No matter how large your donor file is in your organization, it is vital to have a continual renewal of prospects each year.
There is an old proverb “you have not, because you ask not.” Learning how to ask is the first and most fundamental challenge that must be conquered by all non-profits.
The biggest problem non-profits make is not asking when in search for new prospects. It is a universal rule that you have to cultivate your relationship with a prospect before you ask for a donation. And while that is true, that’s not the type of “asking” I’m talking about. There are many other ways to “ask” when finding new prospects.
Here are three ways to “Ask” for new prospects for your non-profit:
1) Referrals – Just ask your networks for referrals!
You have a mountain of connections and new prospects at your fingertips – where? Through your current donors, volunteers, board members, staff members, and other supporters. Ask these connections for a referral!
In the business world, good sellers are constantly talking to their networks and current clients if they know someone who might also benefit from their product or service.
2) Introductory Events – Just ask new prospects to come!
No donation needed. Asking new prospects for money right away is never a good strategy. Your donors are just as much a part of your team as your staff, so don’t treat them like an ATM! But it’s never a bad idea to asking new prospects to Introductory Events (sometimes called “Point of Entry Events”). It’s a good way to get them interested and invested (not monetarily) in your cause. Face-to-Face meetings is the best way to start cultivating your donor relationships… why not start cultivating that relationship immediately?
3) Sponsors – Ask new sponsors!
Too often, non-profits forget to see their sponsors for their large events as their own type of donors. Sure, your organization and your event’s sponsors have a symbiotic relationship – but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need their support as well! Let’s not forget that finding new sponsors also gives you more connections and a larger network to get more referrals down the line.