How can you tell when a donor is ready to give more to your nonprofit organization? Before you think this never happens in African organizations, think again. If you’ve been able to build strong relationships with your donors, there are specific signs to look out for that show that they might want to give more to support your work. Existing donors may be prepared to give more, but most times organizations don’t know which ones to approach. If you have kept your donor data organized and up to date, this can be a reliable means to determine which donors you may want to upgrade to a new giving class. Once you have assembled all the data, look for these four indicators to help you approach the right donors the next time you need increased support or partnership to accelerate the impact of your work:
How long have they given to your organization?
Research shows that donors who have been giving to your organization over a long period of time are likely to give more when called upon. Typically, a donor that has consistently given to your nonprofit for two to three years is the benchmark for upgrading to a new giving class. By this we mean that if a donor (individual or organization) has given, for example, 1 million naira every year for three years, it might be time to push the envelope and ask for a bit more since they are already committed to giving to your organization.
How often do they donate?
Giving consistently within the year shows a donor’s commitment willingness to give. Usually, if a donor has given three to four times in a year, that’s a sign that the donor may be interested in giving more if asked. This doesn’t work in every case, but can be a good litmus test for gauging your donor’s level of interest and financial commitment to your organization.
What’s the size of their gift?
Large donations towards a specific programme or organization are an indication of two things: 1. The donor is making a one-off donation and doesn’t plan to give again, or 2. If it’s a high net worth individual (HNWI) then chances are that he or she can be approached for a bigger donation later on. In addition to giving larger than usual gifts, giving odd amounts like 279 cedi or 16,700 naira can also be an indicator that more can be given. Another possibility is to cross reference your donors to find those who make larger donations to other nonprofit organizations. Try to attract these donors to give similar amounts to your own organization, provided that you are offering similar value and impact.
When last did they donate?
Donors who have supported your organization in recent times are more likely to offer increased support, depending on the size of their gift. A donor who has given small amounts within the last six months might be more likely to make larger gifts than one who gave a one large amount over the same period of time. Either way, looking at the timing of their gift can be a good indicator of when to approach them for more.
Now that you’ve cross-checked these indicators with your list, the next step is to make the move and ask for more. To be successful in your approach, you must have enough evidence of your impact and proof of need. Donors expect accountability and will need you to demonstrate that the resources previously given were used wisely. You also want to let the donor know that you are approaching others as well and not just them. Finally, most donors are more inclined to give when there is a perception that others are also giving to your organization.