Unless… they reinvent themselves.
I know this sounds harsh. But check out Seth Godin’s Tried and false where he bluntly tells the truth about the tried and true: “In times of change… most of the tried is in fact, false. False because what used to work, doesn’t, at least not any longer.”
You may have been the best major gift officer on the planet five years ago. But that was then. This is now. The buying/giving market has fundamentally changed. And, yes, the culprit is the digital revolution. That’s how revolutions work. It’s truly the end of business as usual.
If you’re a major gift officer, and you’re not using social media as part of your moves management, you’re going to become more and more irrelevant to your donors. Check out my full post on the subject at Windmill Networking: How Social Media Complements Nonprofit Donor Moves Management. As good as you may be with people the selling/fundraising arena has changed.
Your value to folks is only as good as the value they seek. And they’ve changed. They’re social media connected and they seek real-time engagement. Donors want ongoing storytelling from you – not just at a once-a-year meeting but in a continual feedback loop where information is flowing. I think of it as a soap opera or serial drama. “Next on Charity Water…” “Coming soon on Natural Resources Defense Council…” Your donors are eagerly anticipating the next installment.
How are you delivering? Just meeting donors for an annual lunch won’t cut it. It’s a lovely, traditional model of sustaining relationships, but it doesn’t tend to build them over time when so many others are competing for your attention in a very crowded media marketplace.
Major gifts officers today must become consummate “drip” story tellers. Your donors want an ongoing tale. A little today. A little next week. And so forth. There’s no better delivery mechanism for “drip” storytelling than social media. And don’t get hung up on thinking it’s just Facebook or Twitter. It’s lots of things… email; texting; LinkedIn (where a lot of professionals, aka donors, are); Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, Yelp… if you start to ask, you’ll be surprised to find out what your donors are doing digitally.
What does this have to do with “Moves Management?” Everything. Social media today is one of the principle ways folks interact with brands. The new zeitgeist requires collaboration and networking skills.
Folks want you to offer them something of value. Your nonprofit’s stories are something they can’t so easily find for themselves because they evolve in real time and often behind the scenes. Offer your major donors compelling stories that show them they are the movers in being the change they want to see in the world; it’s not about you moving them, like so many players on a chess board.
That’s the new “moves management.” I encourage you to read the full article to see the Top 14 Things I would consider as “moves” were I a major gifts officer today.
Have you discovered other ways that online tools compliment your moves management? Please share!
The most essential “move” is to say thank you, promptly, personally, frequently and creatively. I’ve put a bunch of creative ideas, templates, samples, checklists and links to useful tools and resources in my new Special Guide: How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude — Everything You Need to Know About Donor Retention. It’s a handy no-nonsense guide on how to put gratitude into practice on a daily basis. For what you get, I think you’ll find it to be a bargain. And if it’s not, you can always tell me. I’m pretty nice about these things. To your success!
Love Image: Flickr, Tim Hamilton
Hi Claire –
What you are talking about sounds remarkably similar to social selling! As a stewardship professional, I long for the day when social selling, stewardship, and donor relations skills are the primary metric for major gifts. Obviously, $ are important, but if you have these three in place the dollars will come.
Thanks Marci. How are you using social media to build relationships with donors?