Several years after we’d moved out of our Jerusalem Old City apartment, my wife and I visited our previous landlady to say hello. This short social call led to an unsolicited referral of an ideal prospect, landing me a new dream donor a while later.
What led this lady to refer me to this six-figure prospect?
Adam Grant, author of 'Give and Take', shares an insight that can help you do the same.
Grant explains that people we know - our connections - can be put into three categories:
- Strong Ties
- Weak Ties
- Dormant Ties
You likely have Strong Ties with close friends and family members, chevrusas, best donors and colleagues. And Weak Ties with those you have merely met or with whom you have crossed paths.
Dormant Ties is where things get interesting. These are old friends, past chavrusas, former colleagues - anyone with whom you have lost regular contact.
According to Grant, our Strong Ties tend to travel in the same social circles or networks as we do and know the same opportunities as we do.
Weak Ties, on the other hand, are more likely to open up access to a different social network, and with it, the ability to connect with new prospects.
Dormant Ties, like Weak Ties, have the advantage of access to a different social network, but without the discomfort.
This is because reconnecting a dormant relationship is not like starting a relationship from scratch, since when you reconnect, there are still feelings of trust.
And this is where 'Givers' have the advantage.
Givers have a track record of doing good for others - acts of chesed, like sharing their knowledge or connections, helping others find jobs - without worrying about what’s in it for them.
Reconnecting to a Dormant Tie - for a Giver - is a totally different experience. Dormant Ties are glad to reciprocate when a Giver gets back in touch with them.
Here's how this can help your fundraising. If you want new donor prospects, think back over the last 20+ years of Dormant Ties and start reconnecting.
If you weren't already a Giver in these relationships, reconnect and look for opportunities to give.
And if you were a Giver, then ‘mida k'neged mida’, you may be in for a surprise - like my Old City experience - when you reconnect.
Have a great week, b'hatzlacha raba raba,