Fundraisers are encouraged to “get close” to their donors and prospective supporters all the time. They’re pushed to “engage” under the assumption that being proximate is the key to being intimate.
There’s even a well-known donor management software that’s just announced an “engagement meter.” Regardless of how accurate it may or may not be, the creators of this handy-dandy tool are merely responding to what they perceive as a market demand.
Push, push, push. Tell, tell, tell. Inform, cultivate, ask. Engage (with the goal of pulling them into your fold of supporters).
Why not turn the whole frantic paradigm upside down? Think, instead, about inviting.
Inviting your supporters to join in something which is their idea.
Inviting and getting acceptances to your invitations, requires listening. Lots of it. Listening that comes on the heals of open-ended questions where the answers are likely as not to contradict your preconceived notions and may even shock you.
This is when you lean in, not pull back. This is where fundraising—the kind that yields the continuous giver—gets messy.
Like the lump of clay in the hands of the master potter. It begins as a lump, gets really messy, then emerges as a beautiful vessel. As beautiful as it is useful.
Principle 1 of The Eight Principles™ is Donors are the Drivers®. Donors are the potters. Invite them to create. You’ll both benefit.
To Your Fundraising Success!