6. Fundraising - Research
There are a few basic ways to do some research. The first step is to
visit your local library and look up groups similar to yours in your area as well as in other
areas. Who supports them? The same groups of people may support your group. If your
non-profit consists of a few volunteers, you can find out what sort of people your non-profit appeals to by
asking your volunteers a few
- What tv shows do your watch? What publications do you read?
What radio station do you listen to?
- Where did you hear about our group?
- Where do you go for entertainment? What other groups do you belong
- What appealed to you about this non-profit?
Even in a small group, you will hear similar responses. These answers are
important clues about what your donors are watching, where they are going, and what appeals to them. You can
further establish your target donors by considering where people who believe in a cause or idea would go or
what they would see. Consider the following ideas:
Pet shelters are likely to be supported by people who like
animals. If they like animals, they may read about them, own them, or visit them.
Advertising in pet journals, at pet kennels or grooming centers, appealing to owners outside
pet stores or zoos are likely places to find target donors or at least people who love animals
enough to contribute some money to a cause that supports them.
Arts groups are likely to be supported by people who like the
arts. Where are these people found? At universities, art galleries, theaters, art
groups, book clubs, libraries, cafes that hold poetry readings, arts publications, bookstores, art
stores, art classes, and other like places.
Non-profits that have to do with children are likely to appeal to
families. Where would such people be found? Parks, schools, PTA meetings, churches,
playgrounds, fairs, toy stores, fairs, children's days at the zoo or art gallery, parenting
publications, and other like places.
Non-profits that have to do with community development may seem to
be a varied bunch, both those who are worried about issues such as poverty or issues such as
housing regulations would tend to congregate around town hall meetings, soup kitchens, or other
like places, depending on their individual concerns.
Non-profits that have to do with the environment attract people who
are worried about the state of our planet and resources. Where are such people to be
found? At natural health food stores, environmental protests, town hall meetings that have
to do with preserving parks, environmental stores, "green" publications.
Non-profits that have to do with International issues attract people
who are worried about international policies and the state of the larger world today. These
people may be considered about worldwide human rights, about international policies and other
similar issues. These people may be found reading the 'world' section of the newspaper,
attending protests to raise information about human rights, and other like events. People
who either have family overseas or who are from overseas often have a built-in interest in
Non-profits that have to do with education attract people who are
worried about education and literacy. These people are to be found at literacy centers, the
library, schools, PTA, meetings, and other like areas. If your education mandate has to do
with children, then your target donors can be found in similar places as the target donors for
non-profits that have to do with children.
There is a pattern here. People who are concerned about an issue are likely to express
their concern by spending their time at specific places and they are likely to attend specific events or read
specific publications related to their concern. If you want to target your audience of donors, you should be
asking yourself where potential donors can be found and then target your fundraising to some of these
So, keep asking yourself a few marketing questions:
- Where can I find people who are interested in the issue our non-profit is
- What do people interested in our concern read? Where do they go? What
groups do they belong to?
- What sort of person is so likely to be interested in our groups' issue that they will be
willing to help our non-profit financially?
- What companies in my area have contributed to similar non-profit groups in the
- What sort of fundraising effort would be most likely to draw the people who are most likely
to be interested in out group's mandate?
- Are there government agencies or philanthropic agencies that tend to give money for causes
that are similar to our group's mandate?
Targeting your donors may seem to be only a way of narrowing down your choices, as you are
basically trying to attract only a smaller percentage of people to your cause. However, if your group only
has limited resources (and this is true for so many starting or small non-profits) then targeting your donors by
choosing to ask only those donors who have an intersest in your cause can help you get the best results possible in
the shortest period of time.
Think of it as making educated guesses about who can help. The idea is not to ask only
those who are most likely to help, but rather to focus on specific groups of people before expanding out to other
Once you have targeted specific groups as donors, you may wish to expand and seek help and
support from donors that seem less likely to be interested in your group's cause. In some cases, you may be
pleasantly surprised to find unlikely donors who are willing to help you raise money for your
For example, across North America, there are motorcycle enthusiasts who regularly take part in a
"teddy bear" drive before Christmas in order to raise funds and gifts for children who might not
otherwise receive gifts. Many people are surprised to see tattooed biker enthusiasts carrying teddy
bears on their Harley Davidson's for charity, but this scene happens every year.
How much time and effort you spend trying to contact donors outside your targeted donor group
will depend on many factors, including how volunteers you have for such campaigns and it will depend on how much
money you have been able to raise through more targeted fundraising. If you have been successful enough
to raise all the fundraising money you need through targeted donor hunting, you may not need to expand your
list of donors too much, and instead of trying to find new sources for money, you may want to direct your efforts
to fulfilling your group's mission.
If, on the other hand, you find that you require more money and have had smaller success with
targeted donors (because, for example, a group with a similar mandate has also been fundraising in your area) then
expanding your list of potential donors may be one way to get more money for your non-profit.
Next page: 7. Fundraising - Your Donors'
Practical Fundraising Ebook - Table Of Contents
- Fundraising - The Basics
- Fundraising - Terminology
- Fundraising - Money
- Fundraising - Where
to Find Donors and How to Reach Them
- Fundraising - Targeting Your
- Fundraising - Research
- Fundraising - Your Donors'
- Fundraising - Ideas
- Fundraising - Donated
- Fundraising - Bought Products
- Fundraising - Marathons
- Fundraising - Lotteries, raffles
- Fundraising - Fairs, Auctions and
- Fundraising - Fun Events
- Fundraising - Drives
- Fundraising - Services
- Fundraising - Tips
for Choosing a Fundraising Idea
- Fundraising - Your Plan
- Fundraising - Your Team
- Fundraising - Staying
- Fundraising - Communicating With
- Fundraising - Advertising
- Fundraising - Letters
- Fundraising - Emails and more
- Fundraising - Person to
- Fundraising - Thank You
- Fundraising - Grant
- Fundraising - Press
- Fundraising - With
- Fundraising - Secrets to
- Fundraising - Problems
- Fundraising - Conclusions
Copyright © 2005 Practical-Fundraising.com
practical fundraising | fundraisers