Here’s a fundraising scenario and projection for you to play with.

Assume your nonprofit has 100,000 active donors, 15% of whom are "missionaries" — that’s the proportion of donors who, in our DonorTrends survey, consider themselves active recruiters for at least one cause or charity they support. Your nonprofit might have a bigger or smaller cadre of missionaries. Do you know?

Then let’s assume one-third of those missionaries have a personal site on Facebook or MySpace. Recent Pew data we reported last week indicates 35% of adults have a social network profile.

Now, let’s ask them to raise some money for your latest urgent project or need.

Here’s what the math might look like:

100,000 donors x 15% = 15,000 missionaries

15,000 missionaries x 33% = 5,000 social net recruiters

50% of these recruiters rise to the challenge = 2,500 personal fundraisers
(too high? … this engagement is what they say they thrive on)

2,500 personal fundraisers each reach out to 10 online friends, 50% of whom contribute = 12,500 new donors (too high? … I’ve seen reports of even higher response rates)

12,500 new donors x $35 average gift = $437,500
(too high? … if anything, looking at average online gifts across many nonprofits, too conservative)

And each of those 2,500 personal fundraisers also gave $35 themselves = $87,500

Total return = $525,000 + 12,500 new donors
(and, of course, many of the non-recruiting missonaries will have contributed personally)

Return per personal fundraiser = $210

Total cost = negligable

Go ahead. Pick this scenario apart. Give us yours. Then go find some missionaries! Oh … and what would you be prepared to invest to get one of them?!


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This article was posted in: DonorTrends / DonorVoice, Nonprofit management, Online fundraising and marketing, Social media.
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