One of the best ways to identify people to engage through your Point of Entry Events is to create a Treasure Map. In other environments, it might be called a network analysis or a mind map. We call it a Treasure Map because the purpose of the exercise is to unearth the buried treasure that your organization may have.
Create a Treasure Map by writing your organization’s name in a small circle in the middle of a large sheet of paper, and draw out spokes (like a wheel) around that. At the end of each spoke, put the name of a group that your organization naturally comes into contact with. Examples include board, volunteers, donors, vendors, community partners, and staff. Some groups should be further divided into subgroups. For example, “board” could be broken down into former board, advisory board, and governing board. Volunteers could be broken into all of your different types of volunteers. Donors could be broken into events, direct mail donors, special event donors, lapsed donors, etc.
Once you have fully fleshed out the Treasure Map, next to each group write the resources that group has in abundance. Are they tangible resources, like goods and services, or non-tangible resources, like passion or connections? List out two things each group has in abundance.
Next, look at the self-interest of the people in this group for being involved with your organization. This self-interest is not good or bad, it just is what it is. Self-interest might be that it feels good, that it pleases their boss, that they want recognition, or that they are learning a new skill or maintaining a social connection. Go from one group to the next and identify what might be their unique self-interest for being involved with your organization.
Once you have completed the Treasure Map exercise, how should you use it? For starters, identify one or more individuals per group who could naturally serve as Ambassadors to easily reach out to other people who fall into the same group, for example, all of the Tuesday afternoon program volunteers. Find one great ringleader from that group and ask them to host a Point of Entry for all of those other volunteers. Even if they are already involved as volunteers, once they attend the Point of Entry Event, they will likely learn something new about your organization, and, in their follow-up call with your Team Leader, they will likely volunteer to serve as an Ambassador.
Beyond using the Treasure Map to identify Ambassadors, you can use it to identify other individuals or subgroups of people to invite as guests to attend your Points of Entry.
Your organization should complete a Treasure Map exercise at least once a year—although some groups choose to do this exercise more often. Even after several years of implementing the Benevon Model, if you create a new Treasure Map with your current board, staff, or volunteers, they will have different and unique input. Your organization’s network is always evolving and changing, and even if you are looking at groups that have been involved with your organization long-term, there will be new people (think new board members, new event sponsors or donors) who will bring a fresh perspective.
Be sure your team is set up to do a deep dive into this exercise a minimum of once a year and always go back to it when you are looking for people to invite to Points of Entry!