A Donor List is More Than Past Giving

When I first started fundraising, I was always disappointed at how few names were on my prospect lists. It seemed that the majority of names I sent a letter or made phone calls to were the same names over and over again, and I consistently received a rather low response rate. So, I started looking in new places outside of just lapsed donors and donors from last year’s drive.

  • Your local Book of Lists. Every community has those businesses that have become the popular ones to ask for money. Because these businesses get so much charitable attention, they can be the most difficult from which to receive funding.
  • Local Chambers of Commerce. Businesses that participate in their chamber of commerce are often philanthropically minded but may not receive as many requests as the larger businesses in your community.
  • Ask your board members to recommend names. I encourage you to sit down individually with your board members and ask them to add a few names to your prospect list.
  • LinkedIn. One of my favorite places to go to find names and businesses is LinkedIn. Use the search function to find people or businesses in specific geographical regions or industry businesses. Check out the LinkedIn profiles of your board members and major donors to see who they already are connected to who might be good prospects.

3 Responses to A Donor List is More Than Past Giving

  1. Sad to say but this is real, individuals involved in the fund raising in the past would be the same person in the present, but it is still possible to let others inspire in joining fund raising activities, in spite of the other big institutions holding fund raising activities.

  2. I have horrible luck with LinkedIn and I have no idea why. However, I haven’t asked for a personal invite: yes, sort through LinkedIn contacts, but then ask your connections to introduce you directly. That might work better (I don’t know yet!). Is this what you mean when you suggest LinkedIn?

  3. […] Small Change… A Donor List is More Than Past Giving Jason at Small Change gives a couple tips on ways to spice up your donor list for potential new […]

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