The fundraising gurus are all telling you that you need to build relationships with donors.
Thing is, relationships are a two-way street. The donors can’t be the only ones giving. You need to create “giving opportunities” for yourself as well.
But - what to give them? Obviously not money. And gifts have a place, but respectable gifts usually equal expensive ones.
What are some things you can give sustainably?
Interest. Attention. Respect.
There aren’t too many people wealthy enough in those areas.
With Pesach coming up, here’s a great example of an easily doable yet incredibly valuable gift you can give your donors:
Call them up to wish them a gut yom tov or chag sameach. So simple, so small, yet so significant in the big picture of the relationship.
On the call, and if they can give you more than 10 seconds, ask them to share a dvar Torah with you.
What makes this idea perfect for Pesach? Because even your less observant donors will probably have something to say - if you use the right words in asking them.
Words like: “Jake, when you’re sitting with your family at your seder, what message do you want to share with your kids/grandkids?”
That’s it. Give them a platform to talk - a platform where you, the educator, the inspirer, are coming to be educated and inspired.
You’ll be giving your donor respect in an entirely different way - respect for their power to contribute something more meaningful and important than money.
Really, this is for bonus points. Major kudos if you can do it:
If you manage to get them to share an insight - write it down. And remind them about it the next year.
If that won’t make them feel respected for something meaningful, nothing will.
If they ask, share a little Torah thought of your own. Which, of course, is also a little gift.
Your goal here, of course, is to listen instead of talk. But since they’ll probably ask for a return insight, or if they don’t have a thought to contribute, have something good prepared to share.
For the donors who didn’t answer the phone, send a follow-up email, text, or whatsapp with your Yom Tov wishes.
You might not be achieving the full effect. But you’re still giving.
Interest, attention and meaningful respect are priceless. This five-step activity will enable you to transform the way your donors relate to you - and position you for future success.
Who are you going to use these five steps on this year?
Chag kasher v'samayach,