How Do You Build Great Relationships?
What a great question. How DO you build a GREAT relationship for fundraising? First let me stress that relationship building is the core, the foundation of any fundraising that any person or corporation has. Developing a great strategy for your fundraising should be based on the type of donors around you, and the things they would most need or would benefit from.
For example, you are planning to host a musical event to bring prospects to or near you business. What you first would need is someone to perform for you. Where would you get these musicians? Most likely from a reliable source or possible connection of your own. Next you would need to invite people to come to the event. Do you think that just anyone would come to this? Well, most likely you should go around to the people or businesses you have a RELATIONSHIP with, and start spreading the word. This is key. If I was approached by someone I am familiar with and appreciate what they are trying to sell to me, I would probably check it out, right? Absolutely.
The key to build a strong lasting relationship to a donor, or anyone, is to be persistant. Keep showing up in your neighborhood or community and make routine visits, and build a friendship. Effectively targeting a source is not always about selling something every time you come in contact with them. You want the people you hope to fundraise with to trust you, and remember you when they might possibly need something that you have or can get for them.
Building a relationship is the most valuable thing you can do for yourself or corporation. The relationship itself will prove to be more valuable than any donation or business you will ever gain. After all, word of mouth is the best advertisement you could ever get, because it is personal.
Please remember that the most important thing you could ever do is say “Thank You” to anyone that you do business with. It really goes a long way, and could change the way someone may think about you and what you stand for.