Growing Your Donor Base for Your Cause

Michael Faith

How to Get Others Behind Your Mission

Identifying new supporters and growing your donor base is challenging. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and fruitful. Remember that part of fundraising is FUNdraising. And what better way to grow your organization’s base of supporters than through a series of fun and informative FRIENDraising events?

That’s right. One sure fire way to identify potential donors for your cause is by hosting smaller and more informal friendraisers.

What is a friendraising event? It’s an informal, low-pressure event designed to inform your guests about the great work you do. And, it’s designed to be an event where you do not solicit guests for donations.

Call on Your Peeps

This is a proven method for utilizing board members, volunteers, and key donors where they bring their friends to an event simply to learn more about you without the added pressure of making a financial ask of their guest. The idea behind friend raising is to connect your mission with as many new friends as you can resulting in an organic opening to share with them further ways to get involved – including attending your next big fundraising event!

Fabulous formats for this type of event are smaller, more intimate gatherings. Think summer BBQ party, cocktail hour at the organization’s office, a wine and dinner event at a board member’s house. Carve out some time during the event to share an overview of your organization’s work and perhaps feature a special speaker to share, in-depth, how your work has transformed their life. As a conclusion, present attendees with information about how to get more involved with you and make a difference. Make it easy for them to do so.

Nurture New Relationships

Always follow up with guests and thank them for coming (or have the person who invited them to call to thank them). Ask them if they have any questions about the organization. Get to know them and what their values, desires, and talents are. If you feel they could be a great prospect for your organization, now is a prime opportunity to invite guests to tour your space, visit a program to see your work in action firsthand or volunteer. If it’s a match made in heaven, you might even invite this person out to coffee or a meal to really grow the relationship.

Creating a series of fun, informative, low-pressure events throughout the calendar year ensures that your team has a steady stream of potential new supporters to cultivate and groom into a greater pool of potential donors for your next big fundraising event. Success? We think so.

Make it Easy

Another benefit is you’ll find that your board, staff, and existing donors find it much easier to initiate an ask to their personal networks to attend a friend raising event versus a financial ask or commitment to a fundraising gala. And we all know easy makes for more frequent follow through equalling more new donors for your organization.

For in-depth strategies and more ideas on friend-raising formats, venues, donor cultivation and follow through strategies, contact us today.

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