Finding Great Clients (or Donors. Or…)

One of the 2010 goals for the Community-Driven Institute is to aim the dialogue in this sector more towards what is possible than what is wrong.  As part of that effort, we facilitate a monthly Twitter chat for consultants to Community Benefit Organizations.  Every month, consultants from all over the world share their wisdom and ideas and experience – and questions – to grow together as we do this world-changing work.

Yesterday’s chat was about finding great clients. At the end of the chat, as folks shared their Key Learnings, I was struck by how applicable those observations would be to any relationship – not just finding great consulting clients.

Here is what folks shared there:

  • Great clients start with our own mindset and approach.
  • Clients as partners.
  • Relationships with clients are relationships. Date the ones with potential!
  • If we are authentic in sharing who we are and what we have to offer, great clients will find us
  • You can “attract” great clients, but you also still have to go where they are. We will still meet and talk about vision/values.

The discussion considered the fact that “great” clients are really only great because there is a fit between our own strengths, our own passion, our own values and goals as consultants.

So what might happen if we substituted the word “donor” for client in all those observations above?  Does the same hold true?

  • Great donors start with the organization’s own mindset and approach (Yes!)
  • Donors as partners (Yes!)
  • Relationships with donors are relationships. Date the ones with potential (Oh yes!)
  • If we are authentic in sharing who we are and what we have to offer, great donors will find us (Yes again)
  • You can “attract” great donors, but you also still have to go where they are. We will still meet and talk about vision/values. (Yup.)

Try it with the word employees. Or board members.

I cannot help but smile that when it comes to relationships that matter, the truth is the truth is the truth.  Has this been your experience with donors / clients / employees as well?

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