Why QUALIFYING donors might be the silver bullet you’ve been looking for
First, there’s a lot of talk about donor retention these days.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe it’s critically important to retain donors with awesome stewardship. But sometimes I wonder, should we retain every single donor? After all, stewardship costs money and aren’t some donors more valuable than others? Of course, we love all of our supporters but, as we spend money on stewardship, shouldn’t we recognize the fact that some donors have more potential than others (based on their capacity and passion for your mission)?
There’s also been a lot of talk about donor identification.
I bet hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year by nonprofits on donor identification. Again, don’t get me wrong. Identifying which supporters should be placed in gift officer caseloads is essential too.
But what about qualification?
Can’t all of us agree that qualification is essential in the fundraising business too? Smart fundraisers know that qualifying donors ensures efficiency and effectiveness. After all, major and planned gift fundraisers spend an awful lot of time qualifying identified supporters as they build and refresh their portfolios, especially during capital campaigns. They reach out to supporters identified by wealth screens or predictive algorithms. Then the qualification gets done mostly one by one, face-to-face or by telephone.
Qualification is easier now than ever.
Now fundraisers can save time by capturing verbatims and monitoring digital body language to determine who is qualified. Verbatims are what donors say (mostly in donor surveys) and digital body language is what they do (mostly online). By capturing verbatims and monitoring digital body language, fundraisers can more efficiently understand their donors’:
- Passion for the cause based on how often they engage and what they say when they tell their personal life stories describing how their lives entwine with the nonprofit’s mission;
- Their ownership of a donor-advised fund or family foundation;
- Recency of engagement with the nonprofit;
- Their absence of children in their family;
- And a variety of other factors.
Once fundraisers understand each donors’ interests, passions, concerns, demographics and psychographics, they are better positioned to determine who is truly most likely to accept outreach, want to build a relationship and make a major or legacy gift.
Let’s not forget about capital campaigns.
Capital campaigns might be the most powerful of all fundraising efforts. They generate the most money in the shortest amount of time at the lowest cost in relation to dollars raised. They involve deadlines that add pressure. Plus they focus on getting board members to recruit new major donors (remember that referrals close at a high rate at low cost).
Qualifying donors for major and legacy gift outreach is essential for reaching capital campaign goals because there simply isn’t enough time for fundraisers to build personal relationships with every single supporter.
Qualification is the best way to generate massive revenues at low costs.
Just a little bit of effort spent on qualification makes it easier for fundraisers to do their jobs so they can reach their goals in the shortest time frame at the lowest costs. So what are you waiting for? Don’t you want to learn how to qualify your donors better so you reach your goals faster? You can always learn what other nonprofits around the world already know. Just click here to get a no-pressure, free, education-only lesson so you can start qualifying your list better too.