Your donors don’t have time for you – until they do. How do you get to that “until they do” point in the relationship with your donor?
You have to stand out.
Your donor probably has five to six other organizations that are trying to capture their attention in the same manner as you are. Then, you have another 10-15 organizations that are wanting to start a relationship with them.
So the question is, what are you going to do so that you stand out in your donor’s mind, capture their heart, and have them always take your call?
- Be authentic, be real — be yourself. Always.
- Tell the truth.
- Be a great listener who is perceptive to what your donor is saying to you.
- Ask questions of your donor like Oprah would — did you see her interview Megan and Harry? She made them feel comfortable so that they could be vulnerable, and she was curious, empathetic and compassionate in the conversation. The more you allow that space in your conversations with donors, the more they’ll tell you what they’re truly passionate about, and why.
- Build touch points into your strategic plan, that show the donor that you know them. Perhaps they mention to you that they’re interested in Civil War history. You then actively seek out information and tidbits about that interest, and you pass it on to your donor.
- When you report on the impact of their gift, make it as personal as possible. Invite a program staff person to speak one-on-one with the donor. Anything that will make the donor feel like, “gosh, they really went out of their way to show me how MY gift made a difference!”
- Always thank your donor promptly and properly. Set up a system in your organization so that if any of your portfolio donors sends in a gift, you’re made aware immediately, so you can call to thank them. Then, make sure that the thank you is appropriate for the size of the gift and what you know the donor is comfortable with.
I’m going to be totally honest with you. If you do these seven things, you WILL stand out with your donor. Why? Because in all the years Richard and I have been working with major gift officers, the majority of them are NOT doing these seven things. We hear appalling stories from donors about how they’ve been treated.
And those donors move on and give elsewhere.
Be and do these seven things, and you and your organization will be “top of mind” always with your donor. It sounds so simple, yet it takes hard work… which is why the majority of front-line fundraisers and their organizations don’t stand out in their donors’ minds and hearts.