Make New Friends But Keep the Old: A Case for Consistent Prospecting w/ Amy Mauser
Want to know how to build a funnel? and who goes in? Struggling to steward funders?
In this 1 hour special workshop hosted by Instrumentl, you’ll be able to build a funnel and know who goes in, how to steward funders, and how to add new prospect.
By the end of this one-hour workshop with Team Kat & Mouse, you’ll learn:
- How to build a Funnel - who goes in?
- How to steward funders?
- How to add new prospect?
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Amy Mauser is the Co-Founder of Team Kat & Mouse spent almost two decades building and leading fundraising teams within non-profits after my (brief but very educational) career in law. Amy's experience has included work on behalf of faith-based, arts, healthcare (disease), higher education, and community impact missions.
Whether using her legal experience to explore the technical benefits of a planned giving vehicle or my interpersonal skills to explain the financial impact of a one-time major gift, Amy love connecting with individual philanthropists to share their joy in making a difference. Amy is a critical thinker who brings a unique perspective to every place she goes. Amy can be counted on to quickly understand a fundraising program's overall view or spend time reviewing data. With expertise in building programs from the ground up, Amy will always ask the right question to get everyone involved in discovering the best solution.
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Make New Friends But Keep the Old: A Case for Consistent Prospecting - Grant Training Transcription
Make New Friends But Keep the Old: A Case for Consistent Prospecting w/ Amy Mauser
Will: Awesome. Hello, everyone. And welcome to Make New Friends But Keep the Old: A Case for Consistent Prospecting with Team Kat & Mouse. This workshop is being recorded and slides will be shared afterwards. So please keep your eyes peeled for a follow-up email in case you want to review anything from today.
In case it is your first time here, this free grant workshop is an Instrumentl partner workshop. These are collaborations between Instrumentl as well as community partners to provide free and educational opportunities for grant professionals. Our goal is to tackle a problem that you guys often have to solve while also sharing the different ways that Instrumentl's platform can help grant writers win more grants.
Instrumentl is the institutional fundraising platform. If you're looking to bring grant prospecting, tracking, and management into one place, we can help you do that. And you can set up your own personalized grant recommendations by using the link on the screen here, which I'll also put into the Zoom chat.
Now with that housekeeping out of the way, I'm very excited to introduce Team Kat & Mouse. They were created to help organizations where they need it most with training, tactics, and tools on ongoing support to help them achieve their full fundraising potential. And their fundraising consultants have experienced both crises in 2008 and 2020 and learn firsthand exactly what it takes to create durable fundraising strategies for their communities.
And so I'm very excited to introduce Amy, Ben, and Sharon from the team. If it is your first time here and you don't know about how we do questions here, if you have any questions along the way, please include three hashtags in front of those questions so that it's easier for us to identify it. And Team Kat & Mouse feel free to take it away.
Amy: Okay. Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Amy Mauser with Team Kat & Mouse. You can maybe gather where the mouse came from. And we are happy to be here today. Ben, you want to introduce yourself and start with the first slide?
Ben: Absolutely. Thank you, Amy. Thank you, Will. And thank you everyone for being here today. We're so excited to talk about this really important subject. My name is Ben Chambers. I do not have a zoological name in Team Kat & Mouse, but I am excited to be part of this team and part of this presentation today. So as the title suggests, today we're gonna talk about that really core piece of fundraising -- how we build relationships, which is sort of double-sided, how do we maintain the relationships we have while also going out into the community and building new relationships? So at Team Kat & Mouse, what we like to do is we like to take these high level ideas of fundraising relationship building in this case then break them down into digestible pieces.
Yes. We can talk all day about the importance of relationships and the nuts and bolts of that, but what are the specific tactics and activities you can do to go out there to find new funders, new donors, new grantors, all these people, and really enhance your organization as a result? So you see here, some of the kind of components we've broken out of this.
The elevator pitch is gonna be the first thing we talk about, that thing that everybody talks about having that spiel about your organization and really kind of honing in on is that really the best approach and are there new ways to approach the concept of an elevator pitch? Storytelling -- to not only convey what your organization does, but to do it in a way that expresses yourself, the emotion in it, and pulls emotion out of the person you're talking to. Building a funnel, having people who are kind of in the works, who can be a part of your organization. And knowing how to make that funnel a very structured, successful process. How do we determine the right people to add to that funnel? How do we cast a wide net without casting such a wide net that we can't maintain everything?
And then finally, stewardship. How do we take the relationships we already have? And then build them into something that can be robust and be successful going forward. So the three of us will take some different pieces of this and we're excited to share a bit going forward.
