Relationships are important in any business. They are especially important in fundraising. Building trust and showing true interest in a person’s experiences, beliefs and values will bring rewarding return to you personally and professionally.
How are you building relationships? Here are three strategies I utilize in building relationships in my personal and professional world. Please share yours in the comments section below, we could all use support and ideas in how to build meaningful relationships.
- Remember something. Remember the person’s name. Where they work. What their dogs name is. Where they traveled last. Remember something allows you to continue to build upon the relationship when you see the person again.
- Ask Questions. Generally people like to talk about themselves. It is human nature. Ask a person a question and let them talk. Usually in their response they will give you another question to ask which allows the opportunity for people to continue to share what is important to them. I always recommend having 3-5 questions in mind for every person you meet (hint: it is okay if they are always the same question). Good themes: family, work, travel and hobbies.
- Make connections. Use your networks to connect people. Most of us have a friend or colleague looking for something and I would bet, most of us know a person who could help. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and when someone mentions they are looking to “connect with…” offer your LI profile to help them (hint: take your current resume and use it to help build your LI profile).
As we know, good relationship-building is plain old good fundraising. Try out some of these strategies to help deepen your donors’ connection with your organization, and develop meaningful relationships with those invested in your mission.