A Tale of Two Prospective Donors – Investing in Active Donors.
Finding new and better ways of turning prospects into donors has always been the struggle (and the goal) for non-profits. After all, donors are the backbone to non-profits. Cultivating a relationship with your prospects and, eventually, donors relies on good communication.
But how do you communicate with prospects? There are two ways to engage and communicate with your prospective donors – passively and actively.
Passive Paul represents the traditional process of engaging with prospects. When you meet Paul, you may have a nice chat, add him to a newsletter list, invite him to a non-ask event, attempt to keep contact with him by sending him mail and send him a phone call or two, and then ask him to donate.
Passive Paul likes your organization. When your letter comes in the mail or pops up in his email, he is happy to be reminded about your good cause. He’d like to do something, but he read doesn’t your newsletter right away. Before he knows it, the letter is thrown away or deleted. When he receives your invitation to a non-ask event, Passive Paul may end up going, but more likely than not, he may forget to put it on his calendar, he may have a prior engagement, or the kids might get sick.
Active Allie shows the same interest in your organization. You communicate with Allie the same way as Paul; however, Allie is also invited to be involved with your organization. She gets involved on a committee studying your branding efforts, She comes and offers input, helps look at new logo ideas for your non-profit, and she leaves feeling like she was a part of something bigger than herself. A couple of months later, Allie is invited to help volunteer for your upcoming charity auction. She is encouraged to bring her friends and she has a great time. Throughout this time, Active Allie is excited, just like Passive Paul was, to receive newsletters and updates from your organization. Allie actively scans the newsletter before putting it down to make get the quick updates about the event she helped run or see the new logo on the top, right-hand corner of the newsletter.
Finally, the time comes for you to ask Passive Paul and Active Allie for a bigger donation than they have given before. Who do you think would be more likely to give a $1,000 donation? Active Allie invested her time and effort into your cause. Engaging with your prospective donors on a personal and collaborative level will help you receive more donations, quantitatively and qualitatively, not to mention receiving more volunteer hours and input into your organization. In life, people invest in and give time, effort, and energy to their passions and interests. Inversely, when people invest their life into something, like your organization, they will be more passionate and interested in helping that organization grow!