When was the last time you sat down with your best donors, or potential donors, and invested your time and energy in them by listening to their ideas and truly matching their interests with the goals of your organization? Did you develop a meaningful plan to engage them fully?
moss+ross has always emphasized that major gifts – “investments” – typically follow involvement and engagement. Here’s an example from Susan Ross of how that can play out.
A woman we know was interested in volunteering with an organization that addressed poverty issues. She approached one nonprofit that had a good reputation in the area, but found its particular approach was not a strong match for her. In a casual conversation she shared her experience with me, and I encouraged her to check out a nonprofit I had been supporting, and invited her to a fundraising event.
Involvement and Engagement: Her interest was met by the organization with open arms, and she soon jumped in to help with a new fundraising effort. Becoming a financial sponsor of that event was a natural second step.
Investment: Her enthusiasm and hard work drew her closer to the executive director and key volunteers, and she now serves on the Board and makes generous annual fund gifts.
Major Gift: Will a major gift be in her future? Will her experience inspire other potential donors to give?
Our advice: Be on the lookout for informal opportunities to connect new donors to nonprofits you love. Good people want to help. Then make sure you help them dig deeper and invest in ways that will make a difference to themselves as well as the community.
Recently, we came across this article about donor engagement and want to pass it along, in hopes that it will encourage you to think more creatively about how you might involve, engage, and invest in donors.