How the Sales Funnel Can Work at Nonprofits

How the Sales Funnel Can Work at Nonprofits.

By Rob Wu

Nonprofit organizations can and should be using their own version of the sales funnel to help them efficiently acquire new donors.  Sometimes called “donor funnels” or “cultivation funnels,” sales funnels for nonprofits should be detailed paths that donors are led through in order to become lifelong supporters of the organization.

The most important steps of the nonprofit sales funnel are:

  1. Prospecting – This is the process of finding new leads (potential donors) who might have an affinity for the mission of the organization.
  2. Cultivation – During the cultivation phase, nonprofits work to build relationships with their prospects so that the person or company is ready to make a financial commitment to the organization.
  3. Asking – This is the “make the sale” phase, where the nonprofit asks the prospect to make their first gift to the organization.
  4. Stewardship – After a donor makes their first gift, the nonprofit continues to cultivate (“steward”) the donor, in the hopes that the donor will continue to support the organization in the future with new and larger gifts.
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