Introducing yourself to a donor as the primary purpose of communication does not add value to their experience with the organization. In an industry with 18 to 36 month turnover on the average development officer, many donors have a relationship with the nonprofit that extends beyond the life of their development officer.
I recently inherited a few donors for my portfolio that had three different relationship managers over the last year before me. Each of these development officers started the relationship with the donor by introducing themselves as their new major gifts officer. As their new development officer I felt like they would have a greater level of trust with me if I was able to provide them some kind of value as my introduction instead of introducing myself.
The personal relationship with a donor is paramount to every major gifts experience. However the donor did not start funding your cause out of a desire for relationship with you. The donor’s primary interest is the work that you are doing.
If it’s your first communication with the donor, have a couple of insider facts or stories about the work of the organization. I like to always have a few stories and pictures on my ipad or phone whenever I meet with a donor.