Most money is not cash.
According to the Wall Street Journal, people put their wealth in lots of places, but not in liquid assets. The chart below shows that the top 1% put 92% of their wealth everywhere else (and the rest of society does the same). Yet, most fundraising efforts and the costs associated with them are focused on getting cash (a liquid asset) from donors.
That might make sense if you believe that donors will only give using their wallets, checkbooks and credit cards. But since that’s not where the bulk of the money is these days, what should you do?
Don’t get me wrong here, I recognize that giving cash is a lot easier and faster than giving assets. Comparatively, there’s much less ‘friction’ involved. So it makes sense to aim in that direction. But all of your competitors are aiming that way too.
So, here are 3 simple strategies to help you fish where the fishing is good:
1. Survey your donors to find out if they have assets they’d consider giving to support your cause along with other information such as why they care (If you work for a college or university click here).
2. Once you capture that information, you need to recognize that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Use that information to develop giving ‘offers’ and ‘communications’ that align with their needs, interests and assets. In other words, if 213 people said they’d be interested in giving away jewelry and 147 said they’d be interested in giving real estate, you need to develop offers that ‘speak’ to those interests.
3. Send highly relevant, personalized communications that align with each individual’s needs and interests.
It’s simple yet sophisticated—and it works.
I realize it is probably about 5 times harder to do all this. But it’s powerful! The revenue you’ll gain will be 100 times greater than what you’d get using the same old methods all of your competitors are using. One letter should be sent to the group of 213 people and other to the group of 147.
Do that and those 360 letters will generate 100X more dollars than 36,000 letters aimed at raising cash (at a fraction of the cost).
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Greg, we’re kindred spirits on this topic. I’ve been espousing for a decade or more that we’ve got to stop thinking of “make your check payable to” and start thinking of understanding the huge variety of other ways to fulfill a gift commitment. I firmly believe that no two gift proposals should be the same when it comes to the Ways to Fufull Your Commitment page (you have such a page – right?). Each prospect’s options should be considered, stated and encouraged based on conversations, research and asset probability.
Kindred spirits indeed.