Does your non-profit budget rely on just a few large donors?

If it does, you are not alone…

Fort Worth, Texas | We help nonprofits crack the code to find long-term donors
“For nonprofits, 88 percent of total dollars raised comes from just 12 percent of donors, so focusing efforts on major donors is important.” - Bloomerang Study

And that makes it hard to focus time and resources on anyone that is not a major donor. You have to put your efforts where they’re paying off!

But what if you could spend a few targeted hours each week on “the rest” of your donors and get results?

What if the people you asked for help would be more than 65% more likely to give you a shot at gaining them as a supporter?

That’s what you can do by looking strategically at your current network.

Want to know how?

First let’s look at what we mean by our “current network.” We’re making the assumption that you already have a not-for-profit set up and people are already giving to it (even if it’s just some friends and former colleagues).

Most people make their list of 100 friends and family to ask for money and they get stuck there. But as your organization matures, the size of your network grows exponentially. Here’s how:

The big blocks on the left represent your first line of donors--the ones that are part of an organization or company. The small ones across the top represent the individual donors who give.

Everything else in the image represents THEIR networks. So that means that you are just two conversations away from a warm introduction to a new potential donor.

So every new donor you add down the left side or across the top adds exponentially more people just a cup of coffee away.

Knowing that you are just two asks away from a potential long-term donor is really exciting! But how does that help you in practical terms?

Here is how to start an actionable process TODAY that will lead to more warm conversations that make sense to you and the potential donor:

  1. Make a list of ALL your current individual donors. Make a list of organizations that support you currently. Make a list of everyone that has given to you in the past.
  1. Put a star by the ones that you consider highly loyal or big advocates for you.
  1. Create a small bit of fanfare or quick get together to honor and praise them. For example, I have a friend who rented out a private movie theatre for his group.
  1. Create a specific ask for the end of your event - tie it to a specific amount that will complete a specific project in the near future (30-90 days).
  2. Follow up with one-on-one calls to thank them and ask for ideas on who else they could connect you to.

There are two major reasons this approach works well for non-profits in particular.

  1. The law of reciprocity is strong in the non-profit sector. We can provide a nice experience that doesn’t take much of their time and ask for help in return. Just don’t hide the fact that that is what you’re doing when you invite them.
  1. It builds connection and credibility in the mind of your donors. Many people feel like they are not involved with the charity they support. They may get Christmas cards or a monthly email about the group, but that doesn’t feel very personal. Making them feel like part of the team gives you the credibility to ask.

Have you tried this approach?


Want more specific direction on how to find new donors this month? Check out our FREE Lasting Donor Locator Course!