There is a path that leads to long-lasting, deeply committed support from your major donors—and another path that leads to short term, infrequent financial gifts. The first path takes time, planning and commitment, but results in a pleasant experience, and a deepening relationship, for you and your donor. The second path is relatively short and usually makes both you and the donor a bit uncomfortable.
The path that leads to larger financial support includes these critical elements:
- Research—before you ever pick up the phone to connect with your prospective, or active donor you should spend the time to research their giving history and past interactions with your organization. Spend at least some time researching them online via Google, Facebook and/or LinkedIn. Don’t forget to look for family members also in your donor database.
- Planned quality time—Don’t haphazardly ask them to meet you at a local coffee shop. Carefully plan out how you want your time to be spent together – and what they will take away from the meeting.
- Creating an experience—one of the most valuable gifts we receive from our major donors is their time. Make sure they receive a good return on that investment by ensuring that the meeting is positively memorable.
- Intentional relationship—strong relationships don’t just happen – they are carefully cultivated. Be purposeful in each meeting, phone call, thank you note, etc.
- Donor-focused—aim to serve them above serving your organization or yourself. This is a great time to live out the Lord’s command to love others more than you love yourself.
- Well organized—carefully planned – clearly presented – professionally handled. This is how every donor engagement should be done.
- Honoring God—the ultimate focus is God, not the work we do, or the people we serve, and especially not us. This is kingdom work. This is eternal stuff.
- Your commitment—Don’t just focus on the “now” – commitment to future. Always follow-up. Report on what’s taken place, and what’s on your organization’s horizon.
- Vision—major donors like to be a part of big dreams. Keep the vision the main part of your discussions and you’re much more apt to realize a big outpouring.
- Stewardship growing—Development is not about asking for money – it’s about your donor’s growth and trust in God. This is as much missional as the rest of the work your organization performs.
- Demonstrated Appreciation—We need to go beyond the concept of a “thank you”. Demonstrating true appreciation may take many forms – but they must be personal and creative – not rote. Tie what you know personally about your donor to the way in which you express your appreciation – of them, not just their gift.
You want your donors to engage deeply in supporting your organization - yes? Then make the commitment to earn every penny they’re investing in your ministry.
Let’s talk more about your path to larger financial support. Just schedule your free coaching call to start the conversation >>