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What is donor qualification and why should you care about it?

What is donor qualification?

It’s the process by which you determine whether or not a supporter/donor is someone you should:

  • Spend your valuable time building a 1-to-1 relationship with (remember time is money);
  • Spend your organization’s precious resources on (such as air travel, gifts, meals, etc.).

What makes a donor qualified? 

  • They have said they are interested in having or are willing to consider having a one-to-one relationship with a facilitator/fundraiser (a representative of your organization who can facilitate their giving)
  • They have a powerful, emotional reason to give (that usually has something to do with their life story);
  • They have engaged fairly deeply with your organization and its mission (either by giving in the past, volunteering, sharing your messages, advocating on behalf of your cause, etc.)
  • They have the capacity to give (although, remember money isn’t everything; absent an interest in having a relationship with facilitator, a powerful reason to give, and some past involvement with your cause, the donor probably should not be considered ‘thoroughly qualified’).

Why you should care about donor qualification.

Remember, your donors gave their hard-earned dollars to support your organization’s mission and they trusted you to spend their money wisely. Your time is precious because time equals money. Therefore, you owe it to your donors to work as efficiently as possible.

One of our customers said it best as follows: “I’d be doing my employer a tremendous disservice if I spent all year long meeting with tons of unqualified donors who were merely identified because they donated in the past and showed up on a wealth screening list but didn’t want to work with me to find meaning in their life through philanthropy and, especially, didn’t have a deep, emotional reason to give.”

It’s about focus and efficiency.

Qualifying donors ensures that you spend their money (your valuable time) by focusing on the right supporters so you close more gifts and bigger gifts at low cost.

Smart fundraisers know this.

They aim to spend very little or no time with unqualified prospects (suspects) and more time with people who can make tremendous impact. They know that cultivation efforts are only cost-effective if they are aimed at qualified supporters.

So only one question remains: Are you qualifying your donors for major and legacy gift outreach? If not, you might want to seriously consider learning how we can help

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