Satisfied Donors Versus Passionate Donors
It is early in the year and by now you have established your fundraising goals for the year. Do you know what your donors want from you?
| Posted in Fundraising on Feb 23, 2011 by
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Now is the time to talk with the donors. They can help you reach your fundraising goal. In fact, we all know that it is impossible to reach this year's goal without the help of the current donors.
There are two questions to ask your donors:
1- What goals or expectations do you have of our organization this year? 2- How do you see yourself helping us achieve the success you envision?
Of course, if you ask that question of a donor and receive, "I don't know." Or "I haven't thought about it." for a response you know your donor lacks passion for the mission. They are just "satisfied donors". "Passionate donors" have a vision of what the future could be if your mission reaches its potential.
Satisfied donors are easy to lose. They are the ones who seem to drift way without warning. They are the ones who cut their gifts or stopped giving during the downturn.
Knowing that they are only satisfied is helpful. You now know that you must convert them into "passion donors" before the year is over or risk losing them. Can you afford to lose any donors and still make your fundraising goal?
Some donors will have answers for the two opening questions. Of course, it will be important to make note of the answer to the first question and share it with the rest of the team. If you fail to meet the expectations by the end of the year, you risk converting the passionate into the dissatisfied. That will make next year difficult.
A follow-up question for the first question is, "Why is that important to you?" The will give you additional insight about the donor and help you cultivate a deeper relationship. Please remember to ask the follow-up question.
There is a temptation to think that they answered the follow-up question recently so re-asking is unnecessary. However, people change. In addition, constantly seeking confirmation of their interests demonstrates that you care.
The answer to the second question, "How do you see yourself helping us reach that goal?" provides more information that will help cultivate a deeper relationship.
Be prepared with suggestions, just in case they are unprepared for the other opening question. One of the most valuable suggestions you can make is, "You could introduce us to other donors who share your passion?" Over the long run that is better than doubling their gift.
- Create a plan that ensures you will talk to all of your donors at least once this year
- Talk to the donors and discover what they are thinking and how they would like to help
- Use what you learn to cultivate greater interest from your existing donors
- Use what you learn to attract more donors like your passionate, engaged donors
Increasing the number of passionate donors increases sustainability and creates a more sustainable funding stream. Increasing the passion of the existing donors also increases sustainability and creates a more sustainable funding stream. The preceding two sentences also increase your probability of reaching your fundraising goal for the year.
How many of your current donors will you talk to next week?
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