Donor Relationships

In the book The Now Revolution, Jay Baer and Amber Naslund describe what makes a responsive business with stellar customer service. They describe something called the “humanization highway,” developed with Radiant6, which lays out a spectrum of consumer engagement, from ignoring what everyone says to engaging in storytelling with a community.

I think this is a useful continuum to apply to donor relations. Where are you on the spectrum?

1. Ignoring: You barrage your supporters with solicitations. You want their money, not a relationship. If a donor felt something about your organization, you would have no idea.

2. Listening: You ask donors for feedback, and you pay attention to what’s being said about you online.

3. Responding: You respond to what you hear, answering questions, providing ideas, sending thanks.

4. Participating: You are actively engaged, creating content and communicating issues that your donors value – rather than just self-promotional drive.

5. Storytelling: You are fully human, describing what’s going on at your organization, thus sharing engaging stories regularly with your donors.

Don’t forget: the more human you are, the better. People will bond with you in a way they never would with an organization, and they’ll always be more loyal to a human being than a cause.

in part from “Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog.”

What insights can you add that will help us all develop better relationships with our partners? Please offer your comment below.

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Want some guidance with your organization challenges? Email me, I’d be glad to help.


About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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