The Three R’s of Fundraising Success
In addition, many individuals will become life-long supporters of the mission and thus your organization, without actually becoming personal friends. And that’s just fine, because it means you’re mastering the steps to building a relationship.
Just keep applying the natural steps we all embody with our dearest friends. Obviously, outlining all of the steps could easily be another full article. Suffice to say that keeping some of the following in mind will start you in the proper direction: listening, remembering, relating, caring, staying in touch, informing, asking, helping and thanking.
The second R is RESEARCH. This doesn’t have to be fancy, although it is easy to be quite professional with the many wonderful prospect research/screening tools on the market. A key new development in the area is the online look-up service. Such online services allow you to easily identify wealth via asset listings. Those services, usually much more economical than a complete screening of your prospects, allow you to look up details about individuals one at a time.
Since one of your best predictors of success in creating a new major donor is some form of prior relationship, using a one-off lookup makes all the sense in the world. If your current board and top donors suggest individuals that they know, you can easily perform proper research before the first personal call. This also works for prior multi-year donors who have not reached the major category.
Your research can take other avenues, which also pay dividends, as you build the relationship. It could research about more than financial assets. Finding information from your contact source about the prospect’s personal opinions and passions is invaluable. If you can add other such key information about family situations and needs, which in many cases can only be uncovered via other personal relationships, then you are fully prepared to start and build a strong relationship.
Jay Love is the co-founder and current chief relationship officer at Bloomerang. He has served this sector for 33 years and is considered the most well-known senior statesman whose advice is sought constantly.
Prior to Bloomerang, he was the CEO and co-founder of eTapestry for 11 years, which at the time was the leading SaaS technology company serving the charity sector. Jay and his team grew the company to more than 10,000 nonprofit clients, charting a decade of record growth.
He is a graduate of Butler University with a B.S. in business administration. Over the years, he has given more than 2,500 speeches around the world for the charity sector and is often the voice of new technology for fundraisers.