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Customer Success Manager at Blackbaud Canada

“I know I am supposed to connect with people, but I just don’t know how.” 49 Ways to Engage your communityI hear that from my clients a LOT. How do you build an authentic relationship with someone so you can “bring them closer” to the organization….when you’ve just met them? Fundraising gets a bad rap (in my opinion) when we try to “jump” over logical relationship steps. That’s the scenario where you’ve just been introduced to someone, and then in the next breath you’re asking them for a 5 figure gift to the organization. Nope. You can’t fall in love on a first date. So here it is! A list of 49 Ways to Bring People Closer to your organization.

What do vikings, pirates and sponsors have in common?I met these two beauties in London, Ontario at my daughter's fall ringette tournament. What the heck? What's with the viking hats? There were TONS of parents walking around the arena with these fashionista helmets.

This, my fundraising friends, is a FABULOUS example of sponsorship ACTIVATION.

The London Ringette teams are sponsored by Big Viking Games, a technology company located in the London area. Parents wear these helmets to get noticed, and provide some extra visibility for their sponsors.

Well. I'd say it's working pretty darn well. Wouldn't you like to have a group of keeners out there in the community celebrating your sponsor's brand?

Below is a recent letter that I wrote to Kivi Leroux Miller about my experience in one of her online classes.  My biggest take-away from Kivi’s class was that there are people out there that are struggling with the same issues that I am, and that we really should find ways to “share the space.”

Here are three suggestions for including peer-to-peer support in your daily work routine:

  • Pick up the phone and talk to a fellow fundraiser about a challenge you are having. Better yet, invite them out for lunch to talk in person;
  • Use a conference, or a learning opportunity to connect with a fellow fundraiser – someone with whom you would like to build a relationship. The fact that you like their energy, or their perspective is as good a reason as any to start a conversation;
  • Formalize any of the above-mentioned relationships into a bi-weekly or monthly call with your new colleague.  Use skype, or google hangout - so that you can actually see each other – and create a peer-to-peer safe environment where you can articulate short-term tasks or professional goals that you want to accomplish before the next peer coaching session.