When you start up a new non-profit organization, you’re usually faced with the prospect of enlisting the aid of as many donors as possible, so as to keep your good cause going. In order to do that, you have to establish trust between potential donors to your organization, so they can have confidence in what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Here are some tips on how you can establish that kind of trust and rapport with potential donors.
Start at the local level
One of the surest ways to enlist aid from potential donors is by assuring them that the local community will benefit. Community leaders in particular are good people to target with your message, so you should ask for their assistance. Be as open and honest as possible with them, allowing them full access to your vision and mission statements. It should be just as important to those community leaders as yourself, to establish worthwhile causes that will help the community prosper.
Reach out to people you know
The great thing about reaching out to friends, relatives, and associates for their help is that they should already know you and trust you. This will bypass the need to tell of them who you are or what you’re all about, as well as to convince them that you have a legitimate cause. Use all your connections, especially those who are well-placed in the community, and in business.
Convince donors of the benefits
There may be a few virtuous individuals or organizations out there who are perfectly happy making anonymous donations, but for the most part, people who contribute to your cause will want to know what’s in it for them. Be prepared to show investors how contributing to your cause will benefit them, and that you’re aware of their needs. You should also be ready to go the extra mile to do whatever it takes to encourage these kinds of contributors.
Show donors that you care
You’ll definitely have to show contributors that you truly care about your cause, and that you’re passionate about having it succeed. But don’t overlook the donors themselves, because they will probably be more willing to give when they realize that you also care about them. You can show this kind of caring by meeting with them in person or giving them a phone call, rather than sending a steady stream of solicitous emails. Whenever they do contribute, make a point of thanking them for their donation, and relating how that contribution will impact your cause.
Establish relationships for the long term
Whenever you establish any kind of relationship with a potential donor, it should be from the standpoint of something long term, rather than a one-time donation. Make sure that all potential donors are aware of your gratitude for donations now and in the future. If they are willing to become involved, by all means get them directly involved in the process, so they can see first-hand how their donations are making a difference.