Sharon: So I always get the slide with the L. I'm Sharon Kitroser based here in south Florida. I wanted to start talking about elevator pitches. This is a really important issue to understand. So let's start with one of my favorites and invite you all if you don't follow him on LinkedIn to follow Simon Sinek. He is -- his original, what he got famous for was finding your why. So people don't buy what you do. They buy you to do it. Such an important part of storytelling. You know, in your classic elevator pitch of the past, you would figure out your story, your mission story, what you do, and you would tell it the same to every person.
There was no modification for who you were speaking to. Your whole goal was to be able to tell your story in the time that it takes to get up an elevator. So instead, we want to transition our elevator pitch into a storytelling that will be modulated on who you're talking to, will reflect who you're talking to, and share your mission in a magical way that gets people who don't even know you, over time, to become advocates.
So let's build a story. First of all, we have to go into who, the who, what, and where, why you do what you do as an organization, why it is important, and the real facts, facts, facts. This is the one where your why becomes super important. What brought you to the mission? Why do you get up every morning and go and give your time and your passion to this organization?
Then you get into what we call the mission moments. What are the benefits? Where have you seen the mission come to life? I often tell the story of how I was, for years I worked at the bone marrow registry where I never had leukemia, thank goodness, but I would tell the story how our CEO and founder did and how he has spread cures throughout the world.
And I would talk about my experience seeing a donor meet a recipient. So did I have leukemia? Could I tell the story of having had a bone marrow transplant? Certainly not, but I could tell the story of what happens through my eyes, how it made me feel, what I saw. Remember, you know, you have five senses. You know how they always say bake cookies when you're trying to sell your house?
It's kind of similar. You want people to see where you were, feel where you were, and that doesn't mean you have to explain what outfits you're wearing. It just really has to explain that I looked around me and not only was I bowled over by this moment where a stranger saves somebody's life, but I looked around and it, and this is really true I tell the story exactly like this. And all of a sudden, I realized in a group of hundreds of people, we were all feeling the same thing. And you know what? I told my why and explained what the mission does all in one time, one moment.
Last but not least, make it personal to the person you're speaking with. What's their connection with the mission? I heard more stories of people who had leukemia in their family and I'd keep asking additional questions so I could build my story around what was important to them. So I'm going to stop right here and see if anyone has any questions. Ben, if I can, I know, Will is, too, monitor the -- because I can't run a slideshow and have it up and I lose everything.
So it's really an opportunity to question your elevator pitch. And I'm going to say one more thing here, too. All of you, and I know this isn't as much as it used to be, but I can definitely tell you, Amy and I have spent more than a zillion hours together in a car talking about how to build our stories.
Well, we went through this yesterday. How do we integrate it and share this mission moment when we're out seeing people? So don't be afraid to practice. Actors practice, lawyers practice. Goodness gracious. They call it a doctor's practice. I would like to think they knew what they were doing, but I guess they're practicing, too.
So on to the next.
Why doesn't it wanna move? There we go. Amy?
Amy: Hi. Thank you. So, Sharon talked a lot about the importance of including your own why and the why of your organization in your story. So how do you tell that story? What are the important pieces to keep in it? And then, of course, why are you asking it? Why are you telling the story?
You're telling the story so that your donors or prospects can ask questions and learn more about you and about your organization. So we want to tell your story using your emotions. You want to tell your story using details, but not too many. You don't want to overwhelm anyone, especially for those of us working in healthcare or other sort of nitty gritty, detail filled fields.
Don't be afraid to show emotion. You're looking to build connections. Fundraising is of course about relationships. Even in the grant world, fundraising is about relationships. And so we want to show emotion. We want to open ourselves up to funders and prospects, so that as we share the story from our perspective, what we felt, what we saw, we're welcoming the listener who is the prospect, who may be the donor to feel themselves in the story. We're looking to find the piece of that story that we think is the most important to the person we're speaking to, and then give them a chance to participate in the mission in the story with us.
Sharon: So I bet you're all wondering after this story about 1969, now I'm going back even further to share a story about an economist named Pareto. So most people aren't familiar with Pareto, but they're very familiar with his concept. He was an economist who lived in 1848. He is the one who came up with the famous 80/20 rule.
So 80% of your success comes from 20% of your contacts. I have shared this in many places. Some people will argue it's 90/10 or 70/30, but Pareto actually said 80/20. It doesn't matter. The majority of your business will come from the minority of your contacts. And every year, some of them will move on.
So what moving on means is maybe they'll find another, some experience in their life will take them to another mission. Sometimes they'll leave your regional or local charity and they will move, physically move. And sometimes when you have older donors, they will move on to the great beyond, and hopefully will have left you an estate gift.
But the fact of the matter is you must always be looking for new connections. Always be prospecting. And if you have to, this is one of my favorite tricks because the fact of the matter is most people who work in nonprofit find their days to be very, very busy, new emergencies come up every day. But you never don't go to an appointment.
