When asked about the meaning of workflow, I think the average worker thinks of lists that must be worked through in a specific manner. However, workflow goes well beyond list creation.

Workflow is actually a design process by which you plot, test, refine and deploy strategies. By analyzing workflow, a hospital foundation can learn a lot about its business process. It can also help in planning for the future. Even with the best Artificial Intelligence (AI) and predictive models, there is no automatic and unattended approach to account management.

When analyzing your workflow, consider some of these elements:

  1. Look at your historical results as a guide to the future. Even though you may be planning to modify your workflow, the analysis of historical data gives you a baseline of future performance. The best way to do this is to:
    • List all your key performance indicators (KPIs) and order those by the most important in terms of what gets you to your planned goals.
    • Create a dashboard of these KPIs and benchmark them. These now become a factual standard by which to assess your KPIs to industry standards and internal performance.
  2. Need to consider Return on Investment (ROI) for your workflow components. Compare the cost of action to the overall income for that action. For example, look at what it takes to cultivate a donor through an email campaign by considering the cost to develop the campaign to the overall raise you hope to accomplish. By subtracting the cost from the raise and then dividing by the number of donors, you can find the return per email donor. This becomes an important metric when planning your outreach strategies.
  3. Use your workflow analysis to determine who are your best prospects and how those prospects are approached. One of the challenges with major gift outreach is the number “no” to “yes” responses with the former being usually greater. Workflow can help you determine if you have the ability to even reach the prospect and if they would be amenable to that outreach. In business processes, this is often defined as “right-party contact” meaning the prospect you are trying to reach aligns with the demographics of your ideal prospect. By prioritizing major gift officer wealth screenings by right-party contact and affinity indicators, the number of connections improves as does the job satisfaction for the major gift officers.

One word of caution: do not over-analyze and create “analysis paralysis” which is overthinking your benchmarking and making the workflow too complicated to deploy or even manage. Remember, we all need to keep moving forward and workflow is just another way to get you there faster.