If you want people to give more money to your nonprofit, it’s simple: help them FEEL good about your mission and their experience with you. That’s right – it’s all about building a relationship.
And nobody does it better than Daniel Watson.
Daniel is the Executive Director at The Restoration House in Knoxville, TN, an organization that he co-founded with his wife, Mandy, in 2007. Their mission is simple – to help restore hope for single-mother families.
Their approach is so simple, it’s revolutionary.
“We want people around us who have fallen in love with our organization and what we do,” said Daniel. “And that means we have to get to know them – who they are, what they think, what they’re interested in.”
“We have to get in front of people and get to know them beyond asking for money. People need to know you care about them, not just their money.”
And apparently it works. The Restoration House is just 7 years old and has grown to a staff of 4 full-time employees with an operating budget of $250,000, plus they’re more than two-thirds through a $2.8 million dollar capital campaign.
“When you invest time in a purposeful relationship, you’re not likely to rush the Ask, and it unlocks the potential for giving.”
Here’s an example: In 2008, a woman visited an informational event Daniel and his team held to talk about their work. She got excited and got involved.
Later, she joined the Board and became the presenting sponsor of the nonprofit’s annual fundraising breakfast, plus she and her husband have made a substantial commitment to the current capital campaign. This all happened because she fell head-over-heels in love with the mission and the women and children being served.
Daniel believes in staying in touch with donors, no matter what amount they give. That means that all communications going out must be relevant, interesting, and meaningful.
“Always look for an introduction to meet new people. Check for chemistry. If it’s there, create a strategy to get to know the person. If not, bless them, let them go and move on to the next one.”
“In creating that strategy, be thinking about what that person needs. Be proactive. And use a good database to help you keep up with where you are with various donors. Without a system and a process, you can’t build lots of relationships.”
You can read more about The Restoration House at www.therestorationhouse.net.
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