures
    below) to  determine  if  suitable  progress  has  been  made. Prospects  may  be  eligible  for  
    reassignment after  a  chosen  period  if  there  has  been  no  solicitation  made  or  progress
    toward  solicitation  demonstrated.    Prospect  managers  may  present  a  case  for  continued  
  6. Communication  and  shared  information  are  critical  components  of  an  active  fundraising
    agenda, and a single repository and source of information on prospects and donors is vital to
    success.  Development personnel involved in cultivating and soliciting prospects must enter
    contact reports into Advance to document their fundraising activities within five  business
    days since they have had contact with a prospect. Development officers are also
    responsible  for  documenting  the  activities  of  volunteers,  deans,  and  other  university
    personnel  that  they  utilize. Contact  report  policies  may  be  reviewed  in  the  training  
  7. Development officers should exercise appropriate diligence before initiating any activity
    with a prospect. Advance should be checked for assignments, recent contact reports,  and  
    proposals  before initiating contact. An updated research profile should also be requested
    if  the prospect’s wealth, demographic data, or other information has changed significantly.
    When appropriate,  development  officers  should  also  seek  information  from  staff  or
    volunteers with  existing relationships to support their work.  

Review Procedures

  1. In  the  event  a  development  officer  departs  the  University,  prospect  management  will
    emphasize the reassignment of principal gift prospects, followed by leadership, major gift,
    then  special  gift  prospects  in  that  development  officer’s  portfolio.  Prospects  with  an
    identified  cultivation  or  solicitation  strategy  will  be  reassigned,  if  appropriate,  by  the
    development officer’s supervisor.  Prospects with no defined strategy or relationship will
    be  either  returned  to  the  prospect  pool  or  directed  to  the  appropriate  assignment  by  a
    fundraising executive either  centrally or at a school.
  2. The Associate Director of Prospect Management will meet individually with development
    officers on a  regular basis to review their portfolios for accuracy  and currency.  The  goal
    will  be  to accurately reflect their work on the Fundraiser Summary Report and the
    Fundraiser Performance Reports.
  3. School-centered and/or department-centered prospect meetings should be coordinated with
    central development and take place on a regular basis.  The goals of these meetings should
    be to review special and major gift prospects regarding strategy and other issues as needed.

Conflict Resolution

Prospects in contention for assignment within a school: arbitration is by the Chief Development Officer at that school.

  1. Prospects in contention for assignment within  a school:  arbitration is  by  the  Chief
    Development Officer at that school.
  2. Prospects  in  contention  between  or  among  schools:  arbitration  will  follow  the  chain  of
    command  of  the  University  Development  Office  as  defined  by  the  Vice  President  of
  3. Development  officers  who  wish  to  make  a  case  for  prospect  manager  assignment  or
    permission for solicitation should have a detailed solicitation plan documented in
    Advance with the appropriate back-up, proposal records, and contact reports.

Supporting Notes

In order for development officers to receive due credit for their work; contacts, collaboration, and
solicitation  of  prospects  will  be  recorded  on  fundraiser  performance  reports.  These  reports  are
driven by proposal record assignments (Soliciting Development Officer and Collaborating
Development Officer), not prospect manager or assistant prospect manager assignments.  
Information from Contact Reports and Prospect Tasks are also reviewed for performance purposes.  
Any  member  of  University  Relations  and  Development  who  has  an  interaction  with  an  alum  or  
other  outside  constituent  of  the  University  must  input  the  relevant  information  into  Ellucian  
Advance within five business days of the interaction.
The  prospect  management  policies  and  principles  here  are  intended  to  support  a  process  that
provides openness, collaboration, accountability, and trust.  All interested parties should note that
the process as it  pertains  to  prospect  management  is  a  fluid  situation  and  should  the  needs  and
emphasis  of  the  development program change, these procedures may be revisited and changed


As of 10/26/2021