Are you familiar with the 80-20 rule?
This is the concept that 80 percent of your results stem from 20 percent of your resources or efforts.
The 80-20 rule is more formally known as the Pareto principle -- and more poetically known as the law of the vital few.
Here are some examples of how it works:
- 20% of the clothes in your closet are the clothes that you wear 80% of the time.
- 20% of the people on your cell phone contact list are the people whom you call 80% of the time.
- 20% of the recipes in your favorite cookbook are the recipes that you cook 80% of the time.
How can the 80-20 rule inform your nonprofit fundraising strategy?
The numbers won't work out to exactly 80-20, but it's likely that just a small proportion of the potential funders on your prospect list are those from which you are most likely to receive sustained funding.
These are the low hanging fruit -- the funders you need to prioritize in your grant proposal writing or solicitation efforts.
It's always great (and essential) to bring new supporters into the fold, but your highest success rate is going to come from the funders that already know, like and trust your nonprofit.