How to Get in Front of Elusive Donors

elusive donors

You’ve done your homework. You have a list of financially capable, philanthropy-minded major gift prospects. Why aren’t these lovely donors returning your calls?

It could be they aren’t interested. Or too busy. Or apprehensive about being asked to do more.

But what if you just haven’t found the right approach?

Think Outside the Donor-Visit Box to reach Elusive Donors.

Some donors aren’t keen on the one-on-one visit (or even phone call) but would graciously accept another type of invitation. Two quick ideas:

  1.   Invite prospects to an appealing event.

Instead of trying to meet one-on-one with elusive donors, why not invite them to an event?

Here, we’re not thinking of a big gala fundraiser but a smaller gathering — a porch party perhaps – for donors and prospects who may already know and enjoy one another.  

At a small event, you get to chat with individuals, find out what matters to them and share what’s new with your organization – without any pressure or agenda.  

Working the crowd at a small donor event can help you cover a lot of territory at once.  You can accomplish a lot of discovery and qualification in just a few conversations.

  1.   Offer a tour tailored to a specific group.

Put a bit more thought into your organization’s tour to make it appeal to a specific group. For instance, we’ve seen private schools hold grandparent tours. Or food banks invite City Council Members and County Supervisors to see how distribution works.

We’ve seen many major donors and prospects who really enjoy looking under the hood, so to speak, at an organization’s work. They may like to meet your program staffers and chat with your clients or (when appropriate) beneficiaries of your work.

When you make tours special and customized – and treat guests like VIPs – they are more likely to show up, engage – and, later, give! We all know that involvement needs to more giving. 

The fundraising climate is challenging right now. And the best way to win in this environment is to keep your donors close. Help them enjoy themselves while they learn things about your work that they are interested in. That’s how engagement really works.

You can do dozens of creative things to capture elusive donors’ hearts. Watch today’s video for more insight.

BOTTOM LINE on Hard-to-Get Donors

Focus on what the donor wants – not just what you need from him or her – to catch their attention and get the conversation started.

Handshake | Gail Perry

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