Friday, March 8, 2013

Relationship Building: Cultivation and Stewardship

As a part of what I do, I'll be attending a college basketball game tomorrow along with some key donors and friends of our organization.  What a delightful opportunity!  

Think about it...every board member, donor, and prospect has been invited to attend with a guest to see a great basketball game, enjoy some great food, etc.  

So, what is the plan for this very unique and treasured opportunity?  I plan to meet and greet all of our guests,  obviously.  In addition, I've got a plan for each of our staff there to connect specifically to two or three of our guests.  I've got a little gift for a few children who are joining us and three hours of my undivided development attention.  

This is a fun event light on planning and enjoyable by all, including staff.  The key is in the connections made at the event and the follow up.  This is where we will focus our attention come Monday.

Connections can be as simple as introducing one person to someone else they might not otherwise intersect with in daily life.  These introductions create a great synergy because they learn that they both have a love for your organization, they begin to talk about life events, who they know, etc. and begin to find their own points of intersection.  Before you know it, they've made a connection because of your event. 

Follow up is key to the event's success, too.  Beginning Monday, there will be personal thank you notes written and sent with personal notes regarding the day's events and any details.

Is that it?  Are there other ways to follow up?  Of course!  Let's say this team advances in competition then you've got great reasons to make contact and place that reminder of their game attendance.  

Were all the guests previously known by you or were your donors in attendance graciously bringing potential donors to your door, so to speak?  If so, then follow up will be a little more in depth and include a coffee meeting or more.

The little things you do to make even an easy event successful and memorable make the biggest difference.  Do these little things such as connecting and follow up well.


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