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When it comes to asking for donations, the more people you ask, the more you’ll receive!  You’ll want to start by identifying your potential donor network.

Your list should contain several key elements:

1. Every single person you know who you can send your letter or email to. Aim high! See if you can list a hundred people. See the brainstorming list below for some ideas.

2. Contact information should include email, mailing address and phone numbers.

3. Any personal notes that you can include in your letter. For example, “I hope you and James are doing well, it was great running into you at Starbucks a few weeks ago.” The more personalized your communication, the better your response rate.

4. Has the person donated to your fundraising before?

5. Each person’s personal connection to the mission, if any.


100 people might seem like a lot to list in your donor network, but with a little thought behind it, you'll have 100 potentional donors on your list in no time at all! To help you brainstorm your list, here are some suggestions from our top fundraisers. Don’t be shy, you never know who has a personal connection to the mission!

Who is my… Mom, dad, aunt, uncle, cousin, in-law, godson, accountant, appraiser, architect, attorney, auditor, babysitter, baker, bartender, hair stylist, bookkeeper, caterer, chiropractor, contractor, dentist, engineer, financial planner, interior decorator, notary, nurse, nutritionist, optometrist, painter, pharmacist, photographer, physical therapist, physician, piano teacher, psychologist, recruiter, reporter, security guard, veterinarian…

Who Sold Me My… House, advertising, antiques, boat, paint, beer, bicycle, bed, books, bridal gown, burglar alarm, cabinets, cat, dog, suit, dress, computer, cosmetics, dry cleaning, eye glasses, contact lenses, flowers, furniture, sports equipment, hot tub, house, condo, insurance, loan, investments, jewelry, manicure, medicine, mortgage, real estate, motorcycle, newspaper, picture framing, skin care, stereo, storage, television, tools, travel package, home improvement…

I Know People At… Work, bowling alley, daycare, church, synagogue, temple, mosque, golf course, hardware store, college, health club, high school, hospital, hotel, kennel, library, museum, night club, pharmacy, post office, gallery, resort, restaurant, super market, volunteer group, deli, grocery store, bus stop…

Keep Going… Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, wedding party, children’s teachers, college friends, fraternity, sorority, alumni association, professional association, former colleagues, people you grew up with, went to school with, play sports with, live near you…

Now that you've identified your potential donor list, check our our other tools for fundraising success!


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