Thursday, May 12, 2011

Who To Convert To Donors?

Your prospect pool is not limited to the large and often impersonal lists of donors you might purchase from a list broker (such as Melissa DATA).

Also, while expanding your donor base through Melissa DATA prospect lists is a valuable strategy - and we are absolute advocates of it - it can take coordination and human capital and financial resources that you may not have.

As a nonprofit, you also have organic sources of potential donors, including:

1. People who have contacted your nonprofit for other reasons related to your mission: send your recent prospect letter/email to people who have called your hotline (if you capture their information, but be mindful of HIPPA), who have taken tours of your facility, who have donated nominal in-kind items, or have attended trainings offered by your nonprofit.

2. Facebook/Twitter Fans: have a social-media/internet-savvy volunteer sift through all the profiles of your FB and Twitter fans to see who is already on your list.

3. People already involved in your nonprofit, but who are not donors: volunteers/vendors/former staff/speaker at your community events/conferences. Although this suggestion sounds obvious, whenever we suggest it to our clients, they usually respond “oh yeah...we should ask our volunteers to become donors – great idea!”

4. Event attendees who are guests of current donors, or people who attend your free/friend raising events: maybe you’re absolutely zealous about getting the contact information for these people, but if you’re like the rest of us Development mortals, it’s a great opportunity to ask your Trustees and Friends groups to share the names of people who “should” be giving to you.