Building Donor Relationships is Key to Success

As a values-driven organization, THG recognizes the importance of providing educational opportunities to our team members. Recently, I completed the Principles and Techniques of Fundraising course offered through the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

While there are many takeaways to share, the most valuable is to stress the importance of donor relationships, more importantly the nurturing of those relationships. A recent article in Philanthropy Today reported that while giving is increasing, the number of donors has decreased. This makes donor relationships even more valuable.

Donors want to know they are making a difference, that their gifts are transformative and not viewed as a transaction with their bank account being the ATM. With that in mind here are a few reminders for donor relationships:

  • Keep open and honest communication: You planned on 25% growth, but unforeseen circumstances only allowed for 10% growth – don’t hide that. Rather, celebrate the 10% and acknowledge the setbacks and how they were handled. Donors understand even the best laid plans will not always work out. Don’t shy away from setbacks, use them to grow not only your organization, but your professional life as well.
  • Be present when you are communicating: During the day we often wear many hats, thinking about the next task without fully completing the current task. If we aren’t fully engaged and listening to our donors, we run the risk of missing important insights into their philanthropic goals. Develop the skill of being present so you are listening to donors, not just hearing them.
  • Show appreciation: Whether they are a first-time donor or a long-standing donor, give monthly or once a year, gave one dollar or a million dollars…THANK THEM! Saying thank you doesn’t have to be complicated, but it must be done. Donors need to know their gift is appreciated, and how it made a difference. And please make sure your thank you note is sent in a timely manner – we don’t want donors wondering if the gift was received, or worse, it wasn’t needed.

Building strong donor relationships continues to be a primary driving force for success. These relationships can strengthen the pillars of Hyper-Philanthropy™️ and help build and/or enhance the greatest philanthropic platform possible for your organization. Contact us today to learn how you can become Hyper about Philanthropy.