Developing A Donor Separation Strategy

If you really want a donor, you need a separation strategy. The estrangement is not between the organization and the donor prospect but involves your organization and others with similar missions or in close proximity in a community.

You need to understand your audience and how to build a relationship with people who care about your cause. It takes a relationship continuum to be successful at fundraising. It takes storytelling.

That’s the story — and they were sticking to it — as told by Mary Walter-Brown, founder and chief executive at News Revenue Hub in San Diego, Calif., and Robert Rivard, founder, editor and publisher of the Rivard Report in San Antonio, Texas. The duo made their comments during a session at the annual Association of Fundraising Professionals’ international conference in San Antonio, Texas.

There are five elements to the relationship continuum: Random Hook-Up (Causal Visitor), Casual Dating, Email subscriber (committed relationship) and Engaged and Married (monthly recurring donor), according to Walter-Brown and Rivard.

You need to get some information. Who are your random hook-ups? Where do they live and work? How did they find you? What do they want? How long will they stay?

You also need answers from your committed supporters. Where do they live and work? How did they find you? Why do they give? How long will they give?

The separation comes once you have solid information. You need a separation statement. What makes you different from everyone else? That statement needs to include a current description, your desired target audience/members, the promise you’re making to your desired audience/members, how you’re going to support the promise, your desired personality and your desired vision, according to Walter-Brown and Rivard.

Stories have changed and made history, American history, from the Minutemen to Rosa Parks to #MeToo. The stories sparked movements. Once you have the above elements in place you can start telling your organization’s story.