This blog post will get published after the end of the fiscal year for most nonprofits, but the ideas in here can still be used to help boost any campaign end (or start or middle, for that matter). Here we’ll review five ways you can push new prospects into your pipeline.
1. Prospects Whose Giving is Less than Half of Capacity
When you are hoping for one more visit to secure that last goal-reaching gift, taking a second look is a good idea. Both research officers and gift officers can be skittish about the right ask amount and discount it as a result. If you see prospects whose giving is less than capacity, check their ask amounts and strategies as assigned by your gift officers. Do not feel shy about suggesting types of gift opportunities for prospects in interesting situations. A prospect whose wealth is mostly real estate can make a planned gift of that real estate and leave behind life insurance for her heirs to use to buy it back.
2. Prospects Who Have Deferred
We tend to think of Major Gifts solicitation as a one-time event, but our prospects very likely think of the relationship as a long-term affair. Indeed, a prospect may even give a smaller gift (in his view) first, and then make the real major gift after your organization stewards him well.
Find prospects who deferred at least one season ago (assuming that you are tracking prospect responses with dates) or even a year ago and check the recent contact reports and recent research to identify whether the circumstances that the prospect needs have arrived. Then forward your recommendation to the prospect manager.
3. Prospects with New Wealth Events
It’s unfortunate that I’m writing this blog during a season when both the stock market and cryptocurrency market have tanked, but this is still a good prospecting step to keep in mind. If you have a good alerts system or screening product for your prospects, you will be able to catch private company sales, SEC form 4 (statement of change in ownership of stock), and employment changes.
4. Prospects Whose Giving Patterns Changed Recently
A sudden jump in giving is a signal. If you are tracking prospects whose capacity meets your major gifts requirements but whose affinity does not, then a jump in their giving from would signal a time to reach out to the prospect for both stewardship and for cultivation.
5. On the Fence Prospects for Fill-in Visits
As your gift officers travel, remember to suggest lots of fill-in prospects, especially prospects who need qualification. You may not always have travel information ahead of time, but you can try to build that culture. The travel time and expense comprise the most expensive part of employing gift officers; you are helping with ROI when you load more names onto a visit list.
We love to talk about prospecting. I hope that you also enjoy identifying those who would take pride in investing in your cause. People give to organizations that they’ve heard of and are interested in. They invest their assets in organizations when someone asks.