Let's Raise Some Money
Insights from Karen Climer about fundraising and nonprofit organizations

If Someone Visits Your Facility, Find Out Who They Are

November 11th, 2014 by Karen Climer

I work with a lot of small nonprofit organizations.  One of the biggest problems these organizations have is identifying prospects.   Let’s say you have an affinity for antique teapots.  You suspect there are others who are interested in them as well.  You decide to start the Museum for Antique Teapots.  You know several of the local teapot buffs in town, so you contact them.  Once people hear about your project, many teapot buffs contact you.  You are well on your way, but it doesn’t take long to exhaust this list of prospects.  You know there are more people in town who are interested in teapots, you just have to find out who they are.  This is a huge challenge for all nonprofits, but particularly small nonprofits and new nonprofits.

This past weekend I attended the open house of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando.  Thousands of other people attended as well.  No one knows I was there.  Well, no one from the organization knows.  The performing arts center has no way to contact me.  I expressed enough interest to show up at the facility, but they did not express any interest in even finding out my name.  It would have been a very simple thing to raffle off some free tickets to shows.  All those thousands of people would have voluntarily submitted their name, address, phone number, and email.  The performing arts center could use this information not only to solicit donations, but to sell tickets as well.  Talk about a missed opportunity.

If someone takes the effort to come to your event, visit your facility, or otherwise engage in your organization, find out who they are.  Some people won’t want to give you their information, but the vast majority will (especially if you are having a raffle).  These people are prospects.  They are raising their hands sand saying, “I’m interested in your organization.”  Don’t miss the opportunity to find out who they are.

You can bet when you visit my teapot museum, I will not only ask you for your name, I will follow up and thank you for visiting.

Posted in Acquisition, Events

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