Non-profit organizations often think that the more donors they have, the better. But if you crunch the numbers, you might be surprised to learn that the majority of the donations you receive come from only a handful of the donors on your donor wall.
These are the most motivated donors who believe in your cause the most and are the ones you should be giving your time, resources, and attention. How do you identify the most valuable donors and zero in on them? By creating a donor map.
What is Donor Mapping?
Donor mapping is a process of identifying potential donors and understanding their relationship to your organization. It helps you determine who is most likely to support your cause, and how to approach potential donors for donations.
There are many different ways to map donors, but the most important thing is to make sure that you have a clear understanding of your organization’s goals and objectives. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can start to identify potential donors who might be a good match.
Why You Should Map Donors
Mapping donors can help you better understand your donor base as a whole. You can see where your donors are located, what type of donation they tend to make, and how often they give. This information can be invaluable when it comes to planning future fundraising campaigns.
It also ensures that you’re focusing on the donors that matter, i.e. those who wholeheartedly support your cause and will likely extend their support now and to your future projects.
4 Steps for Donor Mapping
Donor mapping might sound intimidating at first, but it’s actually a straightforward and logical process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
Make a Template
The first step is to outline all your goals, list each of your existing donors, and identify which of them can help you achieve your goals and how. Create a template to document these details.
At the very least, your template should have space for you to input the following:
- Your short-term, medium-term, and long-term funding goals
- The programs and campaigns you need funding for
- Your funding policies
- Your ideal donor persona
Make sure your template is simple and easy to use. Organized and straightforward documentation will help you see and understand things more clearly.
Know and Understand Your Parameters
Now that you have your template, it’s time to set your parameters. Identify your eligibility requirements and develop criteria for your donors, which should align with your funding goals and capabilities.
Then, develop a clear approach to target eligible donors. This is an important part of the process so you know how to allocate your time, resources, and efforts. Remember: time spent on the right donors is time well spent!
Research on Your Donors
Before you can figure out which among your donors can help position your organization for success, you first need to know about them. It is important to d your research on the following:
- Your existing donors
- Your competitors and the source of their funds
- Other NGO-donor partners and organizations
Build a Table of Prospects
All your efforts so far can be summarized and concluded in the final step of building a table of prospects. This should include your donor list, as well as actionable strategies that kickstart your donor cultivation and fundraising efforts.
Your table should be managed actively and revisited as often as possible. To ensure that you’re using it and working towards your goals, include the following information:
- Schedules of when each action item should be started and completed
- Team members that are responsible for carrying out each task and running each donor relationship
- The status or progress of each action item
A donor map can go a long way in keeping your efforts to find, cultivate, and retain valuable donors in check. It should be an investment that your organization is willing to make and dedicate itself to. Keep your donor map comprehensive, intuitive, and accessible, and you should be well on your way to achieving your fundraising goals.