Seek Donors Who Can Motivate Others

President Barack Obama with Bill Clinton courtesy of the U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia on Flickr
The Buffett and Gates challenge to their fellow billionaires is similar to what smart nonprofits do all the time: encourage gifts from donors who can motivate others.

Marquee name foundation grants instill confidence in the organization and encourage others to invest in it. Board members can influence others to give.

The testimonial letter should be standard in your fundraising, whether that’s for planned giving or your annual fund. All of these are more powerful than the fundraising or development officer solicitation.

Excepting foundations, it’s the power of a personal referral: “I made a gift, here’s why, and you should, too.”  We all value referrals in our business and personal matters (“Do you know somebody who can . . .?), and they make both parties feel good.

I relish opportunities to refer solid people to my friends. It’s gratifying. And my friends are grateful.

Seek out your donors who can motivate others to follow them, and use their testimonials often.

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