Build relationships with donors in 3 ways

Building relationships with potential donors can feel a bit overwhelming, but if you approach this ongoing task through small stages and simple steps, it will feel a bit more natural--and way more doable! Here are three quick tips on relationship-building between a fundraiser and prospective donor:

1. Invite the person to coffee. No need for a big, formal introduction or huge proposal as a first step. That might overwhelm the person you're meeting with! Get to know the person a bit. Listen more than you speak, and readily answer any questions that the person might have about your nonprofit. If you don't know the answer, that's okay; simply let them know that you will find out and get back to them promptly. (This will also provide you with a good "excuse" to follow up!)

2. Invite them in to visit your nonprofit. This is especially great when you work for a nonprofit where the mission can be clearly seen in action, such as a food pantry, arts organization, youth group, medical laboratories, and much more.

3. Share information judiciously. Without overselling your organization or inundating the prospect with information, share tidbits about your nonprofit every now and then via email or US mail. This can include your periodic e-newsletter, a press release announcing an exciting update, or other pieces of info that might help the recipient to better understand what you're organization is striving to do within the community it serves.

And above all else, remember that fundraising IS relationship-building. It helps to forge stronger connections between a prospective donor and your nonprofit. So every step you take is a step in the right direction! Good luck.

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