A good proposal is one half of the success story, the other half is about the quality of the relationship. Ideally you want excellent rapport with your donors before you submit a proposal and you want a well-managed relationship to retain them. This module will take you through the journey of effective relationship management.
Firstly, we’ll consider the five ways of securing major funding. Is it best to be proactive or is it best to encourage and entice donors to contact you? We’ll then look at a systemic approach to managing donor relationships from prospects to commitments.
The core batch of sessions are about how you find donors through networking; and, how you build rapport via the phone, email and face-to-face communications. To clinch the deals, we’ll explore how to negotiate, how to ask for a commitment and how to work as a team to engage donors.
3.1 The Five Ways of Securing Major Gifts
There are five pathways to find major supporters: foundations, wealthy individuals, governments or companies. Within these five routes, we’ll explore the balance between proactive and reactive fundraising.
- Understand the five pathways for securing a major gift
- Develop strategies to open up all five pathways for their organization.
We’ll share the results of study in 500+ case studies of major gifts to reveal five ways you can secure new major gifts and upgrade existing donors. Do donors approach you, or do you have to hunt them down? What are the techniques you need to have across your organization to ensure that all pathways are open? We’ll move from case studies to practical solution within your own organization.
3.2 Developing a Prospect Pipeline
You need to track how your prospects are getting closer to you – the lead indicators of the journey to submitting a proposal.
- Understanding of the four stages in establishing a relationship.
- Ability to use a range of techniques across these four stages.
- Ability to construct a tracking system for high value donors.
We’ll explain the four stages of a prospect pipeline, from research and evaluation, to awareness raising, engagement then asking. We’ll share the indicators for each stage. You’ll be able to set up your own tracking system for your key prospects, revealing how you are getting nearer to the money. You’ll have a chance to practice with a simulated pipeline before you establish a real one in your workplace.
You need to master the skills of ‘fishing’ for donors, especially the art of networking in this new normal.
- Understanding of the process of networking.
- Ability to use a range of techniques across the networking process.
It’s hard to get donors to visit your organization (even more so these days) and it’s always a challenge to get a 121 opportunity to meet a donor in their location. The most common way of meeting donors is through networking in ‘neutral territory’. This session will explain the universal process of networking and the enduring techniques. We will show how these constants can still be applied in the new normal of communications.
3.4 Building Rapport
Rapport is the first step in relationship building, without it you will never get to meet your donors or submit invited proposals.
- Ability to use a three-step process for every conversation with a new contact.
- Ability to assess and set targets for improved rapport with donors.
There is no magic formula for an engagement event which will entice all donors to meet you. This is even more challenging in the current environment. However, pre-existing rapport between the asker and asked is a fundamental for all donor engagement. This session will equip you to manage a conversation with a stranger which will reveal any connection between you (the foundation stone of rapport). This process works by phone, email and face-to-face.
We will also reveal a tracking system which will measure how you are building up rapport with your funders (a vital lead indicator of potential funding).
It’s crucial to engage your donors in your developing proposal, to know when to compromise and when to stand your ground.
- Ability to use a proven six-step process for managing a face-to-face negotiation.
Whether you are meeting face to face, or using video communications, you need to have a ‘game plan’ for negotiating with funders and partners. This session will take you through a time-honoured six-stage process that will give you mastery of any negotiation. We’ll use a case study to show how you can move from informal greetings to a commitment. This session will build upon ideas that are in the other workshops on ‘Networking’ and ‘Building Rapport’.
3.6 Asking for Money
The final act: ‘when to ask and when not to ask’.
- Understanding of the five ways to ask for a commitment.
- Ability to predict which technique to use with which donor.
- Understanding of your own ‘asking comfort zone’ and how you need to expand your repertoire.
We’ll start with examples of asking for money and then reveal the five ways of asking for a commitment. As a fundraiser, you need to be able to use all of them and not be limited to one or two techniques. You need to predict which options are appropriate for which donors. We’ll start with examples to show the techniques, move onto case studies for you to practice using the full repertoire, moving on to a chance to prepar an ‘ask’ with one of your own donors.
3.7 Hunting in Pairs
Never walk alone, successful donor engagement requires a well-oiled, collaborative machine.
- Ability to work collaboratively as a team to engage donors – to establish your own ‘hit squad’.
- Understand the different contributions of fundraisers and the programme experts.
We’ll introduce the three characters in a successful ‘hit squad’ – the team that should be your interface with donors. We’ll then practice how to operate as a team, comprised of an ‘introducer’, a ‘re-assurer’ and a ‘deal-maker’. This workshop will build upon the ideas within the ‘Networking’ and the ‘Building Rapport’ workshops.