So I recommend, I've used this all my career to make an appointment with yourself to do prospecting. I would recommend early morning, late in the afternoon that's when you're more likely to get to people and not get to voicemails and assistants and such. So make an appointment with yourself every Tuesday between 8 and 10. All I do is reach out to new prospects to do research on new grant opportunities, spend my time with Instrumentl, going through all the new opportunities I can add to my funnel. But you have to be -- it's not a hobby. You can't view prospecting for new people as a hobby. You have to view it as probably the most integral part of your job.
There we go. Ben.
Ben: So first of all, I have to say, Will, I see you just commented that we should have "always be prospecting" on mugs and I think you may have planted a seed for Sharon and Amy and I because you may never see us without and always be prospecting mug in future calls. Absolutely, it's a great swag idea.
Thinking about how we keep and grow old friends is really important because there's this risk of when you start filling the funnel and you get so excited and you see the opportunity on the horizon, you take what's already in the works for granted. And it goes without saying, though, that those people are still important to you. The people who are your donors, who are your funders, who are your volunteers, your key supporters in the community, you still want to maintain and grow those relationships, too. You can't focus so much on one track that you forget about the others. So I always encourage people, first of all, to have a calendar of what is your stewardship going to look like?
How are you going to stay on top of yourself to be in touch with those people who've been integral to your growth for this point? Maybe it's a quarterly newsletter. Maybe it's every few weeks you call a few people at random just to check in and say hi. And have things kind of in your back pocket that you can share.
What are the updates on your mission? What's the work you're doing right now that makes your heart fill with pride and that you know that they're gonna pick up on when they have that conversation with you. Because like we just talked about, sharing that story is about being emotional. It's about showing the impact the work is having on human beings, on us as staff, on them as community partners and supporters. And if possible, have photos, testimonials, first hand accounts, feedback from staff who are on the ground implementing programs. Those kinds of things can be really valuable and really make a difference as you maintain and grow those relationships with your old friends.
Something that kind of flies under the radar that we also really like to think about and encourage people to do is Google alerts. You may have a donor that you know is really interested in new developments in a certain sector. So have Google alerts set so maybe something will pop up and you can reach out to them and say, "Hey, I saw this the other day and I was thinking about you. Hope you're doing well."
Just those little extra steps to show personal connection, personal care about them. Again, so you can make sure that those are thriving and growing along with the new relationships that are filling your funnel. And finally, those new initiatives that you have are so important to talk about because it shows the future, it shows hope, it shows promise for your organization fulfilling its mission.
But what better reflection is there on the support of your core community than being able to take on a new initiative. You can't, you know, no money, no mission, obviously, but also no donors, no expansion, no new initiatives, no new people you're going to reach. So those things are so valuable as you're reaching out to people and fostering those relationships.
So as you go forward, keep lists, keep repositories of information that you can draw from as you have those conversations, and continue to strengthen the relationships that are already so important to you.
Sharon: When you're looking to find new people, there's a little Instrument arrow because this is a great way to utilize the platform. We'll go into that a little bit later. But do your homework. Ben mentioned the Google alerts. I'm a big fan of the Google alerts because even if you send an article, they live in New York, and it's in the cover of the "New York Times" so you know they saw. If you send it, they know you cared enough to read it. Also for every local regional newspaper, business publications, most people go to company websites and don't go and look at their press releases. That's what tells you what's most recent, what's going on. But remember, for so many people, when you call a grantee, when you call a major donor, when you call a corporation, so many new fundraisers find that first sentence to be the most difficult.
What do you say after you say hello? What do you say on that voicemail? And we do a whole curriculum on what you say on that voicemail, but make it timely, make it current, but also bring in something that makes them know you did your homework and that's why you're calling them. That it will be a good match for them, as well as support the mission of your organization.
Ben, other ways to do homework.
Ben: So this is the piece where I find it's easiest for organizations to drop the ball. So everything we've talked about to this point takes a lot of work. Having those conversations with previous donors, filling the funnel with new donors, making sure you're maintaining your organization's face in the community. You do all that, in addition to every other task that piles up, social media gets to be kind of a challenging piece to navigate. Maybe you forget to post, maybe you forget to check it regularly, but these are very, very valuable tools as you think about not only making -- doing the outreach, getting in touch with people, but knowing what to say and how to say it.
Looking at the online presence, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter can help you see what a donor or an organization is interested in and where you have natural alignment with them. How can you find the right corporate contact? Maybe you're struggling to find an email address. Maybe you're just kind of banging your head against a wall, but you can chat with a company on Facebook and sometimes get a lot farther than you would think you can. It seems like such a rudimentary piece of outreach, but we've seen people have a lot more success with it than you'd expect.
