Nurturing a relationship takes time but you might just find a soul mate. Chris Downes gets serious about fundraising.

One of the best analogies - one that I’ve unashamedly pinched and used extensively from fundraising veteran and mentor of mine, Ed Laity – compares the ‘moves management’ process often used for major gifts and bequests to the stages of a relationship.

With the key word being ‘relationship’, here it is:

Prospecting/Cultivation/Education = Dating

Solicitation = Will you marry me?

Stewardship/Retention = Do you still love me?

While there has been a significant shift towards retention and reactivation of lapsed donors, I am still amazed at the relatively minimal investment in programs (in both dollars and resources) to show current and best donors that they are still loved.

Significant dollars are spent chasing new donors with high value acquisition packs and face-to-face solicitation of strangers, and yet many organisations look in horror if you suggest they spend a small percentage of that investment on acknowledging and thanking donors or…

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