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How To Find Your Next Big Prospect?

There is an inherent challenge in getting intros from your donors to hot new leads.

You may be thinking that your donors and ambassadors don’t really want to make intros. But that’s not the whole story.

The biggest challenge I've found is that the introducer need the clarity to express in clear and simple terms what you do with the right people.

Specifically, they need to be crystal clear on:

  1. What would you like them to say?
  2. The profile of who you'd like to be introduced to?

What would you like them to say?

For this you need to give them the ability to express exactly what you do. Writing a short email intro can go along way to giving them what they need.

It could look like this,

“Hey (person’s name)

It occurred to me that you may really appreciate the ABC organization. I’m an involved supporter of ABC organization, run by a real visionary, R’ NAME.

R’ NAME helps {{people you serve}} do {{what you do}} so they can {{intended impact}}. They are a driving force in tackling the issue of XYZ.

If it’s ok with you, can R’ NAME reach out to you to see if what they are doing resonates with you?"

The profile of who you'd like to be introduced to?

What is the profile of the type of people that would be most shiach to be supporters of what you do and who may appreciate your organization’s work? It could be a number of types of people.

For this exercise choose two potential donor profiles. In one sentence define the type of person.

Imagine you are speaking to a donor, someone who could make an intro. You could say something like,

  • “Do you know someone who is in (your area of business, or your social circle) who is a trustee of a foundation or connected to a trustee that supports Jewish education projects like ours?"
  • “Do you know a successful young businessman, in the nursing home industry (if you are speaking to someone in that industry) who has just begun to give away funds, who cares for xyz problem?"
  • “Do you know an older businessman, warm to Jewish values, who would be open to becoming a mentor to someone like me?"

These examples are super specific.

You may be thinking this will exclude so many other potential leads. That may be correct.

At the same time, it most effectively triggers the rolodex in people's heads in a more focused way. This means they refer you to more ideal prospects.

Your focus should be on quality leads, not quantity. 

I remember early on in my own fundraising career, my mentor made such an intro for me. The connection was one he made at an event and it was tenuous. But it was enough to pass on to me.

He had the ability to clearly express what we did, (I only learnt that afterwards!) to the right type of prospect.

He showed me the power of weak connections made by the right person. (Strong connections are obviously much more lucrative.)

The rest of the work was up to me.

The connection he made was enough to get my foot in the door. That was 80% of the effort needed. And a large donation resulted. This was a strategy that worked again and again.

Now it's your turn.

So clarify.

  • What would you like your donors to say?
  • And to whom would you like them to say it? 

B'Hatzlacha Raba Raba,


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