Twitter, as I'm sure most of us know, is where most of the conversation happens in real time. So it's where you can kind of dip your toes in the water and see what's really happening out there. What are people talking about and how can you be relevant with that? YouTube and TikTok are kind of an outgrowth of that because it is the real-time conversation, but it's shared with more personality and dare I say a little more pizzazz sometimes than Twitter is.
So really kind of figuring out what the tenor of the funder or the donor is like, how you connect with them, how you can position yourself to really resonate. And finally, the most overlooked, but most powerful tool we can have with prospecting is LinkedIn. We know the basics. We can see who works where, we can see our networks, we can see the trendsetters, but there's no better place to start a conversation and to really figure out what those nodes in the networks look like. I can't tell you how many times I've been trying to make a connection with someone. I've reached out on LinkedIn, started a conversation, and been told I'm probably not the right person to talk to, but why don't you connect with this person and they'll point you in the right direction. Because it isn't always that first contact that gets you where you want to go. Sometimes it's two, three, four points of contact down the road. LinkedIn makes it really easy for that to happen.
And in addition to that, you can see who you know that knows the people you wanna get in touch with. Who in your network, who in your company, who in your circle can make an introduction for you? And this is especially powerful and we'll hit on this a little later on 'cause we talk about grant funding. This can be how you really stand out, how you really get in front of decision-makers for your organization. But as you go through all this social media is so easy to forget, but don't leave these tools on the table because they really can make a difference for you.
Sharon: And I'm gonna add one more thing, but we were just talking about conversation starters. Here's another one. I read that article you posted on LinkedIn. It was terrific because I learned blah, blah, blah. And it's another conversation opener. You know what they're thinking, you know what they're talking about, you know what they're boasting about. And I mean that in a good way, but it's a great conversation starter as well.
Amy: Before I move on to this next slide on individual fundraising, I just want to talk about social media in one other context. We use social media as a tool for our organizations to tell the organizational story. But I want to point out that the slide before was about how we can use social media to tell our own story and make our own contacts, which then will benefit our organization.
So posting about a fundraising event on social media is one way to use social media. Using your LinkedIn network to find the right contact for a conversation about a grant proposal is separate and distinct and different. So those are both things to remember. But let's move on and talk about individuals and how we add individuals to our fundraising funnels or pipelines or whatever metaphor we want to use to describe them.
And in my work with individual fundraisers, the question I'm most often asked is where do you find those people? Or because I'm here in south Florida and we're right next to the town of Palm Beach, how do you find the rich people? And the answer of course is I don't go knock on doors in the town of Palm Beach.
We look very carefully at a wealth screen report to establish capacity. We look for those who have an affinity towards our mission. So we do research to find people who maybe have been engaged with our organizations or engaged with organizations with similar missions. We're looking to find people who would feel moved by the mission that we are talking about or that we're working for in that minute.
And then, also, of course, we're looking for people who are philanthropic. Not everyone with wealth wants to give it away to a nonprofit. And some of those people with wealth who do want to do good, have their own tools to do that. And so how do we find the people who are philanthropic, who are looking to support our missions?
Do we look on donor lists for other organizations? Absolutely. How do we find people who have the propensity to give? And that is the really important question because to find wealth is only the first step.
So Robin asks just before we move on, how do you do a wealth screen without names? And I would say you don't, but you can pull a list by zip code. Whether it's from your current donor database, whether it's adding people's names, who you find on other gift lists, maybe you are investing in outreach and a list of acquisition donors from a mail house or from another source. Maybe you're looking at your property appraiser's website to find people at different addresses.
Ben: So moving on from individuals, this is the area where I really get excited. And I know Instrumentl can be a great tool in this process. So it's grants. So it's not uncommon that I sit down with people who want to go after grant funding and their idea, which is pretty common is that grants are kind of anonymous, that there are these big organizations that are giving money in the community.
And we just need to put together a proposal and write something up that really jumps out and they're gonna fund us. The reality is just like every other piece of fundraising grant funds are relationship-driven. Yes, sometimes you apply blind and get a grant. Yes, sometimes something falls out of the sky, so to speak, but if you wanna build a really durable, really successful and really sustainable grant program, you have to develop relationships along the way.
So we start with prospect research where just like Amy talked about looking at donor lists, you look at the organizations in your community who are doing similar work, look at their annual report, see which foundations have been making their work possible and figure out how you can make those connections to them.
Can you look on LinkedIn and find the program officers? Do people on your board know decision makers there? Do you, from your own professional background, have contacts that you can use to have a conversation with those funders and really figure out where the alignment is and what a successful funding proposal looks like.
