A quick story. A current client is in the midst of a campaign and has been working hard to engage past donors for support of this effort. A donor couple was invited for a tour of the facilities. Now, this donor family had never given more than $500 to the organization in support of the mission, however, the staff had the feeling that the gift capacity of the donors was significantly higher. The donor couple was approached by members of our Campaign Cabinet and invited for a thirty minute tour of the facilities. They agreed and as a result of seeing the mission firsthand, engaging with staff, and having the opportunity to ask questions, ended up making a $100,000 gift to the campaign.
Admittedly, this example is not typical, but it does demonstrate the power of getting your donors engaged with your mission through simple tours of your facilities. Engage them around your day to day work. Tell them about your challenges and how you’re attempting to meet those challenges head on. Ask for their input and advice (after all, most significant donors have valuable lessons to share), and answer their questions. Fundraising must be a “hands on” activity. Find ways to get your donors involved in simple and effective ways and be sensitive to their schedules by keeping meetings short and to the point.