How to Genuinely Connect with Your Major Donors
posted by HLA_admin - 04/05/18

A recent article by Andra Kihlstedt in nonprofitpro acknowledges the sometimes an awkward relationship that can exist between a fundraising professional and a major donor, due to the differences in wealth and the different social circles each of you travel in.  
Sometimes fundraisers allow a person’s money, power and influence to intimidate them, when the truth is that, for the most part, people are often relieved when someone from the organization just reaches out, and makes conversation!
The author encourages fundraisers to try these three easy steps to building authentic, meaningful relationship with donors:
  1. Step out of your corner. At your next event, walk up to a donor with a welcoming smile. Introduce yourself “Hi , I’m ____________, I’m so pleased you’re here this evening. I was hoping you’d come.” 
    And as the conversation progresses . . . 
  2. Don’t ask leading questions. It is tempting to begin with the typical “how did you become connected to our organization” or “have you been to our campus recently?” Instead, try something more simple like “How have you been?” “What’s keeping you busy lately?” “What do you think about _____?” Once you get them talking, try using the magic phrase “Tell me more . . .”
  3. Entertain Their Interests When Following Up. Learn about your donor’s interests whether or not they pertain to your organization! 
Above all . . . genuine interest in your donors is critical. This is key to building appropriate and authentic relationships with them despite the fact that they may have more money, power and influence than you do. 
Andrea’s final suggestion:
“Stop standing in the corner, get curious about your donors and relate to them in a way that touches their interests!”
Read more . . .

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