Donor cultivation involves building a relationship with donor prospects. Donor cultivation is complex because you cannot just call someone and ask them for thousands of dollars in contribution. You need to know the donor first and then let them know you, your organization, and what it stands for. There are varying donor cultivation strategies you can implement to build a lasting relationship with donors.
Create a plan
The plan should be created depending on the individual needs of the prospect you want donations from. Once you start interacting with the prospect during the cultivation process, you should adjust the plan accordingly. Some of the factors you may want to consider when creating a plan include your organization’s relationship with the prospect and the number of interactions needed to build a strong relationship to ask for a donation.
Since you already have information about the potential donor from your research, map out an assumption of what the cultivation process should look like. By establishing a stable plan, you will increase efficiency. This is because errors will be minimized, and redundancies will be streamlined. This will make it easier to make an evaluation and necessary improvements.
Hire a major gift professional
Gifting your donors is highly crucial, which is why you need a professional to be in charge of your gift initiatives. A gift officer can help identify major gift prospects. A gift officer also makes it easier for your non-profit to cultivate relationships with a major donor. Furthermore, a major gift professional can develop an appeal strategy. Requesting gifts from primary donors follows a different process, which the gift professional is familiar with. Having a professional take care of your gift efforts allows you to fully focus your resources on cultivating relationships with potential major donors.
Ask for recommendations
Use the contacts and connections you have with major donors in your non-profit. Ask your board, leaders, and active supporters to give you access to great prospects they know. You can even ask people close to you to introduce you to people they think might be prospective donors. Your connections provide you with an opportunity to establish the credibility of your non-profit.
Hold introductory meetings and get-togethers
You can call your prospects and engage in a conversation with them. You can also invite them to coffee, lunch, or dinner and tell them more about your non-profit. The subject of the conversation can vary depending on any experience the prospect has had with your non-profit previously. It also depends on the route the conversation takes. During the conversation, explain the mission of your organization and the fundraising plans you have for the future.
While having the conversation, ensure you let the prospect know you are interested in their support. You should also host get-togethers regularly to develop a relationship with prospects. In this case, make sure the prospect is engaged. You can offer volunteering opportunities to the prospects or send them invites to any events you host. You can also give them a tour of your organization as long as it will keep them engaged.
In conclusion, all the above donor cultivation strategies are very effective in helping you attracting new donors to your non-profit as well as retaining them. Once your cultivation strategies are in place, you will want to work on ways to acknowledge their contributions which could also help paving the way for encouraging both your existing and new donors to donate more. At Donor Signs, we help non-profits to recognize their donors properly with custom and unique donor wall designs. Get in touch to discuss the needs of your organization.