Don't Neglect Supporters: Shore Up That Home Base
A home base is important in life. Family and friends that you trust, feel safe and grow with. This home base can give you confidence to take risks, learn new things, set higher goals and grow like you otherwise never would.
For musicians, a home base is important. A safety net that allows you to grow as a musician and a performer before you hit the road. In sports, they call it "home field advantage."
The same is true in fundraising. Your home base—those closest to you—are those you can count on, year after year.
Many organizations are more concerned with chasing would-be donors than shoring up their home bases—their past donors, staff, volunteers and affiliate groups, like alumni, program participants, members and parents.
We know the importance of donor retention and the cost of acquiring a new donor. Too often this core of loyal supporters is disappearing because of neglect—neglect, that can be painful to them as your "best friends."
Here's a major example of neglect: I recently was visiting with friends who had made a $1 million gift to build a campaign. It is the largest gift the organization ever had received. The groundbreaking date for the building—well, it was set without coordinating with the lead donors' calendars!
Take a few minutes today to think about your home base. How are you treating them? Do they feel appreciated and special? Shore up this home base because it is the foundation for your future success!
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.