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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Identifying New Supporters: A Helpful Tool
Karen Eber Davis

February, 2012

Almost every nonprofit can use more supporters to help it fulfill its mission. “We need to get the word out so more people will help us,” mentions a new board member. At staff gatherings, your special event planner pipes up, “If only we had more corporate support.” The good news is that you can grow your supporters. The first step is planning how you will do it. Using a chart like the one below will help.

When you are ready to take action about growing your supporters, gather a small group of creative thinkers to fill in the chart. In this chart you will start your thinking about organization needs and from them identify potential supporters. Filling out this chart can help you to move your organization forward by helping you to identify new partners and obtaining items and resources you need.

Activity/Needs Why Needed Priority Who Benefits

(Aim for 5 or more groups for each need)

New Potential Support Cash Only? (y/n)
Books for children to read -To increase literacy

-To support children’s continued interest in reading

1 1. Children

2.Teachers/ schools

3. Libraries

4. Families

4. Future employers

5. Booksellers

6. Community college, the local university

1. Schools & libraries can be asked to donate books scheduled to be discarded

2. Local employers ask to sponsor a class or buy books about topics related to their field

3. College students asked to donate their childhood favorites, with a note about why they liked the book

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Meeting room for quarterly children’s literacy events on

Sat. afternoons from 2-5

-To create community support for reading

-To increase literacy

-To support children’s continued interest in reading

-To involve family members

2 1. Children

2. Families

3. Local business

4. Other nonprofits

5. Community

6. Libraries

7. Book stores

1. Partner with the health department; parents also receive free health information concurrently

2. Ask a book store to co-sponsor event(s)

3. Ask local business with training room to co-sponsor

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PR and Media coverage about our programs in the Alta Vista School District (Pilot area) To create community support for reading 1 1. Children

2. Families

3. Media- interesting local new to cover

4. Potential supporters- knowledge

5.Communty positive info.

6. Local photographer-opportunity to market to parents

7. Others listed above

1. Ask the college for a PR intern or work with a professor to create an assignment drafting press release and materials for events and reading

2. Ask marketing firm to donate one month of services in exchange for free publicity

3. Contact local photographer about covering event and setting up holiday family pictures theme around books at event

n

Clarifications and Instructions:

Activity/Needs: Clearly identifying your activities and needs provides you with the best opportunity to fulfill them. Write a description of the resource you need. What is needed to move your mission forward? To run more effectively? To create more outcomes? What barriers stop you from creating more services? Move beyond money—to what money buys. This is the most important section of the chart. Be specific. For example, rather than “more public recognition of our work,” write “more public recognition in the Alta Vista school district.” The later helps you to focus on the district resources vs. the whole community.

Why Needed: List the results you plan to obtain with the resource.

Priority: Rank the item 1, 2 and 3 depending on its high, medium or low priority

Who Benefits: This is about others who receive something of value when you succeed. Who else does your work help? What exact benefits do you anticipate for them? Who else benefits from the increased value you provide?  Besides individuals served, list groups or organizations that benefit when you benefit. For example if your goal is for youth to read more, potential benefits groups include: children, parents, teachers, book stores and libraries, but also, backpack sellers, second-hand book stores, newspapers, magazine publishers and colleges.

Potential Support: List potential supporters; again be specific. Name names. As in the example above, this list may include new groups, even if they were not listed in the previous column.

Must It Be Cash? This is a yes-no questions.  Finding ways to fulfill needs by accepting non-cash resources provides new possibilities. For instance, you work with a bookstore that sells new and second-hand books. They will exchange a used book for free when a child younger than twelve brings in book with a one-page illustrated book review. The store posts these reviews in their new children’s book area. The store benefits because parents browse and often make purchases when they bring in their children. You also help them obtain publicity. Resource you gain: new books incentives to help children read more and a new partner.

Yes, you can have more supporters. The first step is plan for them by identifying who benefits when your activities succeed. Using the chart above will help to identify potential supporters in an organized manner.   Use the chart below to get started today. For more help identifying supporters listen to Podcast #5, How to Grow Your List of Supporters.

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Activity/Needs Why Needed Priority Who Benefits

(Aim for 5 or more groups for each need)

New Potential Support Cash Only? (y/n)
      1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

   
      1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

   
      1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

   


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