As regular visitors to this blog know, we love Joanne Fritz’s About.com column and we read it assiduously.
We love Joanne’s column even more after her recent post, No Money for Donor Acquisition? Focus on Retention, where she recaps comments from a Fundraising Success Magazine conference keynote by Roger Craver of The Agitator.
There’s TG gold in them thar hills.
Read the whole post, paying special attention to three particular stats/notes that have special relevance to core principles of Transformational Giving:
1. 84% of all donors prefer to be solicited by folks they know.
Humor me by reading that just one more time, please. It does not say, “84% of all donors prefer to be solicited by a smoove operator trained in professional solicitation strategies and techniques.”
It underscores the potency of TG Principle 6: “The champion, not the organization, is called to be the primary means of advancing the cause within the champion’s sphere of influence.”
Not only is that the biblical approach. It turns out it’s also the most effective approach. Go figure.
2. 20% of the typical donor database are missionaries who will communicate with others about your cause.
I’ve always said 10% of champions will move to the O (Owner) level. And to think I’ve been understating it all these years.
3. “We need to be just as passionate at identifying the missionaries on our lists as they are about promoting our cause. Design a recruiting plan to enlist them in focused efforts, and provide them with the tools to help spread the word and draw more donors from their spheres of influence.”
[Editor’s side note: It’s amazing to me that we Christian nonprofits try to borrow our fundraising terms from secular fundraisiers (e.g., “donor”, “acquisition”, “cultivation”), but secular fundraisers are increasingly borrowing their fundraising terms from general Christian practice (e.g., “missionary”, “evangelist”). We never quite do know how much treasure we have until it ends up in someone else’s treasure chest, do we?]
In any case, Joanne (paraphrasing Roger, I think) makes a great point here. To paraphrase it using language from a previous post, missionaries need to be equipped, not just encouraged, to share the cause. It takes tools, plans, training–the whole works. Precious, precious few nonprofits–Christian or otherwise–make their top development priority the equipping of their missionary champions.
Given the statistics Joanne and Roger have shared here, don’t you think that should change?