I can't lie. Prospecting is a fly in the ointment of great fundraising. We all talk about how challenging prospecting is, but until you quit prospecting and focus on bringing out bigger gifts from your pool, you will not see how effective your organisation's big picture development plan really is.
Prospecting really is emotional labour. Pounding the phones for hours to find seed donations from a prospect list or convert them into higher annual donors is just going to always scratch the surface of giving. It is the kind of work which makes people question their individual value as employees, increasing turnover and making big picture planning almost impossible to manage, especially for small to medium sized charities.
The problem is that most, if not all major giving classes focus on asking for money. The proposal, budget, question. These are all fair things to talk about. But have you actually been able to see quantified growth in major giving as a result of the training you received. Odds are, trainees went for the lowest hanging fruit, had it, then hesitated in their prospecting when they saw how high the tree is.
That is the problem with prospecting. You are staking a claim and that claim could kill you before you get anything precious from it.
My plan is not to diversify by having more lists. To build a database of potential. Not to buy into old data predicting home values. Those tactics are not making fundraisers and their charities more effective.
What is making it happen is focused engagement on big picture goal-setting and making big goals. £5000 is a major gift if it's the first gift someone makes or is the first gift you received. But the truth is if you truly want to make fundraising happen for your organisation, you have to be willing to ask for £5,000 from everyone every day at any time or you need to learn how to how to develop a plan which will take your organisation's big picture goals to the point where they can be either initiated or completed.
I am now working with an online co-founder group which wants to assist independent small and medium-sized charities to increase their major giving pool by getting involved with proactive solution makers and problem solvers to create worthwhile durable project development managers.
We are currently 56 co-founders and we are looking for great projects to begin with if you would like more information please feel free to leave a comment below.