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As in, why do you want to acquire new donors? What are you looking to achieve?

On the surface, this may seem like a simple question. The first answer that pops into your head may be: To increase our fundraising dollars. But it goes a little deeper than that.

According to donorCentrics’s 2016 report, 60% of organizations saw a decrease in the number of active donors last year. So acquisition is the natural solution. The answer to the why for the majority of organizations is to replace a declining donor file.

But that still doesn’t quite get to the heart of what you’re looking to achieve. From there, the question becomes:

Why is your donor file declining—Is it declining because your donors are aging out? Or is it declining for a different reason?

The answer to that question helps determine who your organization wants to acquire by leading you to ask:

Is the profile of the donor you want to acquire the same as the people who have been supporting your organization over the years? Or is it different?

The answer to that question should then set you on one of three specific courses:

  1. Acquiring donors with a different profile than your current supporter base

Many organizations pursue acquisition because their donor base is aging. In these cases, the demographics of the file are not the same as the demographics of the potential donors they want to pursue. These organizations are looking for a different kind of profiled donor to acquire.

  1. Acquiring donors with the same profile as your current supporter base

Organizations that are smaller and newer may not have that historical base of older donors. They actually do have a younger population that supports them. So in those cases they may want to expand their existing profile. They want to take the same type of donor they’ve been successful in recruiting and find more of them.

  1. Acquiring both different profile donors and same profile donors for different programs

In some cases, organizations might want to do both. They might want to replicate certain types of donors within their file and acquire more of them, while also working to acquire a totally new audience for different offerings.

Once you know which course of action you’re looking to take. You can then set out on identifying new donors who fit the profile. Again, it all starts with: What’s the reason why? This upfront clarification around why you want to acquire and who you want to acquire is critical.

Find out the next steps to identifying the best new donors for your organization. Download “The Art & Science of Acquisition” today.