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How Do You Find Your Best Prospects?

Do you sometimes feel like your marketing efforts resemble aiming for a moving target in the dark while blindfolded? Reaching your best prospects does not have to look like that; no crossed fingers or guessing is needed when you analyze key factors. Let's take a look at some of these factors, specifically factors of affinity and demographics.

There are many factors to think about when searching for your best prospects. Some factors explore your prospects' direct involvement or affinity to your organization, while other factors examine demographics or statistical data. All of these factors will help you begin narrowing your search so you can more effectively steward and market to those who are most primed for planned giving.

Let's talk about affinity and how it relates to your best prospects. Your best prospects should have an affinity toward your organization, and affinity produces loyalty. Look for loyal donors who have given repeated gifts for five, ten, fifteen, twenty or more years. Even modest gifts given consistently over time can indicate a future planned giving donor. Can you think of the people who have spent time volunteering at your organization? Volunteers who are willing to give up free time and energy prove that they see your cause as a worthy investment, which, over time, could lead to a worthy financial investment. Legacy Society members can also become your most passionate group of fans. Just because they have left a gift before does not mean they may not consider leaving more gifts in the future, especially if they are stewarded well.

Your current and past board members and staff also qualify as best prospects, since they are first-hand witnesses of the incredible work of your organization. What about the people who were actively supported by your cause? This could be a patient who received care at your hospital and is now at home with his family or a graduate from your college who had an inspiring teacher who encouraged her to pursue her dreams. These are the people that witnessed your mission first-hand or observed a loved one receiving special attention, care and support. These people are more open to your marketing and stewardship due to the added benefit of seeing your mission in action. It should be exciting to find these people and listen to their stories. They will most likely share the same enthusiasm you have for your organization.

Another way to identify your best prospects is through examining demographics. Demographics will ultimately help you find the right people to target as your best prospects. Demographics can cover age, asset wealth, marital and family status. It should go without saying that more often older people, perhaps 60 years old and above, will be your best prospects. People around this age have a better understanding of their retirement, end-of-life plans and assets. This is not to say that you cannot market to those in their 30s, 40s and 50s, but prospects in their 60s will be your more likely candidates.

There are many people who are asset wealthy. These people own real estate, stock and more. It is important to note that just because someone is wealthy does not automatically mean they are willing to give to your organization; but keep an eye out for these people, especially those who are already warm to your organization. Singles, widows and families with no children are all likely candidates as well since they do not have the added concern of caring for spouses or children.

Hopefully looking at these factors related to affinity and demographics will help you begin to see your best prospects more clearly. No more target practice with blindfolds! To learn more about how to find your best prospects, please contact us. We are here to help.

Bree Daniel

By Bree Daniel
Integrated Marketing - Southeast Region, Crescendo Interactive, Inc.

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