A few years ago, I presented at the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s international conference on the similarities between dating and online fundraising. The title of the talk was “Getting Your Donors to Say ‘I Do’: Using Online Tools to Build Lasting Relationships.” I think the metaphor holds up, especially because of the time and effort involved in cultivating relationships with donors and supporters. Here are the highlights of my presentation — and I’ve included the links below.
Playing the Field
• Cast a wide net – you never know where your donor/partner may be.
• Use all of your networks and connections – spread the word that you’re “available.”
• Go where your prospects are, and that may not be where you think.
• Make a good first impression.
• Remember it’s not all about you.
• Engage with them in new and different ways.
• Meet them in their own space – make it easy and convenient.
Taking the Plunge
• Getting engaged or married is just the beginning!
• Don’t take them for granted.
• Relationships evolve. Adapt accordingly.