Target. Diversify. Cultivate.

If there is one thing I hate, it’s asking the ether to donate.

“But,” you say, “I have 542,371 followers on Twitter! If everyone donated £1.00 to my cause I would have £542,371.00!”

And it would work, if you were an uber-celebrity or you had a major amount of media behind you.

Chances are you don’t have close personal relationships with 542,371 people. Chances are even further that if you got a hold of 542,371 email addresses and sent them an impassioned plea for them you would be seen as… wait for it… wait for it… a SPAMMER.

So chunk the idea that volume = instant goal. What you need is a targeted plan that covers a variety of ideas and cultivates your donors.

And by cultivation I mean “builds a relationship.” You’re not selling wrenches, you’re promoting a cause that you have an emotional attachment to and are actively doing something for.

Let’s play pretend!

You’ve sat down like a good girl/boy and made out your list of potential donors. It looks like this:
1. The affluent group (affluent in my world can give £50 or more).
2. Your work colleagues who you see almost every day.
3. Your friends who you gather with on Fridays.
4. Your friends from overseas.
5. Your Facebook/Twitter friends.

To throw marketing/sales speak – These are your target audiences. You need to sit down and think of ways in which to reach them. Ideas can be as such:

1. Affluent: Wine tasting at your home/Asking in person/Taking a group to dinner.
2. Work colleagues: Bake sale/Raffle/Asking in person
3. Friends: Spare change/Pasta party/Give up a beer for your cause
4. Overseas Friends: Email/Blog/Video/Call everyone over a set period
5. Facebook/Twitter: Donation Posts/Videos/Blogs/Fan Group

Once you pick your ideas and set them into motion there is a further, final step: CULTIVATION. Reality is not everyone is going to pick up on your cause and throw money at you. You need to build relationships and seek engagement. Sometimes people can only provide moral support, and that is just fine, so long as you treat every single person you approach with respect and kindness. They are doing something for you, so always show appreciation – if it’s £1.00 up to £1,000.00. Trust me, it makes good personal and good business sense.

So remember: Target. Diversify. Cultivate. Sticking to one thing (or hoping for one big one) won’t get you to your goal. Sticking to your cause will.

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