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By Laura Weinman
If you are a Major Gift Officer or other “relationship manager,” you are likely craving human interaction while simultaneously re-imagining years of best practices teaching that face-to-face is always the best way to engage your most generous donors.
During times of uncertainty, most major donors will want to hear from you – to know you care about their well-being and to update them on what your organization is doing differently (and what remains unchanged!) during this time of disruption. Reaching out by email or phone is fine (don’t stop doing it) – and suggesting that you meet by video conference might be welcomed. While some donors might not be familiar with Skype, Zoom, or other platforms, many regularly interact with children, grandchildren or friends on their phone through FaceTime or other means. They may even be interested in having a view of your home office or some parts of your life that you don’t usually share. (We’re all in this together.) For a laugh, check out this BBC interview from a home office that goes awry.
Everyone loves an authentic interaction and during times of stress, letting down your personal guard and interacting as a person rather than an employee can go a long way in building trust and bonds with your major donors.
However, video chat isn’t for everyone…so what are some other options?
Laura has 20+ years of Association/Nonprofit leadership experience. Her expertise focuses on development, staff recruitment, staff management, career coaching, grant writing, major gifts, planned giving, prospect research, strategic development planning, event management, sponsorship, volunteer management, and annual fundraising. She has been with KEES since 2012.
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