Often, fundraisers think that cultivation is purely about asking a donor for a specific amount of money.

We disagree.

The process of cultivation, when successful, means that when you meet with a donor, instead of saying, “We would like you to consider a gift of $X,” the donor says, “I love this organization/project; what do you need?”

It should be that comfortable when you have a donor fully cultivated!

Resources + Inclination = The Gift

We often hear, when fundraising for a project, that a staff member or volunteer wants to ask a person or group simply because they know they have great financial capacity.

But do they know your organization? No.

Do they understand the project? Not quite.

So, why do you think they would give to this project? They just have a lot of money!

Their financial capacity alone doesn’t always mean that you’ll get the gift you’re looking for, if any at all!

Consider this: when someone approaches you to give to an organization that you know nothing about, how do you feel about it? Do you give? It doesn’t matter how much money you have… all donors want to give to an organization that they connect with and find important. In some circumstances, a donor that gives $5,000 to one project may give $1 million to another project. The only difference? Inclination!

It is important to work with volunteers and donors to build their inclination – if it can be built. Work with your team and volunteers to focus on the best strategies to cultivate your donors, resulting in meaningful gifts for the donor and organization.

This blog post is derived from recent webinar “It’s Not Just The Ask! Engaging Fundraising Volunteers” by Sandi Frost Steensma, Founder.