And focus on the granter in that work and kind of right along with that, make sure you're being true to your mission. Make sure you know what that granter wants to fund, what their passion is, what they wanna do in the community and don't try to contort your organization or change your mission to be a fit for them.
Sometimes at this stage, you have to be willing to say I think we're close to being a match, but I don't think my program is the best fit for what you're trying to do. Because I've seen it happen where organizations try to stand up a new program quickly so they can align with a fund. And that's a recipe for disaster on a lot of different levels.
You're not setting yourself up to succeed. You're not setting yourself up to be the best steward of that funder's money. So make sure you have a plan in place to get funding, but to then thrive where you know you can thrive, where you can build programs and build community outreach in a way that you know will be impactful. And that you can celebrate later on.
Align with that funder with what they're doing in the community and when they're trying to do it. Know what their schedule looks like in terms of when they accept applications, when they want reports from you, and when you need to be providing those little pieces of stewardship along the way that aren't necessarily part of that schedule.
When is the big culmination of a program during the year and what can you do to have a funder there? Is there a program officer or a senior leader that you can invite to an event? Is there a piece of very heartfelt testimonial from a staff member or from a program recipient that you can share and really make that impact clear because that's a defining factor for you as a grant seeker.
Everybody does the reports, everybody's going to do the year two application, but it's the organizations that can really get to know the decision makers that can really bring the mission to life, something that's more than just a well-presented proposal but that has shown to be impacting human beings and is shown to be made possible by that funder.
I've seen so many organizations that are so good at stewarding individuals that have this heartfelt, structured, genuine approach to reaching out to people and then they have grant funders and they just kind of follow the steps that are laid out at the beginning and do the reports when they're supposed to and their grant programs, languish as a result. If you treat it like you would other pieces of fundraising and you focus on really rich, deep conversations that bring the mission to life and that share your passion and touch on their passions, that's when your grant program really gets taken to the next level.
Sharon: Well, we're back to in-person networking. It's been a long time of a lot of quiet, but it's time to get back where people are and meet people and ask them how you best engage. So when we talk about in-person networking events, think about what you want to share about why you're back to that storytelling. Have relevant conversation starters based on the name tags you see, the first time, it may be somewhat of a guess, but don't be afraid to say this is what we do. Have you heard us? What part of us are you familiar with? I'd love to tell you about the rest of our mission.
Make sure you don't -- I always say you want to play tennis with someone who plays -- now I don't play tennis, but you want to play tennis with someone better than you so you learn from them. Don't be scared to introduce yourself to people who are a bigger deal than you might feel like you are. Be brave, be confident. Ask them questions about themselves. Everybody likes telling about themselves. And then you also, it leaves little breadcrumbs on how you might best engage what they're into, what they're interested in. Ask for what you want and be clear. I had a person I work with who wants anytime anyone worked at a business, she assumed they were corporate contact.
Sometimes, most of the time, they were most interested in meeting with me as a follow-up to try and sell me something. So be clear what you're trying to do. You want to meet as many people as you can, but you don't want to ever be perceived as that person who talked to someone while they were scoping the room for who else might be there that it would be interesting to speak to.
There's no shame in saying this has been wonderful talking with you. I feel like I should let you go and network with some more people. I look forward to following up with you next week and maybe grabbing a coffee and continuing the conversation. Exit gracefully even if you are talking to someone you found out is really not going to be helpful that doesn't mean they deserve to be dismissed. So you want to be very, very careful on how you say goodbye.
Some important points to remember. Everyone there has an agenda. They're all there for a reason. Number two, try to mirror who you're talking to. I have a big personality. I talk with my hands and if I'm talking to someone from a very -- a banker or a trust officer or someone who -- an attorney, I might leave my hands by my side and try to mirror them. I never ever, you know, I might have a drink. I rarely eat at events because I'm not there for dinner unless it's a dinner event. I'm there to meet people. It's very, very hard to eat, drink, and tell your story at the same time and juggle, et cetera.
Listen to the person 100%. Ask questions to hear the answers. Make sure you learn something that when you call them next Tuesday for coffee, you can say, I so enjoyed meeting you and talking about your son, Bob, who's on his way to the University of St. Louis. You want to really, really be clear, take notes as soon as you're done on the back of their business card, whatever you need to do, try to be a little stealth about it, but you wanna make sure that you are paying attention and listening to the answers to the questions you ask and more about them.
Make sure to wear a name tag. That's very important. People feel if they see who you are and run the other way, they probably weren't a good person to spend your time with. And most, and most of all, be brave. I know that may sound crazy to some of you. I have met more people who are very scared to talk to strangers.
