I truly enjoy meeting with donors as they often give me their insights into what they are thinking about, the charities both they and their friends support and the myriad of requests being made of them. Those who are involved and give a lot feel stretched to do as much as they can with their resources.
Last week I had coffee with a dear friend who worked as a volunteer on a campaign we did. He shared with me that he is involved with another campaign where he has raised three times as much as the firm the charity hired. He is a successful volunteer fundraiser because he supports many charities, and thus has the ability to ask others to support those things he is involved in. . .but it is the same people. How many times have you heard that before? No matter where I go in the country there is always a core group of donors in each community who do a great deal. They can only do so much. The question the charities ask is “how can we get new donors” and the donors ask the same question.
Known donors seem to get the attention of the charities. Let’s face it, it helps answer the question “do they give?” A number of prospect research tools will also give you that information. The real challenge is finding new people. The reason my friend is successful is because he is out in the community and knows a lot of people. So he knows people who know people. He may not be the largest donor but he certainly is a great connector. Connectors are as important as donors. Some connectors can lead you to those new names you keep looking for.
How many connectors are you meeting with a month? Do you think about asking each person at the end of your visit if they can suggest three people you should be speaking with?
“When written in Chinese
the word crisis is composed of two characters.
One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”
John F. Kennedy
Written by: Paul D’Alessandro
Founder and Chairman