Whether we have 5,000 or 500,000+ constituent records in our database, the percentage of “engaged constituents,” is far less.
For example, if we define “engaged” as giving recently, or showing up at an event, or interacting via social media, or opening an email, or receiving a direct mail piece, etc., it is not uncommon for only 20-40% of an institution’s constituent database to be defined as “engaged” in some manner.
Advancement folk know this and so we thirstily look at the other 60-80% of records and other donor acquisition opportunities as the way to grow our programs. The thinking goes like this:
“If we create more interest from those who haven’t responded but should care, our results will skyrocket!”
Meanwhile, the other approach is to assess more closely the 20-40% of your constituents who have been engaged in some way, shape, or form recently and set out to delight them more personally and abundantly.
“If we magnify the interest from those who have already responded and do care, our results will skyrocket!”
In the noise and parsimony of our world, creating interest from strangers is far more challenging than magnifying interest from friends.
This reality doesn’t mean, of course, that we shouldn’t be implementing plans and strategies to identify and make new friends. We should and we must do this donor prospecting work.
But, the results you can count on today won’t happen because of an influx of strangers joining your cause.
The results you are working toward now will happen because you magnified and made deeper connections with those who have already shown their care for your cause.