How do I find new donors? It’s the age-old question every development director asks. The white whale of fundraising. To maintain a healthy balance of new and existing donors, you know you need to do the legwork. Like building a new friendship, finding new donors takes commitment and effort. But where to begin? Check out these 6 ways you can get new donors to fuel your nonprofit’s mission.
1) Relationship Mapping
Your current donors, board members, and volunteers are your best link to finding new donors. Who are their guests at events? Who shares your social media posts? Sincerely cultivating your existing relationships is good donor stewardship and has the added benefit of building your reputation in the community.
2) Research, research, research
Read your local newspapers and magazines. Who is already active in your community who you’d like to get to know better? Stay current with key new hires and promotions at prominent local companies. These announcements offer opportunities to introduce yourself, offer your congratulations, and start a conversation. Donor lists are often published in annual reports, artistic playbills, and fundraising event programs. Research the people on these lists to discover where their interests intersect with your mission. Take the time to meet and engage them. Build a relationship before you ask for a donation.
3) Be Where They Are
Find out what social media your prospects use, where they get their news, and what other organizations they support. Take part in these same activities.
4) Build Partnerships
Collaborate with like-minded organizations to build trust with an extended audience.
5) Get out in the community
If you’re an introvert, don’t think about having to “work the room.” Start by meeting one or two new people at each event. Move up to challenging yourself to make five new connections before you leave an event. Before you know it, you’ll recognize familiar faces and build your network.
6) Host Cultivation Parties
Ask board members and donors you have a close relationship with to throw house parties and invite friends and colleagues. Use a brief portion of the evening to share your organization’s work with the room. Ask your host to speak about why they support you and encourage others to give. Set out a guest book (or laptop) to sign in so you can collect mailing addresses and emails. Provide goodie bags that include a donation buck slip and stamped remit envelope. Follow up the next day with guests to say how good it was to meet them. Invite them to something else right away, while you’re fresh in their memory.
Want the secret to finding new donors? Well, we’ve got the answer! Incorporate the steps in this eGuide into your everyday fundraising work to identify, attract, and retain donors.