Here at DonorSearch’s blog, we strive to include the best content we can regarding prospect research and, more broadly, the nonprofit sector. With that goal in mind, we feature posts by guest authors from time to time to bring in a fresh perspective and new ideas. This guest post was written by Samantha Swaim of Swaim Strategies.
Today we’re featuring the work of Beth Brodovsky, President of Iris Creative Group Inc. We’re always looking to give our readership the best content available and want to ensure that we fill our blog with a diverse range of content. Enjoy!
Your Perfect Person is Hiding in the Data
Who is your audience? Most people answer “everyone.”
It’s actually the complete opposite.
In fact, you want some people to not understand your message, not connect with your story and not give to your organization.
If your goal is to make everyone like you, it’s all but guaranteed that no one will love you.
To Connect, you Need a Target
And you get more points for hitting the bullseye. In fundraising, that amounts to creating a story that is so perfect for some people that they feel you are truly speaking to them. They show up, stick around and give back because they want to be part of something that matters to them – not because you begged them.
Knowing your audience is the key to everything.
When you know who you are looking for they show up everywhere.
You spend your time and money on platforms where you will find them – and where they want to find you.
You know what is an opportunity and what is a distraction.
DonorSearch aims to provide the best content available regarding prospect research and its surrounding topics. In an effort to ensure that our readers have access to as much valuable information as possible, we feature content from guest authors from time to time. This week, we’ve reached out to Marcella Vitulli of EveryAction for her insights regarding major gifts.
You’ll find Vitulli’s article posted below.
8 Things to Remember When Creating a Major Gifts Campaign
Many nonprofits still rely heavily on collecting major gifts to reach their fundraising goals. Major gifts are a great way for many to take care of big chunks of their budget in one (or several) fell swoops. A single major gift could fund an entire program, a few staff salaries, and give your organization stability and certainty.
Sounds good right? However, a successful major gift campaign requires a strategic approach to prospect nurturing and engagement. You need to build a strong relationship with your prospects over a long period of time before, ultimately, making the ask for a major gift if you want them to give. This kind of approach requires you to play the long game, with incredible amounts of focus and planning needed to meet your goals.
But fear not! Read on, and become a master in the art of major gifts.
Establish Goals and Objectives
Establishing objectives for your campaign is hugely important as they will guide all communications and outreach, and will serve as a baseline for measuring your success.
When setting them, remember to make them SMART, as in: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
Target Prospect List
If you want all that planning and effort to count, you’ll want to focus it in the right places. Your prospects for a major gifts campaign aren’t going to be part of the general public – instead, identify people with the inclination and means to help you out.
The next step is a description for each of your targets. You should create a profile of each target, complete with a picture. You’ll need to know these people better than your best friend.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about each persona:
What are the demographics of this person? (Age, education, location, etc.)
What goals might this person have?
What are their biggest challenges and how do they work to overcome them
How does this person find, consume, and share content?