Monday, July 12, 2010

Are You a Relationship Wrecker?

This is an excerpt from my July column in Fundraising Success. Check it out!

There is a lot of talk these days about the importance of relationship building for successful fundraising, marketing and communications — especially in the online world.

But what if you're a terrible relationship builder? What if you're actually better at alienating prospects and supporters than you are at drawing them into your orbit? Here are seven signs that you're a relationship wrecker.

1. You're slow to respond online
We're all overwhelmed by the sheer volume of messages in our Twitter streams, fan pages and inboxes. But that doesn't mean we should ignore online correspondence. Like it or not, responding quickly is part of the culture of online media and ultimately helps build trust. Completely overwhelmed by online messaging? Create an auto-responder to let folks know that you'll e-mail them within 24 hours. Create an editorial calendar to get your content publishing schedule under control. Get more people in your organization blogging, tweeting and updating your Facebook page to share the workload.

2. You take more than you give
Relationships are a quid pro quo. While I'm not suggesting that you keep a scorecard after each event, meeting or phone call with a new partner, be sure to give at least as much as you take. For example, if a colleague offers to retweet an article on your behalf, be sure to reciprocate with a link or comment on her blog next week.



Mazarine said...

Dear Jocelyn,

This is a toughh line to walk,because on the one hand, we're supposed to raise all of this money, and on the other, we're supposed to do it without offending anyone or asking too much! It's crazy. We could say "Say Thank you 4 x before you ask again," but I don't know.

You've got to have the leadership from the board and the ED or CEO to be an effective fundraiser and make systemic change to build relationships and build the whole nonprofit culture around that. It's not just up to the fundraiser. It's up to everyone. If everyone's not on board, you're kind of screwed.


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