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Simple method to predict your next major donor

For most of us to significantly grow our funding, we need to find dream donors. They're the guys who'll give us our largest gift yet.

At the same time, since it's rather unpredictable to know who they are and where to find them, to stay motivated, we need a way to know that we're putting in our best efforts in the right place.

To do this it's a good idea to make a ‘Dream Donor Avatar’

This will more accurately allow us to predict who, where and how to go about getting onboard our next ‘Dream Donor’.

The following are some examples to help you. And after you read them, I’ll guide you to create your own realistic ‘Dream Donor’ Avatar.

Jake and the JYPD

Jake is a dream donor of JYPD (Jewish Young Professionals in Dallas). He’s a successful Dallas businessman in his 50’s, a secular but respectful Jew.

He has a charitable foundation where he gives away twenty or so significant gifts to Dallas based Jewish and non Jewish organizations.

He got involved with JYPD when he was asked to speak for the JYPD Young Professionals networking evening by a family friend of a current participant. He enjoyed sharing his wisdom with the group and liked that Rabbi Eli, who founded the organization, works so hard to bring Jews together.

R’ Eli created a good rapport with Jake. After having met with him a few times, he offered to learn Torah with him. He also set him up as a mentor to some young Jewish leaders who are fully involved in JYPD.

Both of these moves made Jake feel even more connected with R’ Eli and JYPD’s activities. After three months of learning together, R’ Eli asked Jake if he would give a gift of $150,000 which would allow R' Eli to expand the reach of JYPD.

Jake agreed, since he feels a strong connection to the cause and to R' Eli personally.

Josh and the JLEB

Josh is dream donor of JLEB (Jewish Learning Exchange, Boston). His connection began when he was a student on campus and the JLEB got him into Yiddishkeit.

He became frum, went to yeshiva in EY. After he came back to the US, he started working in his father’s real estate business.

R’ Yaakov, who runs JLEB, has been Josh's Rabbi from day one.

As soon as he began working in real estate, R’ Yaakov asked Josh to become a small monthly donor to the JLEB.

After seven years, then aged 31, Josh made his first very large deal. R’ Yaakov asked him to make his first significant gift to the JLEB, with a donation of $100,000 towards hiring a new couple for his campus program.

Josh agreed, because he wants others to benefit, like he did.

Now it’s your turn. Take 10 minutes and no more to do this valuable exercise.

This exercise is more beneficial if you already have a donor base, but if you don’t, try it anyway.

Although moving forward, your 'Dream Donor' may be unlike your current top donors, this exercise will help clarify that.

  1. How did your current big donors become givers? a. Are they a graduate of your program? b. Were they introduced by someone? (see this past post) c. Did your programs benefit them in some way? d. Another reason? Specify.
  2. What age range are your big donors in?
  3. What are their occupations?
  4. What Jewish affiliation do they have?
  5. What did you do for them to become givers?
  6. What motivates their giving to you? (see this past post)
  7. What do they like about supporting your organization?
  8. What is the profile of a large giver who is most likely NOT your dream donor?
  9. Moving forward, where could you be putting in efforts to find your next dream donor?
  10. Use the answers to the above questions to write three or four sentences that describes your 'Dream Donor Avatar'

B'Hatzlacha Raba Raba with all your efforts


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