We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.
Finance

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Is Donor Development?

Kristie Lorette
By
Updated: May 17, 2024
References

Donor development is the process of showing potential donors the reason that an organization needs their donations, which is also known as cultivation. Once donors understand the need for donations, such as the construction of a new building or to fund a special program, donor development is then convincing the potential donors to make donations and even to guide them as to how much money they should donate.

Typically, donor development starts by contacting previous donors to the organization. Contacting these donors can be handled in various ways. In reality, a campaign is typically created to reach these donors in different ways over a period of time. For example, the first piece of promotion the donor may receive during donor development is a letter that states the purpose of the campaign. The organization will typically ask for a possible donation at this time, but it is not necessary to do this at this point. Some organizations chose awareness as the first step and then to ask for the donation later on in the donor development process.

Several follow-up letters, emails, listings in the organization’s newsletters and more will go out to these past donors. The goal of donor development is to get previous donors to give again and to increase the amount of their donation over the last amount that they have.

In addition to reaching out to past donors, donor development also encompasses identifying new potential donors. The first step is to identify groups that may have an interest in what the money is being raised for. For example, a historical museum that is raising money to open a museum around a historic site would contact historical societies, historians, and county and city officials for the funding that is required to create a museum around the historic site.

Once the organization brings awareness to the need for donation and identifies those that are most likely to donate, the final step to donor development is to convert potential donors into actual donors. Some organizations require monetary donations, and this is the most popular type of donation that most organizations seek. Some organizations are willing to take goods or services in kind. For example, a museum may take the donation of a construction company to build the proper encasement for an outside historic site to protect the site from the elements.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Kristie Lorette
By Kristie Lorette
Kristie Lorette, a storyteller, copywriter, and content creator, helps businesses connect with their ideal audiences through compelling narratives. With an advanced degree and extensive experience, she crafts engaging long and short-form content that drives results across various platforms. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
Kristie Lorette
Kristie Lorette
Kristie Lorette, a storyteller, copywriter, and content creator, helps businesses connect with their ideal audiences through compelling narratives. With an advanced degree and extensive experience, she crafts engaging long and short-form content that drives results across various platforms. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Share
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.