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You Already Have the Gold Mine

I just had to create this post to share with you something I’ve noticed recently as a fundraising consultant. So many clients say, “I need more donors!” When I probe them further about how many donors are in their database, and how many have made a gift of a certain amount (say $500 or $1,000 or more) in the past year or so, then they give me an uncertain look, but with a pretty decent answer, such as – “I think we have had 50 people give $500 or more.”

I say, “Stop right there!” Your “gold mine” is already in your database. Then, I ask a series of questions, like-

  • What have you done in the past year to reach out to those donors, individually?
  • Are your board members giving and inviting their friends to give?
  • When was the last time they attended an event, and when major donors were there, what did you do JUST for them? Seat them with a board member, for example?
  • The list goes on and on….
  • The answer is usually “no.” We just treat them like any other donor and send them our emails, mass appeals, and our newsletter.
  • Or, they might say, “Well, I invited such-and-such for a tour, but I never heard back.”

Folks, your gold mine is already in your database. These people are already giving to your nonprofit and loyal to your organization. WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR? Do you fear that you will be “bothering” them if you pick up the phone and ask? Not if you get to know them, create a strategy, and have multiple “touches” with them throughout the year. Treat them like the caring human beings that they are! I’ve seen it work, you will get more gifts with an individual major donor strategy. And, if your board members are not involved in that process, then you really need some help, and they need some training and encouragement.

I held a seminar recently entitled “Major Donor Boot Camp” where I trained fundraisers and nonprofit professionals on these methods. Couldn’t be there?  Contact me for your personal coaching session.

I welcome your comments. Happy Fundraising!