By Anthony Lehnertz.
Some small organizations don’t know where to find even five people who might be interested in supporting while some larger organizations have a database of 50,000 prospects. So how do you find potential donors who are most likely to give to your organization in the future?
Well here are a few tips for creating a quality base of potential donors:
High Potential Donors in Your Portfolio
If you have thousands of potential donors and only four or five fundraisers on your staff, be sure to shrink your target group of potential donors to solicit so that it is a manageable size. The best way to do that is to start by identifying individuals who gave one-time large gifts in the last three years. Classify a handful of these as your principal gift prospects.
High Loyalty Donors in Your Portfolio
It can often be difficult to predict who will make a large contribution in the future; however, one good indicator is loyalty. As Amy Eisenstein explains on her website, loyal donors “are going to be your best individual giving prospects, because they already have an affinity for the organization and are showing it by donating money.” Your job, as a fundraiser, is to help these prospects recognize the full potential of their gift and their future giving values.
Ask for Friends!
The prior two suggestions are great, but if you’re a small organization, you may not even have a large enough portfolio of potential donors to have to worry about segmenting it. In your case, you need to ask for potential donor names. Whether that be from current donors you engage with or from members of your board or from employees at your organization. This does not only apply to small organizations however. Individuals who are interested in your organization will be more willing to give if they know a friend who is already giving. Being a suggested donor instead of simply a potential donor the fundraiser found online makes someone much more willing to give.
No matter the size of your portfolio or your organization, you should always be on the search for new and promising potential donors. Never underestimate the power of receiving a suggested name from someone already involved with your organization…you never know who that million dollar gift will come from!
Anthony Lehnertz is a senior at the University of Iowa studying Finance and Fundraising. Upon graduation he will be pursuing a profession in the fundraising and philanthropy world.