Everyone has a different way of connecting with people. Often times you will use a different strategy when you connect with a donor versus a co-worker or a friend. In fundraising because relationships are so important there is quite a bit of time committed to getting to know donors, volunteers, and staff members. But how much time is too much?
I am the kind of person that likes to get a project done so I always have advocated socializing with my co-workers after we’ve finished the projects we are working on. When talking with volunteers often times I know I will see them several times over the next couple months and can build the relationship over time. I take the opportunities between working and for a few minutes at the start of a meeting to continue to build the relationship.
With a donor I find that sometimes we lean so heavily on making a personal connection that we lose the opportunity to connect them to our nonprofit. It is vitally important that we take enough time to know what passions our donors have are i.e., kids, family, jobs. I often find this is where the best prospect research happens. But don’t forget to find ways to connect the donor personally to your organization. Have stories, quotes, or bring them on a tour, just make sure that they are connecting to more than just you.
What do you think? How much time is too much? Do you have too much small talk or too little? What is your connection strategy?