Gold Mining

“Gold Mining,” as the name implies, means going to those places where you are most likely to find gold.

In order to attract new major potential donors to your projects, one of the ways is to go through all your present and past major donors, (that are major to you, often $5,000 plus) and ask yourself, ‘How did I acquire each of these donors?’

If you have 5-50 present and past large donors, then this simple exercise should take you 30-60 minutes and can help you gain a few more major donors.

When we take the idea to the next level by putting the info in a Google Doc or spreadsheet, we can often begin to see if there are people, patterns or opportunities that we should focus our attention on, to try and repeat what has already been a successful way of attracting new dream donors to your organization in the past.

So here’s the step by step way to do this…



From your database, create a list of your largest present and past donors and their largest donation.



Add a column that lists ‘How they became a donor’ (Put in the name of the person who referred you and their relationship with you) i.e.:



STEP 1                     STEP 1 STEP 2 and 3 STEP 3
Jack Cohen $5,000 Elliot Gold, a friend from Haberdashers’ made the referral. Email Elliot, telling him what a difference his referral made to our org and ask him is he could make another referral.
Andy Kaplan $20,000 He is Zvi Rosen’s brother in law. He feels a family obligation to give. Call Zvi and share with him how our project really helped his sister and ask him is he has any other people who may resonate with what we are doing.
Jon Zucker $25,000 Jonathan Klein, a present smaller donor, introduced me at mincha minyan at Canary Wharf. Speak to Jonathan next time I am in the minyan and ask him if there are any new, people in the minyan that he could introduce me to.
Marc Trump $8,000 His foundation’s exec director, Joanne Lumley, met us at AIPAC conference and made recommendation that we send in proposal. She really likes to help smaller organisations get funding. Schedule a meeting with Joanne and discuss if she could refer us to another foundation she has connections to.
Lee Schwartz $35,000 Cold call from list of 100 names from UJA New Jersey donors. This group of people have an affinity to Jewish causes in NJ. Email Jake and see if he could acquire more UJA NJ names and hire someone to make calls to set up meetings,



Looking at the “HOW THEY BECAME A DONOR” column, consider what motivated the person who introduced you to your major donor to help you the first time around? e.g They owed you a favor, they love your project and have offered to help, they believe in the cause but don’t have the funds themselves.



In the NEXT ACTION STEP column write down what the ‘next’ action that you need to take to get this person to help you again?


Block out the necessary time in your schedule to implement as many of these steps in the next few weeks as you can manage.

B’hatzlacha Raba in finding more gold!


Avraham Lewis works with non-profit founders and executive directors, so they raise more funds, in less time. With over a decade of professional fundraising experience, he is currently boosting the bottom line of kiruv orgs, community kollels and mosdos Torah from Seattle to Melbourne.

If you would like to quickly understand how a personalized fundraising solution can increase the amount of funds you are raising, be in contact for a valuable strategy session or see more at 




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