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.