Advancement professionals think about our donors and prospects regularly – whether we’re wondering if a prospect will fund a gift proposal, a donor will take our meeting request or a faculty partner will tell us if she identifies a new potential prospect. But as much as these prospects and partners may be top of mind, our actions can send a very different message. We get busy, or focused on just a few relationships, and can let months go by without communicating with those we want to draw closest.
This pattern is why I’m a champion of a Two Touches exercise: starting every workday with two outreaches, or touches, to donors or organizational partners. This habit is an easy way to ensure we start every day the right way: focused on relationships! When we begin each day this way, we’re reinforcing discipline and a focus on our most important work: building, enhancing or growing our relationships and the strategies that support them.
These daily touches are simple:
- A hand-written note card of congratulations on a recent achievement (personal or professional)
- An email sharing some news that might be of interest (our organizations are diverse, our outreach should be as well!)
- A note in a birthday card that is truly personal
- A news release that provides follow-up while rekindling the fire for your institution/organization
- A text message with a photo of something happening at your organization (e.g. a commencement ceremony, a new wing opening or a new program opening)
- A message celebrating a program milestone
Every strategy we build relies on a relationship, and every relationship requires interactions both big and small. Focusing on the moves is important, but our strategies need both moves (active fundraising) and interactions (passive fundraising) to truly be successful. The Two Touches technique, when implemented habitually, creates ten small interactions per week – or over 400 per year.
How would these touches strengthen your strategies?
Begin by keeping a stack of organizational note cards on your desk as an easy reminder to keep this important activity front and center. You’ll be glad to see the results of making sure your donors, prospects and partners actually know when you’re thinking of them!
Who are you going to outreach to today?