Recently my family of four sat down to a "friendly" game of Monopoly. My two competitive sons and husband were eager to gobble up any property that became available to dominate the game and thereby be proclaimed Monopoly champion.
I, on the other hand, was relaxed and not all that eager to win. I continued to land on much-desired properties and casually purchase them with no urgency to garner monopolies or build hotels. After making several property payments to me of $18 or less, my sons' patience dwindled. With restrained smiles of frustration, they demanded that I sell my properties to them. I wasn’t playing the game right. I needed to be more aggressive.
As we approach capital giving and major gifts, patience can be in our favor. Taking the time to cultivate a relationship with donors and prospects is one of the most important things that non-profits can do to ensure success. Well-considered donor cultivation is critical to campaign success. Donor relationships built over time and with strategy garner the greatest results.
Take time to create a strategy for each of your donors. Create opportunities for connection and find real and genuine ways to demonstrate your desire to connect to the donor’s interests. Engaging the donor with your organization isn’t just about the ask, its about creating a plan that joins them to both the present and future of your non-profit.
I eventually acquired monopolies in the game and built hotels. My slow play strategy proved to be successful. Sometimes the best way to win is to create a strategy that looks different than the competition's.