By Steffani Lautenschlager, MEd, CFRE, Senior Consultant
In this season of gratitude, it’s good to remember that one size does not fit all when it comes to stewardship. Gary Chapman wrote, “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts,” which describes how each of us have a preferred way that we give and receive love. When your partner or friend speaks your love language you automatically deepen the connection to that person. You pay attention more. You engage more. You give more of yourself. So much of this is also true for our relationship with our donors.
We often talk about how we need to love on our donors, but we don’t always take the time to think about or even ask what their preference is in our approach to stewarding them. It’s important for us to pause and think about how we share our gratitude with donors, especially during this time of thanksgiving. If we approach our stewardship as a one size fits all, we will miss the chance to truly let people understand their full impact on our nonprofits and community.
Chapman identified these 5 love languages:
When thinking about how we steward our donors, we could correlate these 5 love languages to mean:
Relationships that last are complimentary to one another. It’s not one sided. It’s not “all about me.” The ones that consider how the other person receives love have long-lasting and happier relationships. Identify ways that your nonprofit can stand out by sharing your gratitude in the way your donors each separately receive it. Yes, I recognize this takes a lot of time, but it also is important intentional time that will benefit your organization year after year with retention and increased giving.
Practice on your colleagues, by finding out their love language and using it to show appreciation for their commitment to your organization. Then move on to your top give donors and beyond. Let us know what you experience and how it makes you feel. Sharing gratitude in your donor’s love language will grow them closer to your mission and will fill you with joy as well!
Questions on donor stewardship? Contact Let’s Build Hope today:
(314) 716-2496 or LetsBuildHope@lbh-stl.com.
#LBH #LetsBuildHope #GlimmersOfHope #LoveLanguages #DeeperRelationships #ShowAppreciation #Thanksgiving #Gratitude
By Beth Jantz, Senior Consultant, GrantsPLUS
We all know that we should love on our individual donors, right? If you are on top of you game, you may even have a moves management process to make sure you are consistently building relationships with your major donors and bringing them closer to your mission.
But even if you have a flawless moves management process for individual donors, you might be leaving your biggest donors out in the cold!
Foundations and corporations are often the largest contributors to our organizations, and yet we tend to neglect them. Often, development officers think that the only time they need to talk to their funders is when they submit the grant, send the tax letter, and submit the final report.
There is a big problem with that kind of thinking: behind every funder, there is a person administering it. In the same way individual donors aren’t ATMs, neither are foundations. Imagine how much more warmly your grant proposal will be received if the program officer reading it knows you and your organization as more than just words on the page.
If you put the time and effort into cultivating a relationship with your institutional funders, you will see their commitment to your organization grow. Grant writing is fundraising, and fundraising is all about relationships!
So, what can you do to build relationships with your funders?
Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be! If you add funders to your moves management process, implementing this process will be a snap. You will be one of the few organizations that does, and you will stand apart from the crowd. A strong relationship with a foundation or corporation can pay dividends for your organization for years to come. Grant makers are often our biggest donors, and it’s about time we started treating them that way!
Want to chat about your grants and foundations strategy? Contact us – we want to hear from you: (314) 716-2496 or LetsBuildHope@lbh-stl.com.
#LBH #LetsBuildHope #GlimmersOfHope #DontNeglectYourBiggestDonors #Grants #Foundations