To cultivate: it means to prepare for or foster growth, to encourage and to seek society or make friends. Cultivation is usually associated with gardening, but it is a fundamental principle of fundraising.
A cultivated donor is one who is more engaged, involved and whose level of support continues to grow.
Let’s look at three aspects of cultivation: using fertile “ground,” fostering growth and making it social.
Sow in Fertile Ground: A fundraising program, like a lush garden, has to be planted in fertile ground. This means conducting the research and identifying likely supporters and the best messages and media to reach them. We’ve covered that in two previous blog posts, on research and identification.
Fostering growth: It’s a competitive world, and your organization is not the only one vying for donations.
According to the 2012 Donor Engagement Survey published by Charity Dynamics and the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN): Most donors give to more than one charity. Nearly half of the survey respondents give a majority of their annual total donation amount to the charity to which they feel most connected.