I have been reading a fantastic book this summer entitled, ‘Who Really Cares,’ by Arthur C. Brooks. In fact, I not only recommend your reading it, I also advise ordering copies for each of your board members and colleagues.
The small handful of dollars you invest in ordering multiple copies this book to distribute among your mission’s decision-makers and development team could lead to rewarding your cause with thousands of extra dollars in donations. Here’s why.
In a previous article, I reviewed the four characteristics of who you should be approaching for donations. You can read that article by clicking here.
Today I want to dive deeper into the subject of ‘Who donates?’ because if you want to find donors as quickly as possible, then you will want to do what Mr. Brooks says.
An important goal with fundraising is to get it done and get it done fast, wouldn’t you agree? Because this allows you to focus more time on what you do best: saving lives and saving souls.
Therefore, you’ve got to look for the people who are most likely to give. This is what his book explains because he’s identified a group of people proven to give 91% of the time.
‘Angel Donor’ – The person who donates 91% of the time
In Who Really Cares, Arthur Brooks recounts how he spent years researching giving trends in America and identifying the forces behind American charity: strong families, church attendance, earning one’s own income, and the belief that individuals – not government or foundations – are responsible for their wellbeing.
He also discovered that people with a certain background are 91% more likely to donate their money each year. What does this mean for your next appeal? It means that you should be looking for these angel donors because you will get a donation 91% of the time!
The profile of an angel donor:
Religious – They pray every day and always attend Sunday Mass
Conservative – They hold strong to traditional (not progressive) values
Employed – They have a job or run their own company
Married with children – They believe that the family is the foundation of a happy and fulfilling life.
Now you know who to look for when campaigning. Don’t look for young people. Don’t look for single people. Don’t try to branch out of your Catholic circles. Instead, look for people who are religious, conservative, employed, and have a family.
These are the angel donors who give and give generously. This is the demographic that nearly guarantees that you can attract donations and move on to other matters serving your mission.
Here’s another fact that Brooks found: People with this profile are more likely to give to both religious AND secular causes than people with a secular background.
So even if they’re not actively religious, that’s fine. According to Brooks and his studies, they will still give to you.
How to succeed in your next fundraising appeal
One last point before you start asking these ‘angels’ for donations: Remember that fundraising is not about you receiving money from someone. It’s about stewardship. Which means everyone gets what they want. You get someone to financially support you, and they get someone to promote values important to them.
So don’t simply look for this 91% and ask for a donation.
Always be prepared to steward the generosity of those who donate to you. Make them feel as if you’ve given them something more in return.
When you do this, you keep donors for years to come, and that is how you steadily increase the success of your fundraising.