Summary: In today’s podcast episode, Jay Frost from Frost On Fundraising and Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions discuss how to manage relationships with potential prospects for fundraising. These solutions are helping nonprofits find and keep high-value donors.
Listening and asking questions is key to prospecting
The core of prospecting for fundraising is finding individuals and organizations that care about the same things and have the resources needed to make things happen. When seeking prospects, nonprofit employees and managers should become comfortable with listening to people and finding out their needs and interest. Every individual in which a nonprofit is seeking support should feel represented and heard, regardless of age, race, gender, or professional status. Listening and learning about your supporters’ interests and needs makes nonprofit work less stressful and more fulfilling for the audience and prospective donors.
In addition to listening to your prospects, asking the right questions is a core function of fundraising. Nonprofit employees see the greatest benefits from asking relevant questions in a timely and appropriate manner, leaving prospects comfortable with being open and honest regarding their support for your organization. Listening and asking questions ensures that you are finding the right people to help support your mission and goals for fundraising.
Using teamwork to receive major gifts
It is beneficial for nonprofits to work in teams when trying to receive major gifts or donations. Teams should consist of individuals that are good at listening and then using that information to make a case for an organization in terms that make sense to the donor. Each team member’s roles and responsibilities should be communicated to avoid repetition or confusion. When teams have synergy, pitching your ideas becomes a constructive way of engaging with the donor while still getting your message out in a way that they understand.
Finding value within the information
Our ability to find what is important when receiving information is key to power prospecting. Whether information is being received from a meeting within your organization, a meeting with a donor, or talking with an affiliate organization, it is important to listen to and absorb the information through a fundraising lens. The focus should be put on the mission at hand and the resources needed to achieve it rather than every aspiration your organization has for the future.
Nonprofits can find value in information by finding out an individual’s affinity to give and their ability to give. It is important to be able to first gauge an individual’s pre-established affinity toward your organization’s mission or project. One way to gauge prospects’ affinity is by looking through their social media pages to see what they care about. Affinity can be improved by building relationships with prospects that are built on trust, communication, and common goals.
For high-value campaigns, about ninety-seven percent of funding comes from less than two and a half percent of total donors. Nonprofits have the responsibility of finding out where opportunities are among people who care and have the resources on-hand to support the organization’s goal. There are seven key things to look for when seeking capable donors: repeat donors, cumulative giving, where prospects have donated before, political giving, established business owners, foundation or nonprofit board members, and insiders in the stock market.
Talking to donors after they donate
An important aspect of receiving major gifts or donations is speaking with the donor after they have donated to your organization. You should thank the individual for donating and then proceed to find out what made them decide to give. Talking to donors helps foster relationships and provides valuable information for nonprofits regarding what they did right.
Maintaining relationships with donors can encourage them to give more in the future. When solid relationships are made, donors may also refer your organization to other donors. High-affinity and high-capability prospects are likely to come from individuals closely related to your organization or cause. Nonprofits can also benefit from working with companies such as Windfall or Donor Search that will run a file containing information on potential donors.
Face your fear of asking
For many nonprofit executives, the fear of rejection leads to a delayed request for donations. The solution to getting over this fear often comes from realizing the potential donor is waiting for your permission to contribute to something great. The only way to get prospects on board with your mission is by reaching out and making the necessary connections. Another way to get over the fear of asking is by reflecting on the meaning of your work, helping others. Putting the focus on finding the best individual to support your cause makes requesting support much easier.
Time management is key to successful fundraising
Good time management skills help nonprofit executives focus on what is most important to the organization. Instead of trying to handle multiple projects at once, executives should allocate the appropriate amount of time and resources to activities that bring the most value to the organization. Planning helps executives decide which task to focus on based on time constraints and projected needs, making execution of important tasks run more efficiently and effectively.
Nonprofit executives benefit from focusing on fewer activities for fundraising so that work can be more in-depth and detail-oriented. The majority of a nonprofit’s funding comes from a small number of donors, therefore the majority of the organization’s time and resources should be allocated to prospects with the most potential to support the project at hand.
About Jay Frost from Frost On Fundraising
Over the last three decades, Jay has worked to identify and pursue billions in fundraising opportunities for thousands of charitable organizations around the world. Jay has been recognized as one of the Nonprofit Influencers to Start Following Today by Donorbox, Philanthropy Media, and Elevation Media. A popular speaker, Jay has addressed hundreds of meetings in the US, UK, Canada, Asia, the Middle East, and online. Jay is also a consultant to nonprofits and an advisor to companies serving the philanthropic marketplace. He advises organizations at all stages of their efforts, from startup through capital campaigns.
About The Host Stephen Halasnik, Financing Solutions
Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, The Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The Nonprofit MBA podcast’s purpose is to help nonprofit leaders. Stephen is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions, a leading provider of loans for nonprofits in the form of Lines of Credit to nonprofits. Stephen is a best-selling Amazon author and is considered a leading authority on building great, purpose-driven businesses. Stephen lives in New Jersey with his wife, Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men.
10% of profits from Financing Solutions is donated to charity.