Saturday, April 30, 2011

Find bigger donors through social media

Tip #3: Follow and Link In with potential donors online

It’s no secret that fundraisers keep dossiers on people of high net worth when they are cultivating them for a major gift. To speed up the time frame between collecting information and getting to the “ask,” it pays to link-up with or follow some high net-worth individuals online.
It’s true that many high net-worth individuals have staff or assistants who do their social networking for them. You may need to go the circuitous route: follow their companies, their spokespeople, their foundations. They’re online somehow.
For universities, alumni are a major group of supporters. If you are a fundraiser at a college, join your organization’s alumni group on LinkedIn. Glean information from alumni about their allegiance to their alma mater, find out how many received scholarships and frame a question about whether they would support a student through a scholarship. Make the initial “ask” in a conversational manner rather than a formal request. Then follow-up offline. Don’t put someone on the spot on a visible communication stream.
Get creative about finding your supporters online. Do you follow prospective supporters and funders? Have you made a successful “ask” based on social media? Share your story.