Tuesday, February 1, 2011

BIG’s Blog: Relationship Building - Fund Raising Faith-based Organizations Can Love - Part Two

In my last blog, Part One of the series "Relationship Building - Fund Raising Faith-based Organizations Can Love," I asked the question, “Isn’t the real point of fund raising to develop relationships?”

The cynics will say, “No, the point of fund raising is to develop funds to fuel the mission and ministry of the organization.” And while I agree with that end, for faith-based fund raisers, I believe the means to the end is ultimately as important as the end.

So then, why can’t we have our cake and eat it too?

As I shared in Part One of this series, it turns out that today we can.

In my above analogy, “our cake” (relationships) is fully compatible with “eat it too” (financial gifts) but, this necessitates a fund raising paradigm change.

The Old Paradigm (think analog world of direct mail):

Step One: Acquire donor; focus is on generating the first donation.
Step Two: Focus is on getting the second donation by sharing organization’s needs.
Step Three: Cultivate the relationship through more appeals and communications.

The New Paradigm (think Internet, digital-based world):

Step One: Potential constituent makes contact with the organization.
Step Two: Engage and cultivate the relationship with the potential constituent based upon their needs.
Step Three: Some constituents will become constituent donors.

Do you see the shift in focus? Driven by the technology shift from analog to digital and the attendant explosion of new online communication tools, this technology shift sets up a more profound shift for nonprofit fund raisers. And that key shift is moving from an organization-centered orientation with constituents to a constituent donor-centered orientation.

In my next blog, Part Three of this series, I will describe the better way.


Welcome to BIG’s Blog and yes, by all means forward our blog to your friends and co-workers.

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