Finding New Donors and Volunteers

Bob Cryer

Bob Cryer

Most nonprofits would love to have some additional donors, board members or volunteers, but don’t know where or how to find them. Here is one idea.

Many nonprofits E-mail a newsletter to a fairly large list of people who have not unsubscribed and may even occasionally open and read some of the publication. However, most nonprofits do not know who on their E-list is a good prospect for become a major or smaller donor, a board member or a volunteer. Here is one way to find out.

Send a mailing to your E-list, asking people to identify themselves via an Email reply, and give them an incentive to respond, like entering them in a drawing for a dinner for two at a fine restaurant. Tell them you want to learn more about their interest and involvement with nonprofits.

Your little survey might ask something like:


  • What are your two favorite nonprofits?
  • Are you serving on any nonprofit Boards (y/n)?
  • Are you doing any nonprofit volunteer or committee work (y/n)?
  • How many nonprofits receive a donation from you?
  • Would you like to learn more about our nonprofit (y/n)?
  • What is your name, phone number and Email address?

Only a fraction of your E-list is likely to respond to your request, but those that do are probably predisposed to helping your nonprofit. You can compare their responses to your list of Board members, volunteers and donors. Anyone doing something for a nonprofit other than yours is a pretty good prospect for doing it for your nonprofit. It might be worth a telephone call to learn more about these people’s interests and whether they might fulfill some of them at your nonprofit.

 Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

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