If this is the question rolling around in your head, I’m not surprised. This is how most people think about it. And most people struggle to find new donors.

But you’re not like most people. You’re here learning how to be a smart fundraiser.

What you need isn’t the answer to the “where do I find them” question. What you need is a strategy for finding the right donors along with a plan for keeping them.

The first thing you should figure out is how many new donors you need. Then you can figure out the best way to find them.

How many new donors do you need?

I’m betting you don’t know the answer.

It’ll be tough to “go find new donors” if you don’t know how many you need – you’ll never know when you get enough. Some quick number crunching can help.


Crunch the numbers

Let’s say you need $100,000 to fully fund your nonprofit’s work for the year and you have some money coming in already like this:

  • Grants $25,000
  • Special event $15,000

That means you need to bring in $60,000 from your donor base.

Now, let’s say you have 500 active donors (they’ve given at least once in the past 18 months) and your average gift size is $35 (on average, that’s how much each donor gave the last time).

If you ask people to give and everyone does, you’ll raise $17,500.

500 donors x $35 gift = $17,500

If you do a good job of communicating with them, they could give 2 or 3 times.

Let’s say they each give twice during the year:

500 donors x $35 gift x twice = $35,000

Not bad, right? That gets you over halfway to the $60,000 you need to fully fund your nonprofit’s work.

Back to the original question: how many new donors do you need?

Start with the gap. The gap you need to close is the difference between what you need and what you think you can bring in. In this case $60,000 – $35,000 = $25,000.

If you can find new donors like the ones you already have, it’s likely that they’ll give $35 just like your current donors. In that case, let’s do the math:

$25,000/$35 = 714 new donors

And if you do a really good job of stewarding your new donors and helping them feel good about giving to your organization, they may give twice during the year just like your current donors do. In that case

$25,000/$70 ($35 x 2 gifts) = 357 new donors


So now you need a strategy for finding 357 new donors who behave like the ones you already have. Create an Ideal Donor Profile then do some brainstorming about ways to find these people easily and in large numbers.

Make yourself a list of action steps then get busy and you’ll have new donors in no time.



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