Fundraising can be a tricky business. You can send out armies of volunteers with tins to rattle, asking for cash, but big charities and big fundraising campaigns rely on big donors. As Charity Consultants Ltd preaches, not all big donors are celebrity entrepreneurs, rock stars or movie stars. There are at least 200,000 millionaires in the UK now, according to the company, compared with around 7,000 in 1990.
While many live in London, the South East and Cheshire, many of the 200,000 millionaires live in areas such as the West Midlands, Lancashire and Ayrshire. For a charity or good cause, there may just be a “millionaire next door”.
In one of its free publications about fundraising on its website, Charity Consultants says the millionaire next door can be someone who derives significant wealth from a wide variety of less than glamorous businesses. Many of these businesses have been profitable for several generations, creating a whole network of cash-rich family members.
Finding a millionaire next door is one thing, but badgering them to give financial support is another, although Charity Consultants says many millionaires would give more to charity if they were asked. “Evidence exists to show that, time and time again, when a high value donor has been asked why they didn’t give more to a charity, the reply has come back as being, ‘I wasn’t asked’,” says the company.
What many charities don’t know is that some of the regular small donors in their databases may be millionaires, and this is where Charity Consultants’ sister company, Prospecting For Gold, steps in to help. PFG owns an ever-growing database of information on high net worth individuals, which it is able to cross-match with the database of a charity to them flag names on the charity’s list. The charity can then build a better relationship with these individuals to try to cultivate bigger donations from them over time.
“This technique allows charities to bypass the costly route of trying to engage with new high value donors and instead focus their attention on developing a deeper and more profitable relationship with a selection of their current supporters,” says Andrew Thomas, founder of both Charity Consultants and Prospecting For Gold.