I think it's a very common fear. These people don't know you. They know nothing about you. Just be genuine, be yourself, of course, mirror them, but be who you are. Ask them questions with actual genuine interest in the answers and be prepared to meet someone new who you can follow up with and get to know. And you never know some of these people know other people, too. So make sure that it's not a long time together, but an important and real one.
Amy: So I will just say Will asked in the chat box if you have a favorite in-person networking tip, please add it into the chat box so we can work on that. And while you do, we're gonna move on to stewardship.
Sharon: Wait, wait, I have one. Wear flats, women. And men. I have found that my whole attitude and way I am at these in-person events is directly tied to the shoes that I'm wearing.
Amy: Thank you, Sharon. We're going to move on to stewardship while you write your notes in the chat box. The basics of stewardship, thank your donors and do it quickly. You know this, of course, when we're here in the world of development, it's part of our job. I usually say that my job is to say please and to say thank you.
And the thank you is often more important and it's always more fun. So thank them, thank them quickly, thank them effectively, have a system in place whether it is thank you letters and knowing who signs it and knowing how quickly they send it out, whether it's using an automated system that sends an email thank you out quickly. You may wanna have different processes in place for donations at different levels and follow the rules that you set for yourself.
Use donor-centric language. Talk about your donors. That's who's the hero of the story. It's not your organization. It is the donor who made it possible by their investment for you to do the work that you're doing. So we want to keep the donor at the center of the work that we do. Not making the work that we do less important, but making it clear that we don't want to do it without them. So that is important. Daphne, thank you for adding your tip in the chat box. We appreciate that.
Sharon, next slide.
Sharon: Oh, I was wanting to see what the tip was.
Amy: So we're going to use our thank yous as a way to report on the impact of the gifts, but we're also going to save that report as another opportunity to reach out and talk to our donors. We talked a little bit before about looping back, keeping people connected, make sure to make marks depending on the CRM tool you're using, you may be able to set up reminders in your system to send reports, newsletters, or just a paragraph with an update to the donors who are engaged in particular pieces of your mission.
And of course tell donor stories. I'm sure that you're using them in your newsletters, in your email updates, certainly in your social media, but we want to tell donor stories as a way of sharing the why of those people who participate with us. We'll go back a little bit to Simon Sinek. And we talked about finding your own why for why you do the work you do or the why of the organization. But we also wanna be finding the whys of our donors and sharing those stories with the rest of our networks.
Ben: Sorry I forgot to unmute myself. So ultimately, so kind of to pull all of this together, all these different pieces that we've talked about and these different elements that you can use. Like I talked about beginning, the kind of component parts of this big thing that is prospecting. Know your story, know how you tell your story.
Encourage the stakeholders in your organization to do the same thing. Be it leaders, staff members, board members, everyone. Note what it is that makes it jump out and then be able to adapt it to your audience. Know how to tell that story in a way that's going to just jump out to them and also keep filling your funnel.
Something that we like to highlight for people is that you can get frustrated. Maybe a gift doesn't come in. Maybe you're worried about hitting your goal. But if your funnel is full, if you know there's always something in the works that setback becomes much less intimidating because you know there's more in the pipeline.
So as you're getting people close to that ask, close to making that gift, make sure you have new people constantly coming in behind them that you're going through this process with. Always be prospecting like we said. It's going to be on a mug and it's our mantra that we tell everybody. It's never the wrong time to be doing this. You need to set aside time and make it part of your regular process to be out there prospecting and getting to know new people in your community.
Will: And with that, I think that it's a great transition to talk a little bit about Instrumentl and how the why behind Instrumentl as well as how Instrumentl can help you always be prospecting. So to kind of talk about the why, there's really only one platform that can bring grant prospecting, tracking, management into one place. And that's Instrumentl.
What we do is we will give you a list of both active, public, private government, and corporate funding opportunities and actively look for new opportunities for you every single week. And then on the back end of things, when you're really digging into that prospect research, that's something in which you're gonna be able to dig really deeply into each of these foundations to learn exactly what sort of organizations they're traditionally giving to and things like that. So what I'm gonna do in the next three or so minutes or so is I'm gonna drop a link in the Zoom chat for folks that may not have heard of us before, but I'm also going to show you just in the actual platform itself, how we can apply some of the learnings from Team Kat & Mouse's presentation from the grant side of things in terms of prospecting.
So if you go ahead and look at my screen here, you can see that I've set up a STEM education project and right here what I've done is I've told Instrumentl I am fundraising for a STEM project and I'm actually doing it in a particular location and I want to know all of the grants that are active in my respective area. And so, once you set up a project on Instrumentl using that link in the Zoom chat, what you'll see is you'll get this Funding Opportunity Matches tab and what this is going to show you are 205 opportunities that are specifically active and open for proposals.
