Every year The Community First Foundation sponsors Colorado Gives Day, an online giving day created to increase giving in Colorado to local non-profits. Typically the second Tuesday in December, this day of giving has completely exploded into a $20 million + fundraising day for Colorado non-profits.
Each year I like to ride the coat tails of this day and have some sort of event. This past December we planned #WalktheBlock, a 24-hour walk to shine a light on youth homelessness through walking. We partnered with Saint John's Cathedral and for 24 hours walked around the Cathedral. We had a RV supplied from a donor, had lots of food and drink donated, and for 24 hours we walked, talked, laughed, visited and most importantly, got people thinking about homeless youth.
I was surprised by how many of our donors swung by to walk a few blocks. Some called ahead and asked if we needed anything, others showed up with food and drink. It was certainly an amazing day for us and for the youth we serve.
Something that I was not expecting happened. With so many donors coming by I had the chance to take a walk with many of them. Some walked for five blocks while others walked for longer. Each time I walked with a donor I finished feeling like our relationship had just been catapulted to another dimension.
It didn't matter what we talked about. It could have been about why we were walking or how the day was going. Many times it was about their day, their family, something personal about them.
And I learned. So much more about them than I could have ever possibly learned from a phone call, a site tour, or seeing them at a special event.
We had many successes that day. Learning so much more about so many of our donors certainly was on the top of the list.
Take a walk with a donor. Listen. Let them talk.
Thanks for reading!