Is It Really Better to Travel?
Whoever said it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive clearly coined the phrase before the advent of the budget airlines. Small seats, long lines and pat downs have taken the glamor out of air travel. But is the journey that you ask your donors to follow a pleasurable experience that makes them feel special — or is it like jetting cross country on multiple budget airlines, with seemingly endless waits in characterless airports?
Most journeys, especially those that involve geographical distance, are intentional. The travelers are willing participants, with an idea of where they want to go and roughly how to get there. They also have resources like maps and the GPS to help. Some journeys, of course, don’t go as planned. In the movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," Steve Martin and John Candy try to make it home for the holidays, but the journey keeps going wrong. They know where they want to go, but they just can’t get there.
Other journeys start without a conscious decision about the origins or, even, the destination. For example, I had no idea that I was embarking on a lifelong obsession the first time I heard a Beach Boys record. But one thing led to another, and before long, I had spent a small fortune on the band — treating each new record and live show as an opportunity to deepen my relationship and investment in the Beach Boys.
What about thinking about your donors this way? On one hand, some donors may simply make one-off gifts, with no thought of a longer-term commitment. Yet others may have researched your organization and its values, and made a conscious decision to make the first of what might be a series of multiple, larger contributions. The fundraiser’s job is to identify those who want to go further and guide them through the next steps that they could take.