So when you think back on Ben's earlier slide on mission matching or just doing due diligence with different foundations to make sure that they're actually aligned to the work that you're doing, Instrumentl pretty much has done a first pass for you. And the way that I've had this expressed by other folks before is it's kind of like having a personal assistant that is consistently looking out for you in terms of new opportunities.
And so that's something in which as you are working through your Instrumentl results, you'll be able to save those opportunities into your tracker. And what's cool about this is that it pretty much integrates everything you need to get to the evaluation of whether or not this is a good fit funder. So you can see here with all these different opportunities on the right hand side, I'm being explained exactly why am I being shown this particular grant? In this case, it's because of a match to some education. And then I'm also getting shown information about the funder details in terms of specifically, what is the National Environmental Education Foundation looking to fund? What are the grants they're looking to fulfill here? As well as details about this foundation.
And as you start digging more and more into these different profiles, you're going to get a lot of those key pieces of information that Ben mentioned being important. For example, taking a look at things like the average grant amounts or the median grant amounts, taking a look at the key contact information to see whether or not you have an existing relationship with folks, as well as some giving trends over the years to see whether or not this funder is in a position to be giving to new grantees.
And there's going to be some unique trends in Instrumentl as well that no other tool can actually look into. For example, if you're looking for a breakdown of what percentage of grants are going to new grantees versus repeat grantees, we will parse the data for you in the 990 report to tell you that figure. And the reason why that's useful is because if you were to do this yourself, you would open up a couple PDFs, scroll through, continue adding and dividing until you actually calculate this number. And this can give you a quick way for you to really assess when this funder says they want to fund new organizations, is the data actually supporting that? Or is it something that they're just publicly saying, but that's not actually what's going on.
And you'll see more trends like this in terms of what's the difference between what a new grantee is receiving as opposed to a repeat grantee. So at a high level, what you need to understand about this is when you set up a free search on Instrumentl using that link in the video description, what you're going to get is you're going to get an active grant search that is always working for you. Once a week, whenever you have any new opportunities in that particular project, we will notify you and what you can do is you can just filter by new.
And now I see the new opportunities related to this project. And what's really cool is that I know some folks in the audience are grant consultants as well. You can actually set up different client profiles for each of your clients as well. Set up unique searches and essentially manage all of your clients in one place as well.
We're the only platform that actually supports client profiles and the way that you actually tranch out those profiles. And aside from that, going back to the topic of prospect research, there's two other ways that you can really use Instrumentl to level up the way that you're prospecting. The first way is by using our Funder Matches tab, which essentially is going to detail for you invite only funders or funders that don't have active opportunities open. In other words, folks that you want to start building those six to 12 month relationships with. So in the case where you're thinking about that mug question of how can I always be prospecting? Well, if you have a couple hours, it's carved out every single day like I believe Sharon mentioned at the beginning for prospecting. Well, what you can do is you can work through and say, hey, who are these people nearby me or in my local region that have a history of giving to new grantees that I wanna start building relationships with because I don't necessarily need funding from them today, but I do wanna build that relationship for six months down the road or 12 months down the road and so on.
And so you're gonna see those same sort of data insights that are really unique and it allows you to really get to the mission matching as well as the alignment with good fit funders. And the last way that Instrumentl can really support you in terms of your prospect research is if you ever want to reverse research a particular funder, you can click the quick find button in the top left corner and then search somebody by their EIN or by their name. And when you do that, what you'll find is you're going to often find something like this in which if I look up Tutoring Chicago here, I can see that there's a section here on the right side around Past Awards Received.
And what this is going to tell me is this is going to tell me exactly what foundations are historically funding Tutoring Chicago. So in my example, I'm a STEM education program. I know that Tutoring Chicago does similar work to me. What I've just done in a matter of seconds is I've identified another short list of good opportunities for me that could potentially make for new relationships that I can cultivate in terms of the foundation side of things.
So those are just three ways that Instrumentl can support you in terms of your prospect research. But I really haven't even begun to scratch the surface in terms of the other side of things and tracking and management. You'll have to use the link in the video description in terms of learning more about this, but something else you should know about Instrumentl is we have a complete robust tracker where we will track all of your tasks as well as deadlines coming up.
So going back to that slide earlier on Google alerts, there really isn't a need for Google alerts on Instrumentl for the grants that you find from our database because what's happening is once a week, we are updating for you if the funder has changed in a deadline for you as well as maintaining an active tracker of all the tasks that you have set up in your tracker. So why is that super useful? Well, if you're like a three person team like Team Kat & Mouse, we know exactly what Amy's working on, what exactly what Ben's working on, and exactly what Sharon's working on because what we can do is we can filter it down based off the owner, we can set up different tasks for each person, and pretty much this becomes the command center for all things institutional fundraising.
