Qualifying can be defined as simply finding the people who are interested enough in talking with you to consider a partnership. When you consider people to partner with, the first place you look is into the pool of people who have already given to you. These people are qualified because they already are or once were committed to your vision, ministry, or organization. If they gave once, they will likely give again.
Another quality to look for when qualifying potential partners would be the people who have the same passions, convictions and beliefs as you do. You are much more likely to get a generous response from someone who is genuinely passionate about the cause you are raising funds for. This also deepens your relational connection, because you are both committed to a similar vision.
An important element to remember when qualifying a potential partner is: Do not ever answer for the person you are trying to qualify. Qualifying is simply finding out if someone is interested in having a conversation around your ministry or cause. It would be easy to assume that someone might not be interested before you ask. However, it could be detrimental to your funding and relationship with future partners if you disqualify someone prematurely.
The key question we ask when finding the right people to qualify is, "Who needs to hear about this ministry, organization, or cause?" Instead of focusing on who might have the most financial resources to give, let this be the first question you ask yourself, and funnel all others through this filter. By only focusing on high-capacity donations, you can easily overlook someone who might be a lifelong donor and partner. Changing the ask from being financially- focused to being cause-driven brings your attention back to what it should be in the first place: the reason you need financial support is to make a difference in this world.
Read more about this subject in our e-book.