2 - The Visionary is the big-picture thinker. In this role you help donors identify the most important issues among the many. You focus on helping them by asking why questions to help them discover their higher-level goals or maybe underlying motivations. A few strategic why questions will move the relationship forward dramatically. Too many will kill the relationship - nobody likes the grand inquisition.
3 - Effectively building strong donor relationships will lead you to the role of Sounding Board. Here you offer a safe place for donors to ask tough questions or bounce ideas off you. And you do this through many little interactions. Phone calls, out of the office conversations, and always following up appropriately. Silence after a contact will kill any donor's trust in you.
Consider your top 10 donors and chart these four roles across the top of a page and list the 10 names down the side of the page. Put a check for each donor where you have this role well established and an X where you need to work more on the role. I bet you find gaps and opportunities to build and strengthen great donor relationships.
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