You trust someone when you believe they have your best interest at heart – when they have shown that they truly care about you. If your donors don’t trust you it’s because you have not yet demonstrated that you care more about them than you do their money.
Increasing a donor’s trust opens their hearts and their hands to invest more of the resources God has given them into the work of ministries like yours. So, how do we deepen their trust in both your organization and you?
Build Relationships with Time
It begins by spending one-on-one time with them. Real time! Time where you’re focusing on them, not you or your ministry. And you’re fooling yourself if you think your monthly appeal letter and once per year phone calls even count. They don’t.
So, what does the focus of this “time” need to be?
Who are they as individuals and as important allies of your ministry?
- Their Interests
What are their hobbies and favorite pastimes? Where do they like to vacation, and why? What kinds of books, sports, or entertainment do they enjoy?
- Ministry involvement
What other ministries or civic efforts do they support, or participate in?
- Their Passions
What do they really care deeply about? What burden, or need, has God laid on their hearts?
To minister well to our donors, we need to spend time carefully identifying what they’re passionate about. Aligning their passions with opportunities to invest deeply in our organization’s mission and vision.
We have a unique opportunity to engage them in ever-deepening levels of involvement in not only our ministry, but in the lives of those we serve. But it’s important that you know what the donor truly cares about before presenting a specific ask.
If you’re a rescue mission, don’t ask for a $25,000 gift to purchase needed dorm furniture when what the donor really values about your ministry is the work you do with job placement. How would you know that? By asking. This means you need to invest the time to really get to know your donor, their passions, concerns and dreams.
While you’re building the donor’s trust in, and commitment to, your organization, you’re also demonstrating that they can believe in you. That your motives are not just to deepen their financial support, but to be a trusted advisor when it comes to investing wisely in the work of God’s kingdom.
You start with a modest ask, and then demonstrate your commitment to them by following up with a detailed outcome from that gift. The next time you can ask for a larger commitment from them because you’ve proven they can trust you.
This is how all relationships work. The more someone feels that they can trust you, the deeper and more meaningful your conversations and interactions will be.
Interested in learning more about how to build an ever-deepening culture of trust between your organization and your donors? Give me a call at (972) 304-1100 or send me a message here to set up a time >>