Thanks to all that attended the August #Tapp Social. The phenomenal Peggy Geisler, owner and senior consultant of PMG Consulting LLC, shared her over 25 years of knowledge in the nonprofit field. Peggy’s presentation focused on engagement between nonprofits and their funders and how these relationships must be collaborative in order to be effective. Peggy also discussed barriers to funder engagement, how to shift the narrative for nonprofits, and operationalizing funder/partner engagement.
Trust is Key
Peggy led off the presentation with a quote from Starbucks chairman and CEO, Howard Schultz,
“Great companies that build an enduring brand have an emotional relationship with customers that has no barrier. And that emotional relationship is on the most important characteristic, which is trust.”
Trust is the key ingredient in any relationship whether that’s business to customer, business to business, or partner to funder. The reason a company such as Starbucks is so successful is the consistent experience each store strives for. This consistency breeds trust that becomes a catalyst for an authentic and beneficial relationship to all parties. When partners are engaging and connecting with potential funders they need to establish genuine trust in order to foster a positive relationship.
Why Do People or Organizations Give?
Peggy identified three main reasons people or organizations donate.
People often think with there heart rather than their head when it comes to charitable giving. Peggy presented a study that determined potential donors are often more receptive to giving when they have an emotional connection to a cause. To create that connection, nonprofits need to display a narrative that a potential funder can become emotionally invested in. Funders are influenced by others. Your nonprofit’s narrative needs to be widespread and effect not only potential funders but the influencers in their lives as well. Seeing another person or organization donate can inspire your potential funder to donate to your cause.
Drawing from her years of experience, Peggy provided an easy five step guide on how to set the stage for funder engagement.
1. Understand Your Brand and Audience: Always make sure you are prepared when engaging with a potential funder. Do your homework and ask yourself, "Why does our mission matter to our audience?' Speak authentically as it will help to establish the initial trust needed for a partner funder relationship.
2. Gauge Interest in When and How to Begin a Relationship: Read the situation and understand when your potential funder is able or willing to engage with your organization. Make sure you have your three-minute pitch ready at any time.
3. Ask Important Questions: Collaborate with your funder to define the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, and Why. Recognize where you and your potential funder fall on the Collaboration Continuum.
4. Show Don’t Just Tell: Bring the funder into your arena and make sure you understand where they are coming from. Define why it matters to each of you to have a relationship with one another. Connect your mission to other work your funder is passionate about.
5. Create the Path Together: People own what they help to create. Collaboration is key to any funder partner relationship. Know the end goal of both parties at the beginning of the relationship. What do you both seek to achieve by partnering and collaborating with one another?
Join us for our September #TappSocial where speaker Rob Kusel, Managing Director of COGEO, will present best practices for managing a board of directors, strategies for hosting and managing fundraiser events, and give insight into the most effective annual giving and major gift programs. We hope to see you there!
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