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You Won’t Believe What I Learned Over Breakfast!

Over breakfast recently with my husband’s oldest daughter, a graduate of The Citadel (MBA) and University of South Carolina (public relations), I learned that a process I’ve randomly used for years to find new donors actually has a name and sequence!

Using the learn-ed language of Rebekah, a seasoned marketing manager, I’ve laid out a step-by-step plan guaranteed to connect you with those elusive “new donors” and save you money!

Choose a Specific Program or Service as Your Focus – Prioritize your areas of need, which can be difficult since most non-profits consider all their services to be essential. The point here is to Focus. This is not the “Everything Campaign.”

Run a Report of Donors Who Already Support Your Focus Area – (Please don’t stop reading because your donor data is buried in the accounting software. Export recent years’ donors into Excel, and manually move forward.) Now, you have a Donor Subset of people who are mainly interested in your Focus area.

Thoughtfully Review Your Subset for Common Traits – What does this group have in common? Sort by zip code. Look for current or past board members on this list. (Remember, who asks whom matters, and in this data, you will often identify a “connector!”)

Ask “Why?”– Discuss with your staff: Why are these donors interested in this specific program or service? You may call on board members to ask about their passion for your Focus area. Your goal is to identify who’s giving and why.

Ask, “How?” and “When?” Does This Group Give? – Did the donor write a check, give on-line, or sign up for payroll deduction? Did he give in response to an employee giving campaign, a year-end letter, event invitation, telethon, or personal meeting? Defining how and when donors give allows you to repeat a past strategy intentionally and inexpensively.

By now, you’re ready to find New Donors!

Review the Geographic Area Served by Your Non-Profit – Where is your organization showing quantifiable outcomes? Within this region, where can you find Prospects who share characteristics with your existing donors?

Assess Your Unique Impact – For example, are you the only organization serving the blind, or providing summer education in local schools, or offering values-based education?

Finally, Plan the Ask! – You are now ready to “find new donors!” Your appeal should be much like the one you used to attract current donors to your Focus Area.

Save Money!
So far, you’ve spent no additional money, hired no new staff, bought no mailing lists, and added no new events. You have clearly defined the characteristics of who gives, why they give, and how they give!

And, in case you’re wondering, this is formally called Market Segmentation, which Rebekah clarified as “simply taking the right message to the right people in the right manner!”

Isn’t it amazing what you can learn over breakfast? To discover more simple, experience-based fundraising tips, Click Here.


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