May 13, 2009

Yesterday I received an email from a colleague. She was very pleased that her board members were – finally – engaging in donor cultivation.

This executive director – and her board members – had participated in a comprehensive, multi-session fund development training program that I delivered years ago. And despite my haranguing them (with body of knowledge and amusing stories and …), the board members hadn’t yet embraced donor relationship building.

But now, with this economic crisis, my colleague’s board members must face the truth: cultivate donors and members or you’ll use lose them. The donor retention crisis is real and has been for years. And with economic stress, your donors and members may chose or not choose your organization. Yes, donors can stop giving. Members can leave.

Put together the right stuff to nurture relationships. Get the right information. Do it well! Read KEEP YOUR DONORS: THE GUIDE TO BETTER COMMUNICATIONS AND STRONGER RELATIONSHIPS. Download my various handouts and use them.

Come on now. The economic crisis is your wake-up call. Nurture relationships with your donors and members. Invest your time (staff and board member). Do good communications. Do good cultivation. Just do it!

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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