Be Organized in Major Donor Relationships

Allocate your time

“When involved in major donor ministry, you should learn to …allocate your time. First, you should organize all of your contact information regarding the donors you are working with. Put all of your information in a single place and establish a calendar-alert system to make sure all the pertinent information surfaces on the right day at the right time.  The bottom line is that your information about a donor needs to be put in ‘a place your mind can trust’ — in other words, a substitute memory bank! You also need a ‘deferred calling system.’ This is necessary because ‘instant response’ is so rare. Your donors are not waiting at home by their phones, or sitting in their offices, or standing at their mailboxes waiting for your calls and letters. Your donors are typically very busy people. They won’t always be available when you call. They also won’t necessarily respond positively to the initial appeal. You’ll have to continue in relationship, and ask again later. All of this means that you need a system of calendaring future call-backs. This is not simply for the sake of easing the stress, avoiding the strain of trying to remember when to do what with respect to which donor; it is also a means of serving your donors more fully. With simple but consistently followed systems, you can get connected and stay connected to donors more effectively.”

* Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, Donors Are People Too: Managing Relationships With Your Ministry’s Major Contributors.

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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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