A sunflower does not need to hunt down hummingbirds. It attracts with sweet nectar. More importantly, the sunflower does not care to attract all animals with its nectar. It doesn’t care what dogs, rabbits, snakes, fish or eagles think of it. It’s selective.

In the same way, you can eliminate the extremely expensive and wasteful strategy of “cold prospecting” (trying to convert uninterested people) or trying to appeal to everyone – if only you start selectively attracting like the humble Sunflower, instead of hunting like a predator.

The first thing that needed curing at Maya’s Hope was the common “everyone is our customer” disease. True, anyone could end up getting involved with the charity. But being a non-profit with limited time (volunteers working part-time) and limited money (money wasted meant less money for the children), we needed a more focused and efficient approach.

Instead of persuading uninterested people to be interested (or converting uncharitable to charitable people), it was more efficient to find people who are already interested — people who are already helping children and are looking for another way to help, or people who are already considering to help and are just looking for a means to do so.

1. Invest your resources on people most likely to respond

Maya’s Hope’s list of most responsive people looks something like this:

  • People who know Maya
  • People who knew Maya’s mom
  • Adult orphans
  • Adults who recently lost their parents
  • Adults who have someone they feel greatly indebted to
  • Adults who were bullied when they were younger
  • Parents and grandparents
  • Parents with an adopted child
  • Couples considering adoption
  • Parents with special needs children
  • People who have previously donated time or money to a Filipino or Ukrainian cause
  • People who give their time or money to help children
  • People who want to help children through a small non-profit
  • People who want to help the institutions we work with (Kalinovka, Bethlehem)
  • Etc.

(What’s your list look like?)

Each of these sets of people need personalized attention, communication and care. Instead of being all things to all people, we bring these different groups of people together by appealing to each one individually… with Maya’s (and the organization’s) personal narrative being the glue that binds the family together.

2. Introduce yourself & nurture your relationship with your target audience(s)

Now that you have identified your target audience (who have an strong interest in what you offer), you need to show them what you’re about. Your prospects face this dilemma:

“Of all the other options available to me, why should I go with you?”

Excellent question. After all, we all start as strangers on the internet. It’s smart to be cautious about who we interact with, and especially who we open our hearts and wallets to.

So, be polite and introduce yourself.

Since Maya has a strong personal affinity with her cause and the organization, the best way to introduce the organization and inspire trust was to introduce her.

Next: develop your Origin Story, and a superhero is born!