Oh, they’re out there. You just have to understand their motivations in order to get them to come out of the woodwork and give you that $1,000 gift (starting point for the purposes of this blog).
I believe that, more than anything else, it’s positive emotions, not negative ones, that figure very prominently in attracting high-dollar donors. I’m talking emotions like hope, love, faith, compassion, and duty.
Here’s what we can confidently say we know about these donors:
They have the cash “on hand” to make a minimum gift of $1,000 at a time.
They’re high-salaried professionals, small business people, artists, heirs to wealth or beneficiaries of trust funds.
They’re busy with many demands on their time.
They’re constantly being asked to give, give, give.
Most of these people are older, or, as I like to say, about to “become old.”
They like direct mail.
They’re college educated (many with advanced degrees).
They attend religious services regularly.
Many are very involved in their communities.
It has been said that donors at this level are empathetic. I’ve also heard and read this type of donor described as a “mercy giver.”
The lesson to be learned from this, I believe, is if you appeal to your donors’ best instincts, you’ll find that they’re just as interested as you are in making the world, or at least your corner of it, a better place to live.
Therefore, when you appeal to these donors, make sure you let them imagine themselves as being a very vital part of the solution your organization is seeking to address.
Can you add to the above bulleted points? Please do.