Show Your Donors That They Matter
"If I get too busy, it gets transactional and I forget everybody has a story," shared best-selling author and one of the nation's leading radio hosts Dave Ramsey. "People matter."
One of the key attributes of a successful fundraising professional is a sincere interest in people, their dreams and aspirations. The ability to ask someone to share, to listen deeply, and then to appropriately invite his or her involvement makes for a stellar fundraiser. Then you also need to follow up to see how that person's gift experience is fulfilling his or her expectations. But it's more than just following up, really — it's working to ensure that the donor story has a great narrative.
This is reflected in the culture that we all help create in our organizations.
It is also reflected in how we engage with donors.
If our goal is deep, long-lasting relationships, then we take the time to learn those important stories that will help craft the organizations we serve, as well as impact our lives in a profound way.
With Dave's wisdom still echoing, I was talking with a client. He was concerned that his chief development officer knew fundraising mechanics but wasn't connecting with donors, board members or staff members.
At every level in fundraising — and increasingly so with major gifts — give your donors and prospective donors opportunities to share their stories. Let them know that they matter and that they can make a big difference.
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.