How to Foster Relationships with Donors

How to Foster Relationships with Donors

how to foster
relationships with donors


Think about your own friendships and relationships that you have. How did you get there with that person? What makes the two of you close? The thing that makes my besties my besties is that joke we have about  the song Rumor Has It by Adele, late-night talks about whether gelato is better than ice cream, how to stop world hunger, and just being there after a bad day of work. Basically, it’s sharing quality time together to create those moments. 

In order to foster quality relationships with donors, follow the same recipe as you do with your closest friends: be authentic, be yourself, listen, and share.

Practical things you can do to foster a relationship with a donor:

  1. Prepare. Do some research into who you want to foster a relationship with. Ask a mutual friend some questions first so you are prepared. Looking on Facebook and other social media platforms for interests and hobbies wouldn’t hurt either. Would they have any interest in the mission of your organization? (What if they are passionate about music and not animals?) This would be great to know before meeting so you can use your time and their time well.


  2. Spend time with him/her. Developing a friendship/relationship takes time – even years. But they all start somewhere. Start small and invite them to have coffee. As the relationship progresses, invite them to  a concert or have them over for a barbeque to meet the family. Get to know them. These are the moments when memories and inside jokes are created. This is what friendships are made of.


  3. Remember important dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, the day they brought their puppy home, or the death of a loved one, are often  brought up in conversation. Take a mental note. Send a card, flowers, or whatever is appropriate according to the relationship you have. You could even send a text or make a call on those days to tell them you are thinking about them.


  1. Love of the mission. Make sure you are meeting with people for the right reasons: Love of the mission. If you truly are passionate about the mission of your nonprofit, it will show naturally. If you are struggling with the organization’s mission, perhaps you should take time to reflect on why that is and whether or not it is the right fit for you. We are all passionate about something and sometimes discovering it takes time.


  2. Be authentic. People are smart. They can smell a fake from a mile away. They know whether or not you are being yourself and truly care about them as a human being. Check yourself before diving into a new relationship. Sometimes this means taking time to reflect on who you are about to meet with, why you love what you do, and putting together some talking point so you are prepared.


  3. Hit or miss. There will be moments when your personality doesn’t mesh with a potential donor. It happens. This may be a moment to step aside and introduce them to someone else that may be a better fit to spend time with them. This is a situation you will have to read and be humble enough to make that call. For the good of the mission, right?

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Why Humor is Just What Your Nonprofit May be Missing

Why Humor is Just What Your Nonprofit May be Missing

why humor is just what your nonprofit may be missing

Today, we ask that you take a serious moment to consider humor. In the nonprofit world, it seems every campaign holds the weight of social responsibility on its shoulders, so there can’t possibly be any room for humor. This is unfortunate because it makes us lose one of the most powerful tools to spark action: relatability.

But we get it, going to your board of directors with a campaign that seems to have more irony than vitality is a bold move. Here are some great examples of nonprofits that utilized humor to get into the hearts of their donors.

1. follow the frog video

Rainforest Alliance put together this extremely detailed hypothetical scenario of the average Joe going to the ends of the world to help save the rainforests. Rainforest Alliance hit 2 birds with one stone with this witty video: Expressed the depth of their mission and cause while also pointing out how easy it is to donate a few bucks when you compare it to trekking through the rainforest with Siri as your only guide.


2. bright by three print ads

Every new parent will identify with these absurd ads. Bright by Three prides itself in being the operating manual that should come with all babies. By infusing humor into these ads, parents will feel the gravity of the world lifted off the shoulders, if not the baby vomit that still sits there.

3. team rubicon’s box of awesomeness

Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that provides disaster relief, decided to sell “boxes of awesomeness” on Amazon. You could order different sizes of this non-existent box that would correspond to a different donation level. The piece that makes this campaign so successful was the public’s reviews of these awesome boxes. Earl from LA left a review saying, “I was having a beer on the from porch when I saw the neighbor’s cat climbing on the crate. She stuck her head in a knot hole in the wood, and there was a flash of light that I can only describe as pure awesomeness. Next thing I know, I’m staring at a puma.”

Sadly, the awesome got cut short when Amazon decided the box violated the terms of their seller guidelines. Team Rubicon definitely gained some lifelong donors from this campaign, though!

All in all, we know that Injecting humor into your brand is a bold move. But at the end of the day, it can pay off in hilarious amounts!

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