I just finished reading, Let’s Have Lunch Together: How to Reach Out and Build More Powerful Relationships, by Marshall Howard. It was probably the best fundraising book that I’ve read in the last couple of years. The book is written in such a way that it benefits both the beginning and seasoned fundraisers. It isn’t a long read—183 pages; it is written as a story about an executive director named Oscar, whose board chair, Victoria, challenges him to think differently. Victoria walks Oscar through a transformation in relationship engagement with his donors and board members.
The book has some really great and easy-to-use tips on how to build solid relationships with your volunteers, donors, and other stakeholders. The focus is about taking time to make a personal connection and to recognize that the relationship should be more important than the money. The connections that many of our major donors bring into an organization and their long-term partnerships are more valuable than monetary contributions. If a strong relationship is built, then a byproduct is often money and relationships.
The core mantra of the book is…
- Be more curious
- Put the other person first, your needs second
- Uncover common interests, values, and goals
I am a big fan of checklists that I need to do to be successful. Marshall has done a great job creating some great checklists with tools we can use to build relationships. As I was reading this book I thought it fit really well with the theme this month of putting the donor first.
“If you want to be shocked, amazed, and aghast,
look at a stakeholder as a person at last.”
I would love to leave you with more of Marshall’s tips and tell you more about the story between Oscar & Victoria. But I know I’ll be quoting it in some future posts and will use it as an inspiration for much of what I will be focusing on over the next couple of weeks… plus, I don’t want to spoil the excitement of reading it yourself. Howard thank you for a great book!