Here’s a fun little exercise to try.

(1) Think about all the non profits you support.

(2) Make a quick sketch of a bulls eye.

(3) Now chart out the non profits you support on the bulls eye as follows:

  • Put the 2-3 non profits that you will support year-in and year-out in the center of the bulls eye. These are the groups that you are most loyal to and will give to regardless of economic climate, changes in your professional life or life stage.
  • Now chart out the rest of the groups — and put the groups you are least loyal to further out near the periphery of the bulls eyes.

(4) Now ask yourself. Why are the reasons that organization X made it into the center of the bulls eye when organization Y didn’t?

Ok – do you have your answers?

This is an exercise Sea Change frequently conducts during focus groups with donors. And 8 times out of 10, the reasons people cite for loyalty stem directly from strong cultivation and stewardship programs.

These are quotes from actual donors about why organizations’ made it into the center of their bulls eyes:

  • “I feel truly appreciated. I get updates and thank you’s.”
  • “I’m inspired by the organization and I engage in ways that aren’t always about monetary gifts.”
  • “I am connected to their work in a meaningful way. You know as a partner.”

Where do you think your donors would place your non profit in their bulls eyes? Are you in the center? Or are you on the edge? What could you do to get in the center of more of your donors’ bulls eyes? Want to find out? Ask your donors.