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How to find your next big prospect?

If only you could tap the potential in your donors’ networks...

One donor isn’t just one donor.

Each one has a social circle, family, business network, shul, and/or phone filled with contacts that could become your next big supporters.

Yeah, sure, Avraham, you’re thinking. My donor isn’t interested in troubling himself to make introductions for me.

Well, you’re right - but you’re also wrong. Nobody likes troubling themselves. But they’re still kind, generous, and care enough about your cause to support it.

So - what if you made intros easy for them?

What if you gave your donors absolute clarity on

  1. What to say, and
  2. Who needs to hear it?

What to Say:

Your donor needs to be able to express exactly what you do. So why not write them a little script? Something like:

“Hey [contact],

It occurred to me that you might really appreciate the ABC organization. I’m an involved supporter, and I’ve been admiring their work for a while now.

ABC organization helps [people you serve] do [what you do] so they can [intended impact]. They’re a driving force in tackling [xyz issue].

I’d love to introduce you to R’ [name], the visionary who runs ABC. If it’s okay with you, can R’ [name] reach out to you so you can see if his work resonates with you?”

Want some examples?

“ABCTorahCenter helps secular young professionals come together for stimulating lecture/social event combos so they can maintain - and strengthen - a vibrant Jewish connection.”

“Bais Yaakov of Townville provides Townville’s girls with stellar education both in Kodesh and general studies so they can successfully build Torah families, careers, and communities.”

With your script in hand, your donor is that much more ready to make introductions.

But who should he turn to?

Who Needs to Hear it?

Are you clear on the type of person, or the different types of people, most likely to support your cause? Great! (If not, stay tuned for next week’s email…)

Three steps:

  1. Choose two different donor types
  2. In one sentence each, describe exactly who they are.
  3. Make those sentences conversational

“Do you know any successful young businessmen in the nursing home industry who’ve just started giving away funds and care about xyz problem?”

“Do you know any older Jewish businessmen, warm to Jewish values, who would be open to mentoring someone like me?”

“Do you know of anyone in [donor’s area of business or social circle] who is a trustee of a foundation that supports Jewish education projects like ours?”

Yes, these examples are super-specific. Yes, they might exclude other potential leads. But that’s not a bad thing.

If you really want to land donors, you need to focus on landing quality leads, not quantity. Sketching clear donor profiles triggers the rolodex in your donors’ heads in a more focused way - sending you more ideal referrals.

A little story:

Early in my own fundraising career, my personal mentor was at an event. He met someone whom he thought could help me, so he mentioned my name.

The connection was far-fetched - but it got my foot in a very beneficial door.

How? Because my mentor was completely clear on how to express what my organization did, and who might be most interested in supporting it. That introduction did 80% of the work needed to snag me a large donation.

I’ve seen this strategy work wonders again and again. Why not let it do the same for you?

Write those two little scripts today.

Have a great week,



© Avraham Lewis & Co.