On the heels of yesterday's thoughts about board members and the fabled "perfect number of Board Members", I've been thinking about a similar question about donors. I often come across nonprofit organizations that have idealized the Perfect Donor. Come on - tell me you haven't done this! I know I have. We picture that wonderful combination of financial success and capacity, passion for our cause and endless potential for generosity.
To make matters even more challenging, there is a sub-sector of the nonprofit industry dedicated to furthering this myth. We're often on a seemingly endless chase for that perfect donor. We employ the best in research tools, endless searches on google to find that someone (or someones) who will magically connect with your cause and want to give. The icing on the cake? The person is a super celebrity.
So, where will you find this Perfect Person.
Surprise!! It's not with a google search. It's not through a new peer-to-peer campaign. It's not even through a rocking referral from a top board member.
The answer is insanely simple. The Perfect Donor is right in your existing donor file. The Perfect Donor is the donor you are speaking to right now (or at least should be speaking to Right Now!).
We need to move away from the self-defeating idea that the perfect donors are all Out There (wherever out there actually is) and yet to be found. The perfect donors that are already committed, interested in your mission and ready to be surprised and astonished are right there in your database waiting to be wowed. I love prospecting but be sure you're giving the love to the people that already love you and your organization.
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Robert Grabel is the President of Nonprofit Now! You can find his posts here and at www.robertgrabel.com