Understanding and Creating Opportunities

Billy Fluck
Billy Fluck
  • Updated

Opportunities link customers to specific Campaigns, allowing you to keep track of your prospects and their journeys towards making donations. An Opportunity simply means that you believe an individual or an organisation has the capacity to give towards a particular fundraising initiative.

In this article we’ll look at what Opportunities are useful for, and how to add them either individually or in bulk. Check out our Managing Opportunities article for details of how to edit, keep track of and close your Opportunities.

What are Opportunities for?

You open an Opportunity once you’ve identified a customer (whether that’s an individual or organisation) as being a prospect, and decided which overall Campaign, Sub-Campaign or Sub-Sub-Campaign they should sit within. 

There are lots of reasons why it’s valuable to use Opportunities to track and manage large prospects and donors/funders, including:

  • To record customers you've identified as prospective donors within a particular Campaign.
  • To ensure that large donations are recorded as being part of a wider Campaign, and that donors’ details are entered into Spektrix.
  • To help you manage your moves and push prospects along the pipeline.
  • To keep track of how much you’ve asked for, and how likely each prospective donor is to give.
  • To report on your progress towards Campaign targets, including forecasting.

The Opportunities Interface is designed to support you in actively managing your Opportunities. By attaching Opportunities to Activities and moving them between the different Campaign Stages, you’re working towards turning your prospects into donors - at which point you can close the Opportunity (and start again).

Should all donors and prospective donors be assigned Opportunities?
For one-off donors who give small amounts (such as those who donate at the box office or online), there shouldn’t be any need to create an Opportunity. Opportunities should be created for those customers you’ve identified as having the potential to give larger or repeat donations, and with whom you want to build one-to-one relationships.

It’s up to you to decide how many open Opportunities you can reasonably manage - if the number of open Opportunities is too high then you won’t be able to dedicate the time needed to move each Opportunity through the Campaign Stages. Bear in mind that you should be cultivating prospects with Opportunities on a one-to-one basis.

We’ll look at how to open an Opportunity for one customer, and then how to open Opportunities for a number of prospects at once (in bulk).

Adding Opportunities

As soon as you’ve identified a customer as being a prospective donor (someone you met at a fundraising event, or a company who have expressed interest in sponsorship, for example), you’ll want to assign them an Opportunity. First you should make sure that they have a customer record.

Adding a single Opportunity
In your Opportunities Interface, start off by clicking on the People icon from the Menu (the icon of a figure on the left-hand side), then search for the individual or organisation that you want to create an Opportunity for. Go to their Customer Record and select the Opportunities section in the top menu (if the record already has an Opportunity associated with it, it will be listed here).

Click New Opportunity - you’ll then see the Add New Opportunity screen, with a variety of fields to fill in.

  • Campaign: select the Campaign, Sub-Campaign or Sub-sub-Campaign you want to add this Opportunity to. For more information about Campaigns, see our Campaigns article and Campaign and Fund Structure Planning Guide.
  • Description: adding a description is optional but this can be a useful place to make important notes about an Opportunity. You can search for Opportunities by keyword, so you can also use this to make searching easier and group together some Opportunities.
  • Owner: the person who is responsible for moving this Opportunity forward.
  • Current Stage: the Campaign Stage that this particular Opportunity is at. For new Opportunities, this will usually be the first stage but if you’ve already established a relationship with the prospect, you might want to start their Opportunity further along the pipeline.
  • Expected Close Date: this is usually the date that you expect you’ll have received the donation and thanked the donor by. You can filter your Opportunities by this field, to make sure you’re working on the Opportunities which are most urgent.
  • Target and Asked Amounts: The minimum amount you are aiming for, and how much you plan to actually ask for (or if you wish, how much you have actually asked for, if you’ve already made the ask).
  • Likelihood of Success: if you’ve set a Likelihood of Success for each Campaign Stage, then this will be the default for any Opportunities you add at that stage (in this example, Research has a 15% Likelihood of Success). However, you may decide that this particular Opportunity has a higher than usual Likelihood of Success (e.g. if the prospect always donates), in which case you can set a custom percentage. This will affect your forecast reporting.

Click Save when done. Don’t worry if you’ve missed a field or need to change something as your interactions with the prospects progress - you can always come back and edit the Opportunity later.

Adding Opportunities in bulk
Instead of creating Opportunities individually, you can add multiple Opportunities at once for a group of potential donors. It is worth noting, however, that when you add Opportunities in bulk, you give a group of people identical Opportunities. Therefore if you want to add detailed notes or very donor-specific targets, then you’re better off creating those Opportunities one at a time. Bulk Opportunities, on the other hand, are an excellent way to make sure you follow up on and research prospects in your database.

Before you can assign Opportunities in bulk, you need to build a Customer List (in Insights & Mailings) to identify who you want to create the Opportunities for. For example you might look to identify current or past members, mid-level or regular donors, regular attenders who consistently donate at checkout, or people who have attended a specific event - anyone who you might wish to approach for a Campaign. 

If you’re wondering how to identify your prospects, check out the Prospecting Your Database for the Next Big Donors workshop from this article for some additional guidance.

For more information on building Customer Lists, take a look at the following articles:

NOTE: as mentioned earlier, you might also want to think about how many Opportunities you add here to ensure it’s a manageable number for your team.

Once you’ve got your customer list, here’s how to bulk create the Opportunities.

Adding Opportunities in bulk from a Customer List
From your Customer List, select the Actions drop-down list and choose Bulk create opportunities.

This will take you to a new screen called Create Opportunities from Segmentation Results, with a variety of fields to fill in.

Enter the details for your Opportunities - remember that these settings will be applied to all of the Opportunities you create. After you’ve created them, you can always edit them individually if you need to.

Most of these fields are the same as when creating individual Opportunities, however there are a couple of additional options:

  • Action to take if this job would overwrite an existing opportunity: choose one of the two options for what to do if creating a new Opportunity would overwrite one that already exists for a particular customer:
  • Skip creation of that opportunity: don’t create that particular Opportunity, but continue attempting to create the rest of the Opportunities.
  • Cancel creation of all opportunities in this job: stop the whole process.
  • Create Activity with each Opportunity: check this box if you want to automatically create an Activity at the same time as creating the Opportunities. If you’re creating a number of Opportunities at Research stage, for example, you might choose to create Activities at the same time to remind you to spend time researching each new prospect with an Opportunity.

If you have not selected Create Activity with each Opportunity then just click the Save button and the system will attempt to bulk create your Opportunities.

Alternatively, if you have selected Create Activity with each Opportunity then the Save button changes to Next and clicking it takes you to the Activity Details screen.

Here you need to fill in the details of the Activity you wish to add to your Opportunities, and then click the Save button. See this article for more information about creating Activities.

Your new Opportunities will now be created. You’ll get an email notification confirming this, and you should be able to see these right away by navigating back to the Opportunities interface and searching your Opportunities dashboard.

Further reading

Now that your Opportunities are set up, check out our Managing Opportunities article for more information about how to edit, keep track of, report on and close Opportunities. For further reading about how to navigate, understand and use the Opportunities Interface in Spektrix, have a look at some of these articles:

If you’re looking for more detailed advice on how the Opportunities Interface functionality in Spektrix can help you in your day to day fundraising work, check out or selection of Best Practice guides.

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Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team if have any questions about what’s been covered here, or would like to talk in more detail about anything fundraising-related.

 

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