Do You Have a Drop-in Plan?
A man dressed in jeans and a rumpled shirt walked into the lobby and asked to see the executive director. Thankfully the receptionist greeted him and found the executive director who was willing to go out and greet the plainly dressed visitor. It is a good thing she did—he proceeded to give her a check.
Now, when a donor gives me a check, I would typically not have looked at the amount in an effort to not appear crass. It's also great that she looked at the check before putting it away—it was for $500,000!
This true story was recently shared to me by a good friend who serves on the board of this organization.
It had me thinking: How do most organizations—from higher education to independent schools to other—handle a drop-in visitor at the president's office or at the development office?
Too many of us would have created barriers where the generous gentleman may well have walked out with the check still tucked in his shirt pocket.
So, now, we are going to encourage our clients to have a drop in plan. What happens when someone drops in to see a leader? Yes, there are times we are in meetings, out of the office, and otherwise may not be able to see someone. But how is this articulated, and who is the back-up to ensure that we are building relationships with folks who take the initiative to come and see us.
When I was an independent school leader, we would often have alumni just drop by to say hello. We always made time for the visit, found someone to connect them to and offered them a tour. They would always leave with some school goodies.
Remember, you have the opportunity to uplift every visitor you have. And every visitor you have—in some way—has the opportunity to help you better fulfill your mission.
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.