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Building Relationships to Support Your Fundraising Efforts

From program staff to donors and beyond, relationships are the foundation of your fundraising.

I have said many times that I love the “R” word, meaning that I love the word “relationship”. It’s especially important in nonprofit fundraising.

I have been writing more about the link between fundraising and relationship-building. This is another post in that arena.

It is a word that too often is overlooked by fundraisers and professionals in philanthropy.

That really needs to stop.

If you are passionate about your organizations’ mission, get into solid relationship with people.

If you want to rock your budget, build relationships with your donors. And program staff. And community members.

If you want to build a source of revenue that that your organization can count on, make sure your donors know that you care about them. Make sure your program staff know how you’re fundraising, and include them while building relationships with donors.

How does one go about this?

Call donors. That’s right. Next time you get an email from a donor asking a question, call them with the response.

Reach out to program staff. Attend their meetings. Get to know them.

Invite donors on a tour of your facilities. Include program staff on the tour.

Email donors a video thank you note. Ask a program team member to join you in thanking the donor.

Send a personal note. I started out doing this for donors but quickly learned it’s wonderful to do for staff and for community members I meet.

Send donors an impact report, or annual report. When we send these out we add a big “Thank you” on the back with signatures of our team. Make sure your impact report includes not only program data, but introductions to program staff.

These are just a few ideas of many. Start here and I assure you your relationships with donors, staff, and community members will grow.

If you liked this post, check out this one, titled “People are still donating”:

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.

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