Organizations across the globe have a common dilemma.... "How do we reach the right people to encourage them to be donors and supporters?"
There is no easy answer, but there is one, time consuming technique that has proven very successful. It's called "Please".
It's a simple sales technique. Ask. People are reluctant to say "no" when you ask for help. As a non-profit, it's even harder. But on the other hand, how easy is it to delete an email or throw away a letter or card.
It's a no-brainer. Asking people to help, to support, to donate, is an effective way to raise both awareness and money. You just have to make it personal.
Get in front of your most ardent supporters. Not by email, not by letter, and not by phone. In person. Face to face. Thank them for their tremendous support. Show them the success you have had because of their support. Praise them for making a difference.
Then say "please".
Please help us grow our family of supporters to include more wonderful people just like you. Would you please call (2,5,10...) friends and share with them how important our mission is. Would you introduce me to them so I can share with them how wonderful you have been in helping us meet our mission?
Please help me get in front of them so they can be wonderful supporters like you.
Please help me invite them to our next fundraising event.
Please help us continue to meet our mission by bringing awareness to other great people like you.
If you follow the 80-20 rule, 80% of your support comes from 20% of your patrons, then spend 80% of your time farming that 20%. They are the ones who are influential enough to bring you more people who not only share their passion and their philanthropy, but likely their income bracket as well.
Please. This is your mission. Get in front of them. Ask them to help. Who do you think you will start with?
(Next time we will talk about open vs. closed questions...)