Making an Emotional Connection With Passion-Driven Leadership
“Achieving passion-driven leadership in your community is the key to establishing personal relationships. It’s about making that emotional connection.”
So said Nancy Bocskor, president of campaign consultancy The Nancy Bocskor Company, in a session at Blackbaud’s 2008 Conference for Nonprofits held last month in South Carolina.
Bocskor explained that “passion-driven leadership is the ability to inspire action in others by harnessing the boundless enthusiasm and deep feelings of the human heart.”
Rather than replacing personal connections, Bocskor said, the popular social-networking capabilities in today’s Web 2.0 environment offer more opportunities to reach more people on a personal level and to communicate with them “warmly.”
“Warm communication has replaced cold-calling,” Bocskor explained. “It’s the most cost-effective way to raise money. It’s an investment of time, and results can be immediate with high return.”
Bocskor offered these six steps for nonprofits looking to achieve passion-driven leadership to appeal emotionally to donors and constituents:
1. Create a path to positive results
First, develop a positive message that will influence people in making positive change or following a specific cause. Then define core values, and identify key passions and beliefs that would motivate potential donors to be agents of change for your organization.
2. Perfect degrees of separation
When communicating with donors, find a common denominator. Find out where they’re from, their occupation and what they support, for example, and then “[figure out] how you can relate that back to the cause,” Bocskor said.
Building a coalition by bringing together a diverse group of people who share emotional connections through shared values is also a way to broaden the network, she added.
3. Build — and build on — personal trust
Learning how to use the personal trust that a nonprofit has worked hard to build with its donors is a critical step in affecting change and influencing a community. Then work hard to maintain the trust because, as Bocskor said, “once trust is lost, it’s difficult — if not impossible — to regain it.”