Finding big donors

by NancyLebovitz1 min read5th Apr 20127 comments


Personal Blog

How large foundations look for donors

I don't know how much of this SIAI is already doing, but I thought it would be of interest to anyone who's building up an organization which needs donors. It's also interesting (at least to me-- I've spent my life in a very small business) for how much serious thought can be brought to a project.

One surprising fact: "A large not for profit did a study a few years ago which told them that most of the people who left a million dollars or more to them in their will, unasked-for, gave an average of $17 a year to them during their life."

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Interesting stuff. I wasn't clear on what the "prospect research shop"'s business model was, though. I guess they simultaneously try to find donors for lots of different clients?

I wonder how much other nonprofit best practices type stuff SI could benefit from.

The article implies that usually large charities have their own prospect research shops. (I'd guess that small charities don't bother.)

Yeah... pretty sick to think that 'charity' dollars are actually going to fund studies such as this!

Because when you donate money to a charity (assuming that one does), the idea is that it will go to a CAUSE, not to the charity's marketing (which is what the study seemed to be.... the charity wishing to learn marketing demographics).

Charities have overhead expenses. This is not a bad thing. If your favorite charity missed out on a million-dollar donation because they spent no money on research, wouldn't you think it was false economy?

[-][anonymous]9y 4

The charity has determined that the best marginal use of money for them at the moment is to improve marketing to get even more money. If this will ultimately lead to more being done for the CAUSE than otherwise, I don't see how one has reason to object.

You can, of course, criticize the charity for doing marketing studies if you believe they're wrong about their necessity.