Ultimately, it’s all about relationships
Relationships are necessary for success. Understanding the origin of the relationship, and the perception of the relationship by all parties holds real value. Whether it is a relationship formed by you, or one that is inherited, it is upon you to grow and evolve the relationship.
In some cases, the most valuable part of the relationship may be who or what you represent. For some donors/ clients, the most significant relationship may be with your cause due to its impact on their lives or the life of someone they are close to. Understanding why the relationship exists is just the beginning. You can then identify roles and expectations of each party in the relationship, including sharing your role and expectation in a confident way.
Relationships develop best with regular communication, and all parties feel they are getting as well as giving. This can be challenging in donor relationships. That is why communication is so valuable. When you take time to listen, you have the chance to collaborate and understand the needs of donors/ clients. This makes it about more than what you can offer or what you or those you represent need. Through listening you learn what people can offer, what impact they want to have, how people choose to invest.
Relationships happen when everyone has value.
Know the story and understand its impact.
Storytelling is truly an art. Everyone loves a great story. Cliché’s that we have all used. In a world where numbers occupy everything, including philanthropy, stories bring clarity.
Stories bring meaning to a mission, explain the difference a donation makes. A great story will allow listeners to see themselves or family members as the protagonist. Understand how someone, like them, could need the support discussed.
Without discussing numbers, a story clarifies the need and impact of every donation. Ultimately, that is what people want to know, is that lives are being affected or changed for the better. That people are more educated, there is more comfort and resolution for those (and their families) facing horrible diseases, animals are not being euthanized. In some way, the world is becoming a better place. A story illustrates that impact..
Fundraising is sales with a purpose
Everyone, everyday partakes in selling in some way. We sell to our spouses, friends, employees and managers. As time goes by, we learn the best way to offer ideas to these people. We follow a process, and we wait for just the right time.
Fundraising and speaking with donors, is no different. Because we asking people to support a heartfelt cause, it does not seem like sales. Successful fundraisers understand that to raise the most funds for their cause, they need to identify this process.
PB&J marComm recognizes that fundraisers and small business owners have an unmatched passion for their organization. This passion, combined with identifying a successful process, can lead organizations to a new level of success.