And the last thing that I'll mention here is that there's often questions of what do I do with grants that I found outside of instrumental? You can add those in by using the add new button. And the last thing I'll mention is that with respect to reporting, if you are a consultant or you're just reporting to your board of directors, on Instrumentl, you can make really quick reports that are fully customizable by date range, as well as years and what not and within a couple clicks, you'll have a custom PDF that you can share with your executive director to look like the boss that you are in terms of your grants.
And so, that's just some of the high level in terms of some of the things there. We have a couple questions to go through, but before we do so, I wanted to make sure that I shared the contact information for Team Kat & Mouse. And I'm going to start opening it up to Q&A as well, and also dig into some of the freebie materials, so that folks can take care of that in the case where they don't have any questions.
And so, something that we have for you today is if you submit the feedback form for the workshop, which I'll put into the Zoom chat here, what's going to happen is you'll be able to get a freebie from Team Kat & Mouse as well as ourselves. I believe it's their Grant Math 101.
And what we'll be providing is 10 best lessons from 10 grant writing experts. And so, feel free to check those out. And we'll also be back live next week for a Data Isn't Just for Science: Five Secrets for Writing Evidence-Based Grants next Wednesday. So feel free to check that out, but we have a couple questions here.
The first question is from Alexis. I'm going to also go ahead and make sure that I undo this showcase so that we can also showcase everybody else. But Alexa asked, are there tools, databases, et cetera, that you're using to complete screening? She's new to development and wealth screening is not a previous practice.
Amy: I would check with whatever CRM or database tool your organization is using. There may be a wealth screening product that comes with that or could easily be added to it. There are lots of technical tools there like Instrumentl, an outside company that brings in a new product, but there are lots of wealth screening products that can layer onto your CRM and whatever CRM your organization is using may have one that's out there.
So without pitching someone else's product, I will leave it at that, but I'm certainly available to have a deeper conversation about the value of wealth screening. Of course, there's a piece of wealth screening that you can do yourself by using local property appraisers to find the value of real estate and LinkedIn to find out about jobs and careers, which are often aligned with wealth. But a wealth screening product will get you much deeper in the weeds on information there.
Will: Feel free to also email anybody on the team as well that is included in the Zoom chat as a follow-up to that question, Alexis. The Children's Museum of Galilee asked, can you give an example of a donor story?
Amy: Sharon and Ben, if you don't mind, I will jump in this. A donor story is a way to tell the story of your mission from the perspective of the donor. So you are a children's museum. You might say Mr. And Mrs. Smith have been coming here for years with their children and now with their grandchildren and because of their longtime connection to our X, Y, Z program, they made a gift this year to support it.
And then there's a quote from the Smiths that says we've learned so much and we've had such wonderful experiences here with our family that this year we wanted to make it available to more people in our community.
Will: Awesome. And Pamela direct messaged me a question. Does Instrumentl provide information in terms of key names of individuals at the funder's organizations?
So we do provide the information at the foundation level. Here's an example from the Clif Bar Family Foundation in which what you'll see is a section called Key People here. And this is where we'll pull in that information in terms of key contact information there. There will usually also be a direct link to the website if they have one along with a phone number.
And so, that would be where you want to go. And this happens on both the funder and the recipient profile. So just taking a look at that recipient situation, you can see here, this is this non-profit's key people within their profile here. So that's the answer to that question.
If you have any other questions, do leave them back into the chat. We'll look to see if there's any other ones that we can tackle, but those are the two that I collected over the course of the workshop.
Amy: Excellent. Well, I'm glad you were all here. I'm glad you learned lots of, I hope you learned lots of stuff and you're getting ready to go out and tell your story to individuals and to foundations and to potential corporate partners. Get out there and network and continue to keep your funnel full and we are all here to answer your questions should you have them later. And if you try out your 14-day Instrumentl trial, the link is also there on the web page. So thank you all so much.
Will: Awesome. And Alyssa asked me how current is our information including contacts? Sometimes the 990s are two to three years old. It really is dependent on what is submitted to the IRS at that time in terms of their business master file.
So that is not something within our control, but essentially when the IRS releases updates, which usually happens in waves in terms of the data, that is going to be what reflects in terms of Instrumentl's information there, but great question over there. Awesome. The other thing that I forgot to mention, too, is you can, I believe that there is a code that was in the first tab here.
Oh, it's actually not in the tab. We'll include it in the follow up, too, in the case where you want to save $50 off your first month of Instrumentl if you enjoy it. From there, though, thanks so much for attending, everybody. We're going to go ahead and wrap things up since it looks like every question has been answered and we hope to see you next week for another workshop.
Have a great Wednesday, everybody.
Sharon: Thank you.
Amy: Thank you everybody.
Ben: Thank you everybody.