Return to site

Try the "Outcomes First” tool

“Fundraising is all about building relationships.”

Of course. We all know that.

But are we clear on how to go about building those relationships?

Based on the number of people who ask me about this, I’d say no.

That’s why I’m excited to share my “Outcomes First” tool - your key to becoming remarkable at building donor relationships.

Here’s how it works:

First, you decide the outcome you want to see from your relationship-building efforts.

Then, you work backwards, putting together a plan that will bring you the outcome you want.

“Avraham, isn’t the outcome I want obvious? I want to raise more money.”

Sure, that’s the ultimate outcome we’re all after. But let’s zero in on relationship outcomes. What change do you want to see in your relationship with your donor after putting in xyz efforts?

  • I want my donor to feel more connected to me.
  • I want my donor to feel appreciated.
  • I want my donor to feel like they’re really making a difference.
  • I want my donor to feel they made the right decision in supporting us.
  • I want my donor to feel like they want to give again.
  • I want my donor to feel that I value them.

Remember - people don’t give charity because of their heads. They give because of their hearts. So if we want their support, we need to make them feel something.

What is it you want your donors to feel?

Once you’ve decided on the feeling you want to inspire in your donors, it’s time to brainstorm the how-to part. What are you going to do to create the outcome you want?

It’s good to get creative - but not so creative that you can’t get yourself to actually do something. The most important element in remarkable relationships is consistency - consistently delivering those crucial outcomes.

Need some examples?

  • Because I want my top 30 donors to feel more connected to me, I’ll call them before Yom Tov to share my gratitude for their support.
  • Because I want my campaign ambassadors to feel appreciated for their efforts, I’ll send them each a candy platter with a handwritten note.
  • Because I want my best donor to feel like he’s truly making a difference, I’ll invite him to our campus to see his impact come to life.
  • Because I want my best donors to feel they made the right decision by choosing to support us, I’ll get a talmid/staffer/program member to call them up and share how these donors’ support has impacted their lives.
  • Because I want all my donors to feel like they want to give again, I’ll email them an update on our new programming, describing how their support made it all possible.

The interactions in these examples might not seem too remarkable. That’s because remarkable relationships are built on the foundation of many small, thoughtful interactions.

Each small touchpoint adds another layer to your relationships - and paves the way to greater success in your fundraising.

Ready to get started? Fill in the blanks:

After making appropriate efforts to connect with my donors, I want them to feel…




What’s something I can realistically do to cause one of those outcomes in a segment of my donors?




Hatzlacha Raba!



© Avraham Lewis & Co.