More Meaningful Connection to Donors = More Meaningful Investment in Your Organization

Although we’ve never met, I consider Penelope Burke a mentor. Her research on donor-focused fundraising is comprehensive and validates the three tenants of my fundraising philosophy:

  1. Everything we do is about the donor’s experience.
  2. Fundraising is everyone’s responsibility.
  3. Treat every donor like a major donor.

Donors are not dollars. They are people. People who want to make a difference with their contribution of time, passion and money. Until you connect with your donors as philanthropists, you will not maximize your impact.

In my last blog post, I explored ways to use technology to connect with and create relationships with new donors. Today let’s talk more about cultivation and how to nurture relationships with individuals, organizations, and businesses that share a passion for your mission. A solid cultivation plan is critical to your long-term fundraising strategy.

There are two key elements to cultivation: communication and engagement.

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Expanding Your Network of Contacts and Connections

Technology can help us connect with new and existing donors around the world! We have the ability to easily communicate with new audiences, sharing impact statements, testimonials, and case studies. This broad sharing of information is essential to successful fundraising!

I led a strategy session this weekend with a board of directors eager to help spread the word about the wonderful work of the organization they were serving. They were excited about talking about the impact that they were helping to create in the world. The question was, "How do we move past our inner circle of friends and family and connect with more people that have a passion for the mission?"

When we get stuck on who to reach out to next, this simple exercise can help us get out of our own way! 

Often when we begin to explore who might be new connections for our organization, we start to insert assumptions. "I will be bothering them." or "They don't have the capacity to give." and my favorite..."I don't...

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