I recently met with a long-term supporter. We had lunch and walking into it I had a plan.
Before I begin I should say that although he has been a long-term supporter of my group, I have only known him for three months.
My plan was to increase his value of the partnership we have had with him and create a partnership for 2012 that will blow both of our hopes out of the water.
Let me back up. I did my research. I decided that although we had partnered for years, that they had not used their benefits to the extent that would make them even more successful, and we hadn't given them enough opportunities to show what their true needs in the partnership were.
I know, reading it back I think the same thing. Yet this is a challenge for many non-profits who simply agree to a partnership then file it away until the next year. And if the partner isn't paying attention they end up reaping very little form the relationship.
Our lunch ended up taking almost three hours. When I left I felt that we had definitely taken our relationship to a new level and as we continue to discuss 2012 that the coming year would be the most successful year of our partnership ever.
The lunch ended up being a great success for us and them. A true partnership. The fires were re-stoked.
Take the time to meet face to face with your donors and partners. Make sure they know how important the relationship is to you. Make sure they know how much more you can do with their support. Make sure they know what they get out of it and how truly beneficial the partnership is to them.
Thanks for reading. I am honored that you take time out of your busy day to read my thoughts.