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Fundraising the SMART Way: Predictable, Consistent Income Growth for Your Charity, + Website by Ellen Bristol

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Part IWhich Funders Are “Right” for You?

The first of the two major SMART Way™ components is the ideal-funder profile, a reliable way to evaluate lifetime donor value, so that's the subject of Part I. (Part II focuses on the cultivation process.) You will learn how to develop criteria that demonstrate the difference between funders offering high potential lifetime value and justifying a high level of effort, and those that don't. After all, those who meet your criteria already want to give to you. So why would you throw your scarce and precious time and money at funders who don't want to give to you? It's all about knowing which is which.

By providing more objective controls over prospect selection, you take the first step toward revolutionizing fundraising performance.

We all want funders to give generously to our causes. We agonize over those who don't give. We try to think up cool new ways of convincing them to give. We work our wiles, leverage our connections, and try to get the compromising photos that will guilt-trip them to give to us. Unfortunately, many of us don't seem to have mastered what I call the Cousin Judy approach.

When we were in middle school and high school, my cousin Judy (my real cousin) always had a line of boys trailing her down the hallways, calling her up at home, and hoping that she would agree to go out with them. I, however, sat home most weekends feeling sorry for myself, trying to understand why the boys didn't like me. To make things worse, you ...

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