What do you do when your donor has “Gone Fishing”?

About a week ago, I ran out to California to visit an old and very dear friend. His name is Denny, and we met two decades ago while running Boy Scouts camps.

As I have done on a number of previous vacations including this one, I’ve continued to blog. However, today is my last day in California. It is a travel day, and I am not feeling especially well. So, when I opened this window this morning, I decided to “mail it in” for the first time ever and just post something that says “Gone Fishing”.

As I started to do exactly that, a thought rocketed through my head:

What do you do when your donor has “Gone Fishing”?

When you run a donor-centered fundraising program based on deep and meaningful relationships, it isn’t uncommon to know when your key supporters leave town.

So, if you consider yourself a truly donor-centered fundraiser, what do you do when your donor comes home? Here are a few ideas from a sick, road weary traveler:

  • Send them a card or an email that just says “welcome home” and “we missed you”.
  • Pick-up the phone, welcome them home, and ask how things went.
  • Invite them out for a cup of coffee and ask them to share the highlights of their trip.
  • Investigate the possibility of incorporating them into your programming (e.g. ask them to share pictures from the vacation via slide show with your clients, etc)
  • Invite them out for coffee and update them on what occurred while they were gone.

If this sounds a bit unusual to you, then please ask yourself what you’d do when a friend or family member comes back from an out-of-town trip. Wouldn’t you call them? Wouldn’t you totally want to see the pictures?

Please use the comment box below to share your thoughts and experiences. Now, if you’d please excuse me, I took a shot of NyQuil, and I’m going to go take a nap as I wait for my airplane.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC


About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on March 7, 2012, in Donor-centered fundraising, Fundraising, nonprofit, resource development and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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