Raising the Stakes

on in Nonprofit
We just taught a full day seminar yesterday– on upgrading.

Deepening the relationship, we called it.

The message? It’s not about the money – it’s about the motivation.

What is the donor getting out of making the gift, and how can we strengthen that? How can we amplify the donor’s return on investment? How can we draw a donor closer to our impact, so that he or she sees firsthand how their gift is about making the future possible for these kids right before us, or these immigrants laboring to get ahead?

We spent a lot of time at the seminar today talking about transition moments.

From the first gift to the second. (The first gift is made for any number of reasons – it’s the second gift that signals an actual interest in your organization.)

The upgrade conversation, when we start to stand out from the pack.

The capital or “special” gift (I know, all gifts are special…) when we ask the donor to be thoughtful about their impact instead of simply giving from habit.

The take-a-way? There’s gold in these hills all around us. And sure we need to be mindful of adding new donors, but we get so fixated on “getting names” from our board members that we stop focusing so fiercely on mining the relationships that are already started.

It’s a partnership – we say that a lot. But for that to truly be the case, we need to consider our donors as our partners, as equals with interests, wishes, needs… and make choices with our time that support this partnership.

We need to upgrade our input, to upgrade their output.
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