Major Gifts: Identifying Natural Partners
What is a natural partner?
As a major gift officer, one of the best ways to expand your list of potential donors is to identify natural partners, or someone with an existing or natural relationship with a potential donor. This person could be a business partner, family friend, or a fellow church parishioner. A natural partner can help your organization build strategic relationships that are genuine and align with your organization’s values.
According to The Artful Journey by William T. Sturtevant, a natural partner helps with the initial cultivation of a prospect in three ways:
1. Creates a natural communication channel between a new prospect and the major gift officer.
Rather than getting a cold call from an organization, a natural partner can facilitate a meeting between to introduce the gift officer to the prospective donor. This helps build rapport with the prospect.
2. Builds the confidence of the prospective donor in the organization.
Having a trusted friend vouch for your organization starts the conversation on why they should also be a donor and builds trust in the organization.
3. Allows gift officers to learn more about a prospect and steer their cultivation conversations towards the prospect’s interests.
Gift Officers can go into initial conversations with catered programs in mind for the prospective donor. Understanding a donor’s passion and interests from the get-go can lead to further conversations and donations.
Depending on the natural partner, they may want to assist with the donation ask. This is a great option for your board members who are looking to get more involved in the fundraising process!
Think about it: if you have an interest in an organization’s mission, what is more compelling? Being asked for a contribution by a gift officer or a trusted friend? Identifying natural partners is a great way to work with your prospects and build strong relationships.
Identifying and linking natural partners has never been easier using Julep, a fresh and flexible CRM. Relationship links can be identified from donor’s profiles. Want to learn more? Check out Julep!