Last week, I attended the AFP Panel Discussion-Digging Out of the Rut, moderated by one of my favorite fundraisers, Margaret Holman. It was everything that I expected it to be jam-packed with juicy tips. Everything from approaching Foundations to cultivating Major Donors. The one running theme for the whole discussion however was relation building.
I'm sure you're probably thinking, fundraising well of course, relationship building is important but you'd be surprised how many fundraisers are either too scared to even call a donor or just don't know the importance of making meaningful contact. Some Development Departments are strictly cash driven, treating their donors as if they are ATMs, and there is an annual merry-go round process of mail a letter, get a gift, send the thanks...next!
There has been a major push this year to change the route of present day fundraising and to bring the focus back to the donor; providing a philanthropic experience and not just a transaction.