Your Donors and You

The best philanthropists cultivate great relationships with those donating money to their cause. Next week, the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy is hosting a seminar titled, The Art of Cause Marketing and Mastering Donor Relationships. Wes Wasson, voted “Top Executive Leader in Silicon Valley,” will address the importance of marketing in philanthropy campaigns to connect donors to the cause.

The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy’s mission strives to engage current and emerging nonprofit leaders and private sector executives to improve their organizations and contribute to the overall public good by earning secondary degrees and certificates. The speakers at the seminar will offer strategies for applying marketing strategies to strengthen donor relations, a topic that is particularly applicable to the this mission. When donors contribute large sums of money, they shouldn’t feel like they have just paid a bill. Donating is more than the money they give. It’s the chance to the participate in something that matters.

Wasson states, “Great cause marketing must inspire people with the possibility that they can be part of something far bigger than themselves.”

What are some ways to effectively market your cause and maintain a positive relationship with your donors? I recently found some helpful tips from Sandy Reese in Get Fully Funded. She emphasizes a few key bulletpoints:

  • FocusStay focused on the ‘why.’ Remember the reason you first got involved with the cause in the first place. Don’t let anything distract you from this vision. Keep this goal with you as you articulate your requests from donors.
  • You’re on the same team. Avoid thinking of yourself as the boss with your donors pitching in once and while. You have to work together to achieve the same goal.
  • It’s all about your intention. If you remember your original vision, you are then coming from a place of honesty and respect and you’ll avoid an attitude of “strong-arming.” You cause is important, the money to fund changes within your cause, so therefore, asking is important.
  • Empathize and communicate. You’re not taking anything away from people when you ask, rather, you’re giving them to chance to participate in the work of your cause.

These tactics contribute to success in both the private and non-profit philanthropic sectors. Wes Wasson, who is speaking next week at the Sanford seminar, is a top executive leader because he dedicates time to donor relations. In the business of philanthropy, the best strategy is to include your donors in your vision, because their success is your success.  For more on this topic, check out this article here.

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