I love ForImpact.org‘s W.O.W. emails. I read this just after writing yesterday’s post Fundraising Secret #1. It definitely fits!

Read it and prosper:

Last week Tom and I were with a Benedictine prep school in New
Jersey. We were discussing the importance of focusing on top
prospects in the development plan when one of the board members asked
this question:

“What type of results should we expect if we visit with each of our
top 100 prospects?”

Being the ‘helpful outsider’, I gave that wonderfully ambiguous
answer: “It depends.”

After thinking for a moment I was able to offer an epiphany that was
a bit more insightful…

I’ve never been with an organization which made a commitment to
focus on its top 10 prospects that wasn’t completely and totally
transformed (in ways beyond funding results).

That’s a long-winded epiphany — I will restate: If you
focus on your top 10 prospects it will transform your organization

This is a simple (not easy) idea that changes everything.

The secondary epiphany is that most organizations gloss over their
top 10 prospects to make selective visits with prospects 11-100 (if
and when they’re making visits).

Why aren’t more organizations transformed by their top 10?

  • They don’t stop to ask the question, "Who are our top 10
  • It’s easier to focus on prospects 11-100.
  • They give up on the top 10 at the first sign of uncertainty. (eg.
    “The prospect did not return our phone call. she must not be
  • They have not yet committed to ‘sales’ and are therefore not out
    making asks.
  • They have ‘top of the pyramid’ call reluctance because:
    • They can’t communicate the vision/mission/message.
    • They haven’t been trained to sell and therefore fear
      messing it up.


  • Make a commitment today to focus your energy on your top 10

  • Make a commitment to visit with them, share the story, and present
    the opportunity within the next year.

  • Don’t back down from this commitment*.
  • E-mail me (nick@forimpact.org) on August 13, 2008 with your
    transformational success story. I would be equally interested (and
    very surprised) to hear from you if you truly made this commitment and
    weren’t wildly successful in your funding efforts.

*If you have encounter any of the challenges above join us at a training
to remove the challenges [more powerful than a plug; it’s a
statement of action].

For more W.O.W. emails and funding ideas check outwww.forimpact.org.

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