How To Turn Prospects Into Donors To Your Nonprofit
If you serve on a nonprofit Board, are the executive director for a nonprofit, or are responsible for raising funds for your nonprofit, The Nonprofit Fundraising Solution, book by Laurence A. Pagnoni is a must-read for you.
Pagnoni bridges the gap between theory and practical methods and shows you (often via real-life case studies) how to:
- increase your access to wealthy donors
- raise your community profile
- stretch gifts
- operate major campaigns
- avoid revenue plateaus
- create a fundraising culture within your organization
- take specific actions if your Board's core strength isn't fundraising
- conduct challenge gift campaigns
- integrate social media into your existing fundraising methods
- create a planned giving program
When it comes to transforming prospects into donors, Pagnoni suggests you follow these basic five steps:
- Get to know your prospect
- Get your prospect involved
- Ask for a small gift of financial support
- Ask them to open their network of contacts
- Ask for a major gift
And, during those conversations, ensure you are answering for your donor prospect:
- Why this initiative?
- Why now?
- What will the donor receive? (i.e. "Thanks to you, x more abandoned dogs can be sheltered for another month.")
Pagnoni also recommends that each year, you conduct a Thank-A-Thon, ideally, the week before Thanksgiving.
- There is no "ask"
- Have your Board and staff members do the phone calling (provide each caller a list to work from)
- Encourage each caller to practice before making their first official call
- Phone on a weekend afternoon or weekday early evening
- During the call, thank the person for their involvement, membership, donations
- Have answers ready for questions that may come up about volunteering opportunities,etc.
- Leave the "thank you message" on a voice mail if you don't reach the person live
During and after your Thank-A-Thon, feel proud when you'll likely hear from many of the people you called that:
- "You are the only or one of few organizations that's ever called me to say thank you."
Pagnoni has spent 25 years in the nonprofit sector as a fundraising consultant and as executive director of three nonprofit organizations.