What’s An Effective Way For Nonprofits To Get Referrals?

I’ve been a volunteer for non-profits for over 20 years.  One of the most traditional (andvery unimaginative) ways that non-profits attempt to raise money is the very bland letter campaign.  Here’s how it goes.  The organization sends a very impersonal letter to the prospective donar and basically the message is this.  “We need money for our organization, would you like to send us a great  BIG check?”  You and I know that the marjority of those letters get quickly tossed in the trash can.

The biggest challenge for fund-raising is to get the prospect to agree to donate the first time.  If they can get them to donate the first time then there is a good chance that the donar will stay quite a long while.  And they’ll contribute with very little effort or creativity on behalf of the non-profit organization.

So what’s an organization to do?  Here’s an answer.  A very effective way to get new donars is by the “Referral Method.”  There are several different effective ways to make the referral process work.  The technique to use here is called, “The Target Method To Get Referrals.”  Here’s how it works.  Make a “Target List Of Companies” you’ve never had as contibutors.  When you have a meeting with any of your volunteers, give them a copy of the list and ask them who they know on the list.  When your volunteer identifies someone, ask them to call the prospective donar to set up a meeting.  You’ll be surprised at how many new donars you’ll capture just by asking a simple question.


David Sims is a business coach specializing in Referrals and Selling.  If you have questions concerning the referral or sales process, you can contact him at david@davidsimscoaching.com or 417-